PAST

  • ‘Past’ refers to a past tense or form of a verb.
  • We also include ‘perfect’ aspects in this category since they do have some reference to the past.

‘would rather’ | ‘it’s time’ + PAST TENSE CLAUSE

Here we look at examples of using ‘the past tense’ in a way that is not referring to past time.  In these EXPERT EXAMPLES: It’s time we started to think about the environment and a little bit less about money. Isle of Man Newspapers As an environmentalist, we would rather that didn’t happen. TED ‘the past tense’ expresses a wish that is distanced from the real situation. In reality, they are not thinking …

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NOT ONLY + present perfect continuous (inversion) + BUT

Point 92 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect continuous, invert the subject and affirmative auxiliary verb with ‘not only … but’ as a focusing device EXAMPLE: Not only has Pablo been talking publicly for the first time about being an orphan, but together, we started a live storytelling series we’re calling Talk Rx, and it’s become a really popular place for his peers to show their most vulnerable and powerful thoughts and feelings. TED

present perfect simple (unfinished)

Point 20 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect simple: UNFINISHED refer to a state or period of time which is unlimited or indefinite. This is too hard to locate automatically without overlapping other points in the EGP. EXPERT EXAMPLE: I love calling COVID Rona as if this is a person that has crashed our good time over the last year. wnpr.org

didn’t use to + INFINITVE

Point 60 in MODALITY: ‘used to’ to talk about repeated actions or states in the past that are no longer true. Point 32 in VERBS: semi-modal auxiliary verbs, ‘used to’ and ‘ought to’ *We have already got dedicated pages to semi-modals: See an overview of ‘ought to‘ and ‘used to’ as semi-modal. Since we have …

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future in the past

The English Grammar Profile (EGP) B1 point 23 in the category of future is defined: past form of ‘be’ + ‘going to’ (future in the past) EGP B1 point 36 in FUTURE  is defined: PLANS IN THE PAST (often followed by ‘but’) to talk about a plan, sometimes one that may have changed. These grammar …

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present perfect simple negative + YET

Point 13 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect simple negative with ‘yet’ to talk about events which are expected to be completed at some point in the future. 1 HAS N’T HAPPENED YET 1853 2 HAVE N’T SEEN YET 777 3 HAVEN’T DECIDED YET 699 PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I haven’t decided yet, but maybe I will buy a snowboard here and try the …

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past continuous question

Point 28 in the category of PAST: past continuous B1 question form An iWeb search for: was|were _P _VVG *not all these will lead to questions. 1 WERE YOU THINKING 2389 EXPERT EXAMPLE: What were you thinking? stuff.co.nz 2 WAS I GOING 2198 3 WERE THEY THINKING 1716 4 WERE YOU USING 1218 5 WERE YOU LOOKING 951 …

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present perfect simple (just)

Point 29 in the category of PAST: present perfect simple: refer to a finished event or state in the recent past, that has a present relevance, often with ‘just’. An iWeb search for: _VH just _VVN 1 ‘VE JUST GOT 9034 2 HAVE JUST STARTED 7540 4 HAS JUST RELEASED 6156 5 HAS JUST ANNOUNCED …

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present perfect simple (range)

There is no listing in the English Grammar Profile for a ‘wide‘ range of main verbs with present perfect simple.  So, here’s an expert example of present perfect simple using academic collocation: In the course of my professional life, I have acquired knowledge and manual skill.    (linotype.com) Here are some general range points in the English Grammar Profile in the category of …

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present perfect continuous question

Point 31 in the category of PAST: present perfect continuous: QUESTIONS with a limited range of verbs. PELIC STUDENT: What have you been doing? Arabic male, Level 4 grammar class. An iWeb search for: have|has _P been _VVG 1 HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING 1224 2 HAVE YOU BEEN LOOKING 1218 3 HAVE YOU BEEN USING 914 4 HAVE YOU …

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present perfect simple + SINCE

Point 33 in the category of PAST is defined as: present perfect simple + ‘since’ to talk about duration. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I have read a lot of books about cooking since then. Chinese male, level 3 writing class.   We have been friends since we were high-school students. Korean female, level 3 writing class. An iWeb search for: _VH _VVN since *we removed ‘had’ 1 HAS CHANGED SINCE 11097 …

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ordering past events

Point 35 in the category of PAST is defined: past simple to order sequences of events in the past, in the context of narratives. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I looked at the sheet and thought about it and then I continued following my sheet. When I noticed that I should have arrived, I called my brother and he told me that I had the wrong directions. Arabic male, level 5 grammar class. Two of the EGP examples use ‘and then’ while one only uses ‘and’ to connect past …

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because + past continuous

Point 37 in the category of PAST/continuous  is defined: give a reason for something, often with ‘because’ PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I could not focus on my reading at all, after a while because I was sweating hard. Chinese male, level 5, writing class An iWeb search for: because * _VBD _VVG 1 BECAUSE I WAS TRYING 1574 2 BECAUSE I WAS GOING 1560 3 BECAUSE I …

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superlative + present pefect simple

B1 Point 41 in the category of PAST is defined as: present perfect simple WITH SUPERLATIVE to talk about a unique experience. This point will clash with superlatives followed by clauses at B2. And it overlaps Point 33 B1 clauses with a present perfect or past perfect as a superlative noun phrase complement, to talk …

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present perfect simple negative question

Point 18 in the category of PAST is defined as: present perfect simple negative question *This point overlaps point 17 b1 negative questions. TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST: (discussing match-fixing in soccer) Haven’t you heard about the Italians? male Spain C2 An iWeb search for: VH _XX * _VVN ? 1 HAVE N’T YOU HEARD ? 164 2 HAVE N’T …

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