• ‘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.

past continuous affirmative

Here’s an expert example of past continuous affirmative: I was trying to get you back. Listen to the pronunciation of this verb phrase. Here are two English Grammar Profile points in the category of PAST: A2 point 10 past continuous: actions and states in progress around a particular time in the past. A2 point 16 past continuous: show that an event …

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‘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

Adverb expressions such as ‘not only’, ‘not just’, and ‘not simply’ emphasize that something is true, but it is not the whole truth.  These co-ordinate clauses. C2 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 …

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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.

BE | HAVE | DO (auxiliary verbs)

Here is another group of A2 English Grammar Profile points that overlap multiple categories.  Many of these could be all merged into one point. Point 3 in the category of QUESTIONS: yes/no AUXILIARY ‘BE’ + subject + the continuous Point 5 in QUESTIONS: MAIN VERB ‘BE’ + subject to form ‘yes/no’ question Point 40 in …

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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)

Here’s a student example of ‘present perfect simple negative‘: Today I can play very well with someone, even when I haven’t played for a long time. Portuguese female level 3 writing. A2 point 5 in the category of  NEGATION/AUXILIARY VERBS is defined: negative statements of main verbs in the present continuous and present perfect with ‘be’ and ‘have’ + ‘not/n’t’. A2 point 13 in the category of PAST is defined: …

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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? 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.    ( 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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