The Past Tenses - Lesson on Past Tenses in the EFL Classroom


Here are helpful tips how to identify the various past tenses in the English language and complete worksheets successfully. The video also helps you to structure an effective lesson around the past tenses in an EFL classroom around the world.

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

Unit 6 gives information on the past tense in English grammar. The past tense consists of four forms; past simple, past continuous, past perfect and past perfect continuous. The past simple is made up of the subject and the base form of the verb plus ed or d except in the irregular forms. The past simple is used for actions completed at a definite time in the past. It is used for: ? For a past action when the time is given. Example: My grandaunt died in 2010. ? When the time is asked about. Example: When did James Cook discover Australia? ? When the action took place at a definite time even though this time is not mentioned. Example: The train arrived 2 hours ago. ? Sometimes the time becomes definite as a result of a question and answer in the present perfect. Ex: Where have you been? I have been to Happy Valley. Did you enjoy it? The past continuous consists of the subject plus the past tense of the auxiliary verb to be (was/were) and the present participle of the verb. The past continuous is used for interrupted past actions. Some usages of the past continuous are: ? It is used without a time expression and can indicate gradual development that took place in the past. Example: It was getting darker. ? To express an action that begun before that time and even continued after it. Example: Emma was having dinner at 6:30pm. The past perfect consists of the subject plus had and the past participle of the verb. The past perfect relates the past in the past. It is a look at the past from a past perspective. Example: When I went back to the house, I realized that I had left the front windows open. The example is showing an action that occurred before another action in the past. The windows were left open before the person went back to the house. The past perfect continuous consists of the subject, had, been and the present participle of the verb. The past perfect continuous is used to talk about longer actions in the past. These actions had been going on continuously up to the past moment mentioned. Example: Before playing basketball, Jack had been training in the school gym for two hours.

Check out ITTT's Blog Posts