The Past Tenses - Past Perfect - Structure and Usages


This video is part of our series on the past tenses in English. In this video, we take a look at the past perfect tense. This tense is used to talk about a past action and a related past action before that. We relate two past actions to each other.

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This unit covers the grammar language points including modal auxiliary verbs and passive voice. Relative clauses and phrasal verbs are also addressed in this unit. Regarding model auxiliary verbs, this unit expounds in details the usages, forms and different tenses related to the utilization of modal verbs. Broadly speaking, modals are used to express multitude of functions including obligation, necessity, permission, ability, advice and prohibition. Modal verbs are viewed as slippery in meaning since they express more than one function depending on the given context. For instance, can expresses capability, informal request, and inform permission. At this point, the context determines which of the aforementioned usages of the modal verb ?can? might be used. As for passive voice, it is generally referred to when the doer of action is unimportant, anonymous, or don?t want to be mentioned. Passive choice witnesses many changes regarding the transformation of tenses from active into passive voice. In this sense, teachers are ought to use motivating teaching tools to increase students? understanding. Relative clauses are also another essential grammar point that should be taught. They are basically used to provide additional information related to a noun and/or adjective clause. The most common relative pronoun used to give further information include: who, whose, where, which, etc. Relative clauses are either defining and non-defining. While the former considers the additional information essential to the overall meaning of the relative clause; the latter regards the further information as unessential to the overall meaning of the relative clause. Lastly, phrasal verbs are important category of English language. There are separable and inseparable phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs can be taught through a set of vocabulary activity to enrich students? awareness of the basic commonly used ones in different contexts. Briefly, teachers are ought to prepare different teaching activities and tools to teach auxiliary modal verbs, passive voice, relative clauses and phrasal verbs in an effective and thorough manner.

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