past tense

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See also: past-tense

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Noun[edit]

past tense (plural past tenses)

  1. (grammar) A grammatical form (often a verb form) that refers to an event, transaction, occurrence, or object that happened (or had happened), or existed, at some time before now (the applicable reference time).
    Example: "I saw the #5 bus across the street. I didn’t make it."
    • 2004, Tomoko Koneko, The Use of Past Tense Forms by Japanese Learners of English, Junsaku Nakamura, Nagayuki Inoue, Tomoji Tabata (editors), English Corpora under Japanese Eyes, Rodopi, page 215,
      This is a report on a study of the use of the past tense forms in the 53 Japanese samples compiled for the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI) project.
    • 2009, Eric W. Vogt, Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Past-Tense Verbs Up Close, McGraw Hill, page v,
      As you have studied Spanish, you have probably had the feeling that there are just too many past tenses.
    • 2012, Robert I. Binnick, The Past Tenses of the Mongolian Verb, BRILL, page 1,
      Some members of the [Mongolic language] family have three or more different affixes which seem to be markers of the past tense, so that in Khalkha, for example, irev, irjee, irlee, and irsen all can translate, and be translated by, the English past tense verb came.
  2. (grammar) A grammatical form (often a verb form) that is used in a conditional expression to refer to an event, transaction, occurrence, or object that is hypothetical and often counterfactual.
    Example: "If I spoke Japanese I would be happy to visit Japan."

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