Past Indefinite Tense

  angbeenc  —  Grammar Tips

The term tenses is used in English language to describe the occurrence of verb. Tense also has other meanings but grammatically speaking, this is the only meaning of the term.

In today’s article, I will discuss the term tense in detail and highlight one form of tense i.e. past tense. I will throw light on the occurrence and formation of the past tense in English sentences.


Tense is described as the quality of a verb which occurs in a sentence and which describes the time frame of the action taking place. In simpler terms, the occurrence of action of a sentence is depicted by the tense of that sentence.


He likes bananas.

In the above example, the verb likes indicates that the action is taking place right now and is not an event of the past or future, thus we know that the tense of this sentence is present.

The basic categorization of tense is that it can exist in three forms which are past, present and future. This means that a verb also comes in three forms i.e. past, present and future.

Past Tense

A verb is said to be in past tense when the action it is describing has taken place at point in the past.


She sang well at the party.

This example makes use of second form of verb i.e. sang and thus it indicates that the action is of past.

But is doesn’t end there. The past tense is further divided into different forms and types which include past indefinite tense, past continuous tense, past perfect tense and past perfect continuous tense.

Today I will talk about past indefinite tense.

Past Indefinite Tense

Past indefinite indicates that the action described in a sentence has happened before and is not a current happening.


She watched television.

The example indicates that the action of watching was an event of the past.

A verb exists in past indefinite tense when it is in its simple second form.


The boy stood at the bus stop.

The above example is also that of past indefinite tense. Notice that the second form of verb stood is used which represents that time of action to be of past.