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past tense


NATASHA
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Many people get confused with past tense wording but it is simple.

I am going to the store to get some milk - I went to the store to get some milk

Does anyone know of easier ways to explain the tenses?

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It may be simple because you understand the different between present and past tense, but usually that is considered the most difficult in many languages. Even to this day, I have trouble remembering the different types of present-past tenses in Spanish and I've been studying in classes for 4 years.

I think the best way to help with understanding past versus present tenses is to partner up each word with each other within a table and memorize from there. For example:

[table]

[tr]

[td]

PRESENT

[/td]

[td]

PAST

[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]

is

[/td]

[td]

was

[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]

take

[/td]

[td]

took

[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

People don't realize it but the reason why we understand the grammar and punctuation of English isn't just because we understand how it works, but it's also because we were drilled so much growing up that we typically memorized everything.

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  • 3 months later...

I think it depends from person  to person, but the method the user above me mentioned is the standard and it works well for most people.  I learnt English when I was just 16 years old all on my own, but my experience was super intuitive.  Plus I was so young, back then learning a new language was actually very easy.

If you are older and you are more of a visual learner, then working with homemade flash cards can do wonders. I actually plan to work with those later on (dutch past an future tenses).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I really had a hard time learning about the past tense. I think it is all about memorization. You really have got to focus on them. There are also variants/forms of past tense: simple past, past perfect, and past perfect progressive. Well, they can really be a bit confusing.

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  • 9 months later...
On May 8, 2015 at 7:12 AM, Bloomsie said:

It may be simple because you understand the different between present and past tense, but usually that is considered the most difficult in many languages. Even to this day, I have trouble remembering the different types of present-past tenses in Spanish and I've been studying in classes for 4 years.

 

I think the best way to help with understanding past versus present tenses is to partner up each word with each other within a table and memorize from there. For example:

 

 

 

[table]

[tr]

[td]

PRESENT

[/td]

[td]

 

PAST

[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]

 

is

[/td]

[td]

 

was

[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]

 

take

[/td]

[td]

 

took

[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

 

People don't realize it but the reason why we understand the grammar and punctuation of English isn't just because we understand how it works, but it's also because we were drilled so much growing up that we typically memorized everything.

I believe this is the best way, personally. It takes practice using both tenses. It's a good idea to grab a partner who knows their tenses and just practice using them. It's basically memorization.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Don't dedicate all of your time to the rules. While it is of course very important, a good way to remember tenses is to listen to English natives speak and realise their habits. Perhaps watch a show and transcribe some of the speech, then take a look at what they said and see if you can spot some tenses. Re-watching the scene could help you with context too.

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