Presentation on theme: "SPEAKING OR WRITING ABOUT THE PAST"— Presentation transcript:
1 SPEAKING OR WRITING ABOUT THE PAST Most often we use the PAST TENSE, so use this unless you have a special reason for choosing another tense.We use the PAST CONTINUOUS for actions which were in progress at some point in the past, normally as part of the background to another action. E.g. We were having dinner when suddenly there was an enormous explosionWe use the PAST PERFECT for an action earlier than an action we have just mentioned or earlier than the point in past time we are thinking about.
2 THE PAST PERFECT- EXAMPLES I walked out of the door and went down the street. I was feeling hungry because I had not had breakfast (missing breakfast is an earlier event than leaving home)Because I had forgotten to bring my identity card, I was very nervous when the policeman approached me (The focus is on the moment when I saw the policeman, so past perfect for the earlier event).
3 PAST TENSE v. PAST CONTINUOUS Notice the difference between these two sentences:When the teacher walked into the room, the students shouted loudly (the shouting was an event that came after the walking in)When the teacher walked into the room,the students were shouting loudly (the shouting did not follow the teacher’s arrival but had started before he came – it was part of the background to his arrival)
4 THE PRESENT PERFECTWe use this tense for a past action which has some special connection to the present – either because we are interested in the present result (e.g.Have you had lunch – we are interested in whether the person needs to go for a meal NOW) or because the action has continued up to the present (e.g. I have lived here all my life)
5 PAST TENSE v. PRESENT PERFECT If we mention the point in past time at which or before which something happened, we must use the past tense.So we can only use the present perfect for something which happened:- at an unmentioned point (or points)anywhere in the past- at an unmentioned point (or points) betweena known earlier point in past time and thepresent- for all the time from a point in the past up tillnow
6 FOR EXAMPLE…..I have visited Beijing (this could have happened at any time in the past)I have seen Ho Ma Fan three times this week (this could have been at any three points in the period from the beginning of the week up till now)I have waited here for three hours (for the whole of the period from three hours ago up until now)
7 SWITCHING FROM PERFECT TO PAST We very often start by using the present perfect (because we haven’t yet mentioned the point in the past when the event happened) but then switch to the past tense when that point IS mentionedE.g. Have you ever been to Shanghai?Yes, I went there last year.
8 SPECIAL WORDS WITH THE PERFECT In affirmative sentences:for (I have known him for three years)since (She has been ill since Monday)already (They’ve already finished eating)just (I’ve just finished writing a letter)always (He has always been impatient)recently (He has recently published a book)
9 SPECIAL WORDS WITH THE PERFECT (2) In questions:ever (Have you ever been to Mexico?)how long (How long have you known Tom?)yet (Have you had dinner yet?)lately (Have you seen any good films lately?)
10 SPECIAL WORDS WITH THE PERFECT (3) In negative statements:for (I haven’t seen him for months.)since (They haven’t been there since last year.)yet (I haven’t found the book yet.)lately (I haven’t been there lately.)never (I have never eaten dog meat)
11 SPELLING RULES FOR PAST TENSE 1. We normally add –ed (e.g. ask > asked)2. If the verb already ends in –e, just add –d (e.g.like > liked)3. If the verb ends in a consonant plus – y, replace the –y with –ied (e.g. try > tried)4. If the verb ends in a short vowel followed by a single consonant, the consonant is often doubled (e.g. drop > dropped)
12 PRONOUNCING –ed (CAREFUL!) Normally the sound is /d/After `d’ or `t’ the sound is /«d/ or /Id/After unvoiced consonant sounds except for /t/ (i.e. after the letters `k’, `p’. `s’, `ch’ and `sh’), the sound is /t/
13 The past tense is used when we `fix’ the action in the past in some way by Stating the point at which an action occurred:He arrived in 1996Mentioning an action which happened at various times in the past but doesn’t happen nowBill often went to play at Jill’s housePutting an action in a list of actions which happened one after anotherI got out of bed, had a a quick shower and left the house.Talking or writing about people who are no longer aliveJulius Caesar invaded Birtain in 55 B.C.
14 When we mention an action which happened at various times in the past but doesn’t happen any more nowWe can use EITHER ordinary past tenseI often visited the British Museum when I lived in LondonOR `used to’I often used to visit the British Museum when I lived in LondonNegative: I didn’t use to visit the museum.Question: Did you use to visit the museum?