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This unit enlightens the system of past tenses (Past Simple, Past Continuous, Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous), explaining their form, how they are used, their individual characteristics and what kinds of activities can be used during the activate stages to help students practice their knowledge.
This unit helps to identify each tense and explain it in a clear and understandable way. Past simple expresses events completed in the past in a specific time or general past actions when the time is not mentioned (We spoke to our manager an hour ago and he agreed to sign the contract; Jane didn’t write her article).
Past continuous indicates that a longer action in the past was interrupted: I was baking a pie when this terrible smoke appeared all around. As it is clear from the title of the tense, although the action in the past was interrupted, it does not necessarily mean that it was completed, the action still continued: Last night, when you called at 8, I was doing yoga (the action started earlier and still went on).
Past perfect indicates events or actions that took place before other actions in the past: I had read a lot about India before I went there to study. It also shows that a particular event/action happened before a certain time in the past: These children had never seen real bears before they went to the zoo. (I also noticed that a more recent action usually comes in the Past simple form).
Past perfect continuous shows that one past action continued up until another action in the past: I had been working at the university for five years before I moved to Russia. How long had you been leaning Spanish before you went to Madrid?
These are just brief descriptions of the Past tenses, which definitely should be explained more deeply while teaching.