past tense

In grammar, the past tense is the verb form you use to talk about things that happened in the past. When you say, "I joined the circus," the verb "joined" is in the past tense.

When people write or speak using the past tense, they're describing something that happened earlier, whether it was yesterday or ten years ago. If you say, "My favorite food is pizza," the verb "is" is present tense, but if you say, "When I was five, my favorite food was pizza," the verb "was" is past tense. The noun tense, which means "verb form that indicates time of action," comes from the Old French root tens, or "time."

Definitions of past tense
  1. noun
    a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past
    synonyms: past
    see moresee less
    types:
    preterit, preterite
    a term formerly used to refer to the simple past tense
    type of:
    tense
    a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
Word Family
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