Tenses in English are broadly divided into the past, present, and future. In English grammar, tenses are used to indicate when an action happened and if it is still going on or finished. The tense of a verb is used to refer to time while communicating in English.

Know Narrative Tense: Simple Past and Past Continuous

Tara was going to Ceylan when it changed its name to Sri Lanka.

Sometimes, Narrative Tense uses a mixture of tenses. For example, when talking about two events that began and ended in the past, you may have to use both Simple Past and Continuous (Progressive) tense. Especially if you were interrupted while doing something.

As you may recall, Simple Past Tense used the Infinitive Verb + ed. For instance, you may hear a Native English speaker say: 

“Yesterday, I walked to work.”

This is a Simple Past Tense. The speaker began and ended their walk yesterday.

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Know what is Narrative Tense?

Homer slowly typed a poem

Narrative Tense speaks of an event that began and ended in the past. Narrative Tense is often found in stories, books, textbooks, and descriptions of past events.

Like all tenses, Narrative Tense is created by conjugating The Verb, causing it to either match the sentence’s Subject or relationship to when an event occurred. For example, 

“I write to you,”

uses the simple present form of the Verb “write,” indicating that the speaker wrote and will continue to write to the listener. This cycle of writing and sending letters could go on forever. However, to put the above example in the Narrative Tense, it would be written as: 

“I wrote to you,”

Meaning that the speaker wrote the listener in the past, but might not write again. Here’s another example:

Homer felt sorrow because of a recent breakup. But, Homer didn’t cry. Instead, he slowly typed a poem. He knew it wasn’t going to be the greatest poem ever, but putting his feeling on paper helped him heal.

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Learn Basics of Reported Speech: Past Continuous Tense

Johnny quits the band

Basically, Reported Speech is the grammatical structure for retelling what someone had said.

Long-winded definitions aside, Reported Speech goes like this: 

“Johnny said that he was leaving the band if his new song wasn’t performed.”

To construct a Reported Speech Sentence, the speaker begins with a Pronoun like “he, she” or a proper name. The above example uses the name Johnny to be specific. As a result, we now know that Johnny will leave the band if his new song isn’t performed. 

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Learn Basics of Reported Speech: Simple Present Tense

Qi wants to play the zither

Simply, Reported Speech is a retelling of what someone had already said. And although the definition is a mouthful, Reported Speech isn’t complicated, especially if the speaker makes a Declarative Statement in Simple Present Tense.

If the aforementioned person spoke in Simple Present Tense (Pronoun, Verb, Noun), the Reported Speech will be in Simple Past Tense (Pronoun, Verb + d/ed, Preposition “to,” Noun). Be aware of irregular Verbs. Words like “say” become “said” and ETC.

Here’s an example:

Statement: I want to play the zither.

Reported Speech: Qi said that she wanted to play the zither.