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The past tense is used to describe or indicate an action that began in the past. Depending on how we form the past tense, it might describe actions that happened or were completed in the past, were occurring at the same time as something else in the past, or continued to happen until or near the present time.
There are four forms of the Past Tense that can accomplish these tasks.
pret·er·iteor pret·er·it (prĕt′ər-ĭt)
Of, relating to, or being the verb tense that describes a past action or state.
1. The verb form expressing or describing a past action or condition.
2. A verb in the preterite form.
preterite(ˈprɛtərɪt) grammar or
1. (Grammar) a tense of verbs used to relate past action, formed in English by inflection of the verb, as jumped, swam
2. (Grammar) a verb in this tense
(Grammar) denoting this tense
[C14: from Late Latin praeteritum (tempus) past (time, tense), from Latin praeterīre to go by, from preter- + īre to go]