preterite

(redirected from preterits)
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past tense

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.
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pret·er·ite

or pret·er·it  (prĕt′ər-ĭt)
adj.
Of, relating to, or being the verb tense that describes a past action or state.
n.
1. The verb form expressing or describing a past action or condition.
2. A verb in the preterite form.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin (tempus) praeteritum, past (tense), neuter past participle of praeterīre, to go by : praeter, beyond, comparative of prae, before; see per in Indo-European roots + īre, to go; see ei- in Indo-European roots.]

preterite

(ˈprɛtərɪt) grammar or

preterit

n
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
adj
(Grammar) denoting this tense
[C14: from Late Latin praeteritum (tempus) past (time, tense), from Latin praeterīre to go by, from preter- + īre to go]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.preterite - a term formerly used to refer to the simple past tense
past tense, past - a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past
Translations
preterit
preteritum

preterite

[ˈpretərɪt] N (Ling) → pretérito m

preterite

[ˈpretərɪt] nprétérit m

preterite

, (esp US) preterit
adj verbim Imperfekt; (in English) → im Präteritum; preterite formImperfekt-/Präteritumsform f; the preterite tensedas Imperfekt, das Präteritum
nImperfekt nt, → Präteritum nt; in the preteriteim Imperfekt/Präteritum

preterite

[ˈprɛtrɪt] n(tempo) passato, preterito
References in periodicals archive ?
In order to investigate verbal categories in Latin American varieties of Romance languages in light of Joan Bybee's ideas of language change, Flogstad details the development of preterits and perfects in Porte[+ or -]o Spanish as a case of grammatical evolution.
Sometimes, however, reduplication of a consonant grapheme in final position in weak verbs is a result of adding a dental element to form preterits and past participles, e.
You are suddenly afraid for a moment that you might have been thinking of him when it happened and you pray a silent prayer that you weren't and then do your best to get him out of your head by practicing the preterits that you learned this week in your night class.