Terminology of tenses

Almut

Kwiziq community member

15 May 2016

2 replies

Terminology of tenses

I am not a native speaker of English and the terms I learnt for verb tenses in the past are "Present Perfect", "Past Tense" and "Past Perfect" (plus the continuous equivalents). Now you say "in English we use the Simple Past followed by the Imperfect" and I wonder what these verb forms are meant to be, especially since in your example "He played football when he was small" both verbs (to play and to be) seem to stand in the same tense, namely the one I was taught to call "Past Tense".

This relates to:
Expressing habits or repeated actions in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense) -

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

16 May 2016

16/05/16

Hi Almut, "Past tense" is a generic term for any of the past tenses, depending on how it's used in context. The Simple Past is a synonym for the Preterite ("I played football"). The Past Perfect is a compound tense ("I had played football"). The Present Perfect is similar ("I have played football). I hope that help! Gruff

Almut

Kwiziq community member

16 May 2016

16/05/16

Thank you Gruff, That answers half my question. :-) The other half is: what is "Imperfect"? (And how is it different from "Simple Past"?) Thank you!

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