A verb tense used to express an action or a condition that occurred in or during the past. For example, in While she was sewing, he read aloud, was sewing and read are in the past tense.
(plural past tenses)
- (grammar) Past tense is the form of language used to refer to an event, transaction, or occurrence that did happen or has happened, or an object that existed, at a point in time before now. Compare with present tense, which refers to an event, transaction or occurrence which is happening now (at the present time), or an object that currently exists; or with future tense, which refers to an event, transaction or occurrence that has not yet happened, is expected to happen in the future, or might never happen.
- "Has the #5 bus arrived?" "Yeah, you missed it." (past tense)
- "The bus is too far away. I can't make it." (present tense)
- "I saw the #5 bus across the street. I won't make it." (future tense)
- attributive form of past tense
- past-tense form