Past Indefinite Tense, Definition, Rules and Example Sentences

Past Indefinite Tense, Definition and Example Sentences

Past Indefinite Tense

While the “indefinite tense” is a category of the verb tense, it covers simple past tense, simple present tense and simple future tense. The three indefinite tenses represent usual activities and realities. Unlike other tenses, indefinite tenses describe actions without specifically specifying whether the verbs are complete. Indefinite tenses are more commonly referred to as simple tenses. The term “indefinite” is not used very often, especially when talking about individual uncertain times. This is why we used the term “simple” when talking about three indefinite tenses.

The Indefinite Tense in the Past

Past perfect progressive tenseI had been going
Past progressive tenseI was going.
Past perfect tenseI had gone.
Simple past tenseI went.


The Indefinite Aspect

The term indefinite direction is used to group all actions at indefinite times. These verbs are past tense, present tense, and future tense. It should be noted here that the appearance of the action is determined by whether the verb expresses a fact, an ongoing action, or an incomplete action. Actions of indefinite dimensions express facts.


Why Are Indefinite Aspect Important?

Native English speakers can use all tenses without thinking twice about grammar. In addition, if you are teaching or learning English, you need to spend time learning tenses because expressing when something happens is a very basic communication skill. Simple tenses are generally the first tenses to be taught or learned. However, as we mentioned, they are not very simple and are not used very often during a natural dialogue. We must remember that tenses do not tell us whether something is a past, present, or future verb. They also tell us whether the action is in a habitual, completed, or ongoing state.

Common Regular Verbs in the Past Tense

In the table below, we have listed the past tense and negative forms of some of the frequently used regular verbs.

InfinitivePast TenseNegative
To workWorkedDid not work
To useUsedDid not use
To callCalledDid not call
To askAskedDid not ask
To needNeededDid not need
To helpHelpedDid not help
To talkTalkedDid not talk


Common Irregular Verbs in the Past Tense

We have listed the past tense and negative forms of frequently used irregular verbs in the table below.

InfinitivePast TenseNegative
To haveHadDid not have
To beWas/wereWas not/ were not
To doDidDid not do
To getGotDid not get
To saySaidDid not say
To makeMadeDid not make
To seeSawDid not see
To comeCameDid not come


Past Indefinite Tense Example Sentences

Years ago, when I was young, I used to listen to this music often.

This video game must be very old, we used to play it with my brother when I was little.

This product was made in Japan I guess.

I remember our old Christmas times, we were pretty spoiled kids.

We used to be pure-hearted people, too, life conditions made us this way.

In the past, years ago, we had a greengrocer here.

Once upon a time, our ancestors gave great struggles for these lands.