What is Past Tense in Hindi?

Simple Past Tense :

Affirmative: Sub. + V+ Obj.

Negative: Sub. + did + not + V1 + Obj.

Interrogative: Did + Sub. + V1 + Obj.?

Int. Negative: Did + Sub. + not + V1 + Obj.?

(ii) Sub. + was/were + Noun Phrase/Adjective

USE 1 :

      To express completed actions in the past:


      ago, before, last day / night / week/ year, yesterday, in 2010, in June previous day in past time etc.


·     I saw a movie yesterday.

·     My friend left school last year.

·     Last year, I travelled to Japan.

·     Did you have dinner last night?

·     In 2001, they purchased the house for ten lakh rupees.

·     I didn’t sleep well last night.

·     India got freedom in 1947.

·     She came into my room and sat beside me.

·     I received your letter a week ago.

·     My friend left for America yesterday.

USE 2 :

      To express habitual and regular actions of past:

      ‘Simple Past’ can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as “used to.” To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.


·     They never went to school, they always skipped the class.

·     He always carried an umbrella.

·     He studied many hours every day.

·     He smoked daily when he was in London.

·     Mahatma Gandhi always carried a stick with him.

USE 3 :

      To express past facts or generalizations/ Historical facts:

      (भूतकाल के सामान्य तथ्यों को बताने हेतु)


·     Did you live in Jaipur when you were a kid?

·     Ram’s father was a school teacher.

·     Kalidas wrote many poems.

·     He watched many movies during his school days.

·     Rabindranath Tagor wrote Gitanjali.

·     Thomas Edison invented the electric bulb.

USE 4 :

      To express an unreal or a hypothetical condition:

      (अवास्तविक शर्त का बोध कराने के लिए)

      if, as if, as though, I wish, if only, it is time इत्यादि के बाद Simple Past Tense का use किया जाता है।)


·     I wish I were a king!

·     I wish you knew the truth.

·     I wish I had enough knowledge to answer these questions.

·     He speaks as if he were a king.

·     It is time she went home.

·     It is time you started working on the project.

·     It is time she informed her parents about it.

USE 5 :

      To denote an action which happened later out of the two past actions:

      (भूतकाल में एक साथ घटित हुए दो कार्यों में से बाद में घटित होने वाले कार्य को व्यक्त करने के लिए)


·     When I reached home, she was cooking food.

·     The light went out while I was studying.

      Past Continuous Tense :

Affirmative: Sub. + was/were + V1 + ing + Obj.

Negative: Sub. + was/were + not + V1 + ing + Obj.

Interrogative: Was/Were + Sub. + V1 + ing + Obj.?

Int. Negative: Was/Were + Sub. + not + V1 + ing + Obj.?

USE 1 :

      To express actions going on at some time in the past:

       ‘Past Continuous’ is used to denote an action going on at some time in the past. The time of action may or may not be indicated.

      (ऐसे कार्य़ों को व्यक्त करने के लिए जो भूतकाल में किसी समय पर चल रहा था। कार्य का समय दिया हो भी सकता है और नहीं भी।)

Adverbials :

      At this time yesterday, at that time, at 2 pm yesterday etc.


·     Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.

·     At this time yesterday we were having lunch at the restaurant.

·     At 4 pm last Tuesday, Trisha was watching her favourite movie.

·     At midnight, we were driving through the desert.

·     Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.

·     They were playing football in the evening.

·     He was listening to music at that time.

USE 2 :

      To express interrupted actions in the past :

      (साथ-साथ होने वाले दो कार्य़ों में से यदि एक कार्य Past Continuous में हो, तो दूसरा कार्य जो पहले सम्पन्न हुआ है Simple Past Tense में आता है।)

      We use the ‘Past Continuous’ to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the ‘Simple Past’. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.

      Interrupted action = Past Continuous Tense

      Interrupting action = Simple Past Tense

      Past Continuous + when + Simple Past Tense

      Simple Past + while + Past Continuous Tense


·     I was watching TV when she called.

·     When the phone rang, she was writing a letter.

·     While we were having the picnic, it started to rain.

·     What were you doing when the earthquake started?

·     You were not listening to me when I told you to turn the lights off.

·     While John was sleeping last night, someone stole his car.

·     Janardan was waiting for us when we got off the plane.

·     While I was writing the email, the computer went off.

·     I was reading a book when he came to meet me.

·     My father was waiting for me when I returned home.

·     Someone entered the room while we were discussing the topic.

USE 3 :

      To express parallel actions :

      (भूतकाल में किसी समय में जारी समानान्तर कार्यों को व्यक्त करने के लिए)

      When you use the ‘Past Continuous’ with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.


·     I was studying while he was making dinner.

·     While Sheela was reading a book, Mona was watching television.

·     Were you listening while he was talking?

·     We were having fun while It was raining.

USE 4 :

      To express obstinate habits in the past:

      (भूतकाल की नापसंद आदतों को व्यक्त करने के लिए जो बार-बार की जाती है।)

      ‘Past Continuous’ is used with words such as ‘always’ or ‘constantly’ for persistent habits in the past.


·     She was always coming to class late.

·     He was constantly talking. He annoyed everyone.

·     I didn’t like them because they were always complaining.

Note : Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs

      ‘Non-Continuous Verbs’ cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for ‘Mixed Verbs’ cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using ‘Past Continuous’ with these verbs, you must use ‘Simple Past’.


·     Jatin was being at my house when you arrived. (Incorrect)

·     Jatin was at my house when you arrived. (Correct)

      Past Perfect Tense:

Affirmative: Sub. + had + V3 + Obj.

Negative: Sub.+ had + not + V3 + Obj.

Interrogative: Had + Sub. + V3 + Obj.?

Int. Negative: Had + Sub. + not + V3 + Obj.?

USE 1 :

      To express completed actions before something in the past:

      (ऐसे कार्यों को व्यक्त करने के लिए जो दूसरे कार्य के प्रारंभ होने से पहले ही समाप्त हो चुका हो।)


·     I had finished my work before the phone rang.

·     When I reached home Shyam had already gone.

·     When I reached the station the train had gone.

·     After I had eaten breakfast, I went to school.

·     I had never seen such a beautiful place before I went to Kashmir.

·     I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.

·     Tony knew Mumbai so well because he had visited the city several times.

USE 2  :

      To express duration before something in the past: (Non-Continuous Verbs)

      With ‘Non-Continuous Verbs’ and some non-continuous uses of ‘Mixed Verbs’, we use the ‘Past Perfect’ to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action in the past.


·     We had had that car for ten years before it broke down.

·     By the time Sheela finished his studies, she had been in London for eight years.

·     By the time he retired from that school he had taught there for thirty years.

Note :

      Although the above use of ‘Past Perfect’ is normally limited to ‘Non-Continuous Verbs’, the words ‘live, work, teach and study’ are sometimes used in this way even though they are not ‘Non-Continuous Verbs’.

USE 3 :

      To express an imaginary or impossible condition of past:

      (भूतकाल की किसी अपूर्ण शर्त को व्यक्त करने के लिए)

      If + Past Perfect + would have + Past Participle


·     If you had worked hard, you would have passed.

·     If he had reached the station on time, he would have caught the train.

USE 4 :

      To talk about cause and effect :

      Cause/Reason : Past Perfect Tense

      Effect : Simple Past Tense

      Reason Clause : because, as, since (क्योंकि)


·     He had no money because he had not received his salary.

·     As all the students had gone home, the classroom was empty.

·     Since I had already seen the movie, I didn’t go with them.

·     Bhavesh was upset as his father had scolded him.

      Past Perfect Continuous Tense:

Affirmative: Sub. + had + been + V1 + ing + Obj. + since/for + time.

Negative: Sub. + had + not + been + V1 + ing + Obj. + since/for + time.

Interrogative: Had + Sub. + been + V1 + ing + Obj. + since/for + time?

Int. Negative: Had + Sub. + not + been + V1 + ing + Obj. + since/for + time?

USE 1 :

      To express actions began before a certain point in the past and continued up to that time:

      (उस कार्यों को व्यक्त करने के लिए जो भूतकाल में शुरू हुआ था व भूतकाल के ही किसी समय चल रहा था।)

      We use the ‘Past Perfect Continuous’ to show that something started in the past and continued until another time in the past. ‘for five minutes’ and ‘for two weeks’ etc. are durations which can be used with the ‘Past Perfect Continuous’.


·     At that time he had been working there for two years.

·     When Mr. Mehta came to the college in 2005, Mr. Sharma had already been teaching there for five years.

·     They had been talking for over an hour when Tony arrived.

USE 2 :

      To express cause of something in the past:

      (भूतकाल में किसी कार्य के कारण को व्यक्त करने हेतु, किसी स्थिति या कार्य की निरंतरता या अवधि को व्यक्त करने के लिए)


·     Abhishek was tired because he had been jogging.

·     Shyam gained weight because he had been overeating.

·     Suman failed the final test because she had not been attending class.

·     He had been working hard, so he felt that he deserved a holiday.

Note :

      Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs    

      Instead of using ‘Past Perfect Continuous’ with non-continuous verbs, you must use ‘Past Perfect’.


·     The motorcycle had been belonging to Shyam for years before Ram bought it.   (Incorrect)

·     The motorcycle had belonged to Shyam for years before Ram bought it.       (Correct)

AarambhTV Team
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