Past tenses review
When do I use simple past?
This is used to talk about events which:
· Started and finished in the past
The Qing Dynasty conquered China in the 17th Century
· Something that happened often in the past
British ships traded with the entire world during the 18th Century
When do I use past continuous?
Past continuous is used to talk about:
· Something that was ongoing at a certain time in the past:
The students were studying hard when the teacher arrived
When do I use past perfect?
Past perfect is used to talk about:
· Things that happened before a certain time in the past.
By the time the city was re-discovered, it had been abandonded for centuries
This should be used when it’s important to emphasise the difference in time between the two events. In this example it is drawing attention to the difference in time between when the city was lost and eventually found.