Unit 3.2

Narrative Tenses

Syntax

We find narrative tenses in stories and past events.

There are four narrative tenses:
past simple*, past continuous, past perfect simple and past perfect continuous.

*The most commonly used is simple past.

Past simple

  • They finished studying, and started thinking about the tedious day they had.

Past continuous

  • It was dark in the night. The fireplace was radiating a soothing heat and the children were carefully listening to the radio programme.

Past perfect simple

  • The people of this small village had already been uneasy and restless before the war was declared and they couldn’t find peace for a long time even after the war ended.

Past perfect continuous

  • We had been trying hard to make them meet before the end of the party but all the effort was in vain, they menaged to avoid each other.

We use narrative tenses to tell stories and to talk about past events.

We can use these tenses when we decribe past events such as personal anecdotes.

We use narrative tenses to talk about past. Generally, narrative tenses are used in stories and past events.

Narrative tenses are: past simple, past continous, past perfect simple and past perfect continous.

For example:
“It was raining heavily that night. He got dressed and took his umbrella. It was going to be a long night.” = Narrative tenses are used to tell stories.
“It had been a hot winter in 1998, a year later your brother was born.” = When we are talking about past events, narrative tenses are used.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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