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2.1. The main usage of the past tense
The past means the time which was already passed. The past form is as follows.


The red circle means the past event. There are many past form examples. But we can consider that its meaning is only one. That is, "the speaker treats the event as the past."

a. We went to Hokkaido for a vacation last summer.
b. He missed many classes last year.
c. She resembled her sister.
d. Mary looked happy.

(2a) and (2b) express occurrent, (2c) and (2d) do stative.

Time sensation cut

Now, the state in the past includes the continuous meaning. See the following figure.


The red line under the past means the duration. For example, in (2c), we feel the duration of resemblance.

The past tense also means the separation from the present. In the above figure, the red line is not bounded on the present.
When we rethink (2c), it means resemblance is only in the past and she does not resemble her sister in the present.

The next examples are also the past tense.

a. After work he played tennis every day.
b. Ted often walked along the street during his lunch breaks.

The above means habitual in the past. This is also expressed as follows because of the habitualness which means the duration.


The red line means the continuous habitualness which is not bounded on the present. When we rethink (4a), it means the past habitual and he does not play tennis every day in the present.

Time sensation cut

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