We are already aware that English has 3 types of tenses and most of the time we get confused with the past participle and the past tense, let us understand the difference between the both of them:
- Past Tense
- Present Tense
- Future Tense
The way in which we use verbs is how the whole concept of the tenses is reflected. The verbs that we use become conjugated or even modified, it all depends on which tense we are using. We have also learned that these tenses can be further divided into 4 types, for the Past Tense, it is:
- Simple Past
- Past Continuous
- Past Perfect
- Past Perfect Continuous
The whole concept of tenses is used in the English language to talk about time, referring to an action that has already occurred in the past and is happening in the present or chances are that it will happen in near future too.
Oxford Dictionary says that the past tense is defined as tense that expresses an action that has happened or a state that previously existed. In short, we can use the past tense to talk about the past or something that happened in the past.
The word ‘ate’ tells us that eating has already happened, which is why the reply must always be in the past tense. Let us understand with a couple of examples:
- I ate a burger for dinner.
- I had eaten a sandwich yesterday..and I was not hungry for hours!
The verb ‘to eat’ has been changed/ converted to ‘ate’ or ‘had eaten’. This tells us that the sentence is in the past tense.
Oxford Dictionary says that the past participle is defined as a form of a verb which usually ends in ‘-ed’ in English and it is used in forming perfect and passive tenses and at times even as an adjective. This states that the verbs in past participle usually end in ‘ed’. For example, the word ‘played’.
These words are also able to perform the function of an adjective. For example, “We played for a long time.” In this sentence, the word ‘played’ is being used as an adjective, it is performing the role of an adjective.
Let us now understand the difference between Past Tense and Past Participle. The basic difference is that the Past Tense is just a tense whereas the Past participle is a particular verb form that is used in the past and present perfect tenses. Remember that the Past participle is not a tense. It cannot be used on its own. An auxiliary verb is required, such as ‘have’ or ‘had’ and which is why the Past participle is used as a compound verb. Let us understand with the help of some examples,
- My friend lived in Australia for some years. (Past Tense)
- I watched this movie 100 times. (Past Tense)
- We heard about this song. (Past Tense)
- I drank 5 bottles of soda yesterday. (Past Tense)
Now let us look at examples of Past participles,
- My friend had lived in Australia for some years. (Past Participle)
- I have watched this movie 100 times. (Past Participle)
- We have heard about this song. (Past Participle)
- I had drunk 5 bottles of soda yesterday. (Past Participle)
There is not a very big difference between the Past Tense and the past participle, but both of them java different meanings which totally changes the meaning of a sentence. If both of them are misplaced in a sentence, the whole meaning of the sentence will change, possible the sentence could become meaningless. In order to avoid this mistake, it is better for you to understand the meaning of both the Past Tense as well as the Past participle so that you put the correct word in the correct place, thus, making the sentence more sensible and meaningful.