The main difference between past tense and past participle is that past tense is used to mention an action or state of being that has completely happened in the past, whereas past participle is a form of verb that is used in past, present, and future perfect tenses.
Although the two names, past tense and past participle, sound similar, there is a distinct difference between them. Past tense is one of the major three tenses in the English language, whereas past participle is a verb form.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Past Tense
– Definition, Use, Examples
2. What is Past Participle
– Definition, Use, Examples
3. Similarities Between Past Tense and Past Participle
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Past Tense and Past Participle
– Comparison of Key Differences
Past Tense, Past Participle
What is Past Tense
Past tense is a tense we use to describe the actions that happened in the past or past state of being. For example, in the sentence “she ate apples,” the action happened in the past. At the same time, the sentence “she was happy” is considered a past state of being. The tense of action can be determined by using the verb. There are three main tenses as present tense, past tense, and future tense. The formation of the verbs in the tenses shows the tense.
In past tense, there are sub-categories such as simple past, past continuous, past perfect, and past perfect continuous. These sub-categories are divided depending on whether the action is in progress or has been completed.
There are regular verbs and irregular verbs. The regular verbs are converted into the past tense by adding “d” or “ed.” For example, the verb “dance” is converted into the past tense as danced by adding “d.” Moreover, the verb “wash” is converted into the past tense as washed by adding “ed” at the end of the verb. On the other hand, irregular verbs have different formations in the past tense, and they do not follow any regular pattern. For example, the past form of the verb “eat” is “ate,” and the past formation of “write” is “wrote.”
What is Past Participle
Past participle is an infinite verb form that has characteristics of both a verb and an adjective. Past participles are used when forming passive voices. For example, we can convert the active voice sentence “the boy kicks the ball” into passive voice by using its past participle form as “the ball is kicked by the boy.”
Further, we use past participles to form perfect tenses. We also use past participle in adverbial clauses, as well as in conditional sentences and modals in the past. Although some languages have wide participle systems, English has only two participles. They are present participles and past participles.
Past participles are formed with an -ed or -d suffix. For example, looked, danced, and watched. Nevertheless, there are numerous irregular forms, such as broken, eaten, and drunk, which do not follow an exact regular pattern. The present participles are formed using an -ing suffix. Past participles can indicate all present, past, and future meanings. Thus, past participles also have both progressive and perfect forms.
Similarities Between Past Tense and Past Participle
- Both past tense and past participles have regular verb formation and irregular verb formation.
- The regular formation of past tenses and past participles involve using the prefixes “d” and “ed.”
Difference Between Past Tense and Past Participle
Past tense refers to a tense that shows the time of an action, while past participle refers to a specific verb form that is used in the past, present, and future perfect tenses.
Past tense is used to denote an action that happened in the past, whereas past participle is used as a verb form in tenses like perfect tenses and passive voice.
Formation of Irregular Verbs
Irregular verbs have different formations in the past tense (For example, wrote, ran, drank, ate, etc.), while the past participle of irregular verbs takes a different formation. (For example, written, run, drunk, eaten, etc.).
The main difference between past tense and past participle is that past tense is used to mention an action or state of being that happened in the past, whereas past participle is a form of verb that is used in past, present, and future perfect tenses.
1. “Was, Were – Grammar Structure for Verb To Be in Past Simple” By Goose friend – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia