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I have two sentences and can't understand some things:

The past participle of regular verbs is the same as the past simple form.

‘Look’ is a regular verb so you add ‘–ed’ to make the past tense.

Are the past simple form and the past tense synonyms? Are they the same?

Edit:

Can I change these sentences to make clear this way:

The past participle form of regular verbs is the same as the past simple form.

‘Look’ is a regular verb so you add ‘–ed’ to make the past simple tense.

  • Casually, informally, you can change the sentences as you suggested. Formally, don't change them. Both original sentences are already good as they are. Saying "The past participle form of regular verbs" might be okay, but "to make the past tense" is not the same thing as "to make the past simple tense". – Damkerng T. Apr 7 '14 at 15:33
  • @Damkerng T. Could you explain, please? Why "to make the past tense" is not the same thing as "to make the past simple tense" if 'past tense' can be 'past continious tense' etc. and we needn't to add '-ed' in this case. – Selio Apr 7 '14 at 17:46
  • I was thinking about posting an answer explaining the meanings of the word "tense", specifically English tenses, but it could be too demanding (potentially very long). To sum it up, some people use tenses to mean forms, some people use tenses to mean time. (And that is still not very accurate, because we ignored aspects and moods.) When it comes to forms, some people will include the auxiliary verb into the form (e.g. the present progressive form of the verb work is is/am/are working). – Damkerng T. Apr 7 '14 at 18:00
  • Your sentences are about forms, so it's unsafe to say "the past simple tense (form)", because some might expect the past simple tense of the verb work is did worked, not just the word worked alone. Saying just "the past tense" (or "the past tense form") is much safer. It's clear that the past tense of work is worked. And, this is what most references and textbooks use. – Damkerng T. Apr 7 '14 at 18:03
  • In any case, I believe that informally, when you speak casually, nobody should object you or misunderstand you. Just be careful when you speak or write the terms in formal occasions. – Damkerng T. Apr 7 '14 at 18:08
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Broadly, you can consider them as synonyms. This is to make us understand that when you are talking about something that happened in 'past', grammatically you are talking in 'past tense'. And, it is simply past tense without describing any mood or completion of a particular event (or else it then starts having other types of past i.e. past perfect etc.).

Wikipedia says...

The past tense is a grammatical tense whose principal function is to place an action or situation in past time. In languages which have a past tense, it thus provides a grammatical means of indicating that the event being referred to took place in the past. Examples of verbs in the past tense include the English verbs sang, went and was.

Having this said, past tense is actually an umbrella term which covers many things in English grammar. Under past tense, there could be many other types such as past perfect, past participle and so on.

Past tense is generally considered as a Simple Past if you have not specified anything about it.

About.com describes it as a synonym by putting it into brackets. There are also other terms for this mentioned on the same page.

The simple past tense (also known as the past simple or preterite) of regular verbs is marked by the ending -d, -ed, or -t. Irregular verbs have a variety of endings. The simple past is not accompanied by helping verbs.

  • Thanks a lot. A what do you think about my new versions of these sentences: The past participle form of regular verbs is the same as the past simple form. ‘Look’ is a regular verb so you add ‘–ed’ to make the past simple tense. Are they correct? – Selio Apr 7 '14 at 12:17
  • In this context, it's fine. But don't take it granted. The tenses are tricky! :) – Maulik V Apr 7 '14 at 12:19
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They are the same thing. What confused you was that in the second sentence, the word "simple" wasn't used with the "past tense". But the writer of these two sentences is talking about the Simple Past Tense, which in my opinion should always be stated in that way to avoid any confusion.The past perfect simple and continuous, and the past continuous are also considered past tenses,so it is important to use the correct name of each tense.

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