There are two tenses in English – past and present.The past tense in English is used:to talk about the pastto talk about hypotheses – things that are imagined rather than true.for politeness.There are four past tense forms in English:Past simple:I workedPast continuous:I was workingPast perfect:I had workedPast perfect continuous:I had been workingWe use these forms:to talk about the past:He worked at McDonald’s. He had worked there since July..
He was working at McDonald’s. He had been working since July.to refer to the present or future in conditions:He could get a new job if he really tried.
If Jack was playing they would probably win.and hypotheses:It might be dangerous. Suppose they got lost.
I would always help someone who really needed help.and wishes:I wish it wasn’t so cold.In conditions, hypotheses and wishes, if we want to talk about the past, we always use the past perfect:I would have helped him if he had asked.
It was very dangerous, What if you had got lost?
I wish I hadn’t spent so much money last month. We can use the past forms to talk about the present in a few polite expressions:Excuse me, I was wondering if this was the train for York.
I just hoped you would be able to help me.