preterite tense



See preterite.


preterite tense (plural preterite tenses)

  1. (grammar) A verb tense indicating action in the past and marked by verb inflection; the preterite.
    • 2005, Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey Pullum, A Student's Introduction to English Grammar[1], page 30:
      The relation between tense and time in English, however, is by no means straightforward, as we saw in Ch. 1, §3, and it is important to be aware that preterite tense does not always signal past time.
    • 2011, Jill Rodriguez and Ken Stewart, CliffsNotes Spanish 1 Quick Review[2], page 118:
      There are two past tense aspects and forms in Spanish: the preterite and the imperfect. This chapter provides a clear explanation of the preterite tense.