Complete past tense

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Meaning of complete

finish making or doing.


Word: complete: /kəmˈpliːt/
  • 1. She completes her homework before dinner every evening.
  • 2. He always completes his tasks on time, without fail.
  • 3. The team completes a rigorous training session every Monday morning.

Past Simple

Word: completed /kəmˈpliːtɪd/
  • 1. She completed her homework before going out with friends.
  • 2. They completed the marathon despite the challenging weather conditions.
  • 3. He finally completed the puzzle after hours of working on it.

Past Participle

Word: completed /kəmˈpliːtɪd/
  • 1. The project was completed before the deadline.
  • 2. All the forms have been completed and submitted.
  • 3. The task had been completed by the team effortlessly.

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Bare infinitive

  1. General Facts or Truths When stating a fact or a universally accepted truth.
    Example. 'The course completes with a final exam.'
  2. Habitual Actions or Routines For actions that happen regularly or habits.
    Example. 'She completes her homework at the same time every day.'
  3. Scheduled Events in the Near Future For scheduled or planned events in the near future, often with a timetable.
    Example. 'The project completes next Monday.'
  4. Instructions or Directions When giving instructions or directions.
    Example. 'To solve the puzzle, first complete the outer edge.'
  5. Historical Present Sometimes used in narratives to make past events feel more immediate.
    Example. 'Then the artist completes his masterpiece, stunning the audience.'

Past Simple

  1. Finished Actions in the Past For actions that were completed at a specific point in the past.
    Example. 'She completed her degree last year.'
  2. A Series of Completed Actions When listing actions that happened one after another in the past.
    Example. 'He completed the form, mailed it, and then waited for a response.'
  3. Past Facts or Generalizations To state facts or generalizations that were true in the past but not necessarily now.
    Example. 'Children completed more physical activities before the digital age.'

Past Participle

  1. For actions completed at some point in the past but the exact timing is not specified; focuses on the result in the present.
    Example. 'I have completed the assignment.'
  2. For actions that were completed before another action or time in the past.
    Example. 'She had completed her degree before she got her first job.'
  3. For actions that will have been completed by a certain future point.
    Example. 'By next month, he will have completed five years with the company.'
  4. Passive Voice When the focus is on the action or the result of the action, not on who or what is performing the action.
    Example. 'The project was completed on time.'

Common mistakes

— 01

Incorrectly Adding Suffix

Some learners might add an unnecessary suffix due to overgeneralization of verb conjugation rules, resulting in forms like 'completted' or 'completeed.' This mistake arises from misunderstanding the regular verb pattern, which requires only adding '-ed' to the base form for verbs ending in 'e.'

— 02

Using the Base Form

A frequent error involves using the base form 'complete' instead of the past simple or past participle form 'completed' in sentences that refer to past actions. For instance, saying 'I complete the task yesterday' instead of the correct 'I completed the task yesterday.' This indicates a confusion over tense usage and the need to modify the verb to reflect past actions accurately.

— 03

Omitting the Past Participle

In perfect tense constructions, the past participle 'completed' should be used with an auxiliary verb to indicate actions that have been completed at a specific time in the past. A common mistake is omitting the past participle or misusing the base form, leading to grammatically incorrect sentences. For example, saying 'I have complete my homework before dinner' instead of the correct 'I have completed my homework before dinner.'

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Frequently asked questions

What is the past simple form of 'complete'?

The past simple form of 'complete' is 'completed'. It is used to describe an action that was finished at a specific time in the past. For example, 'I completed my homework last night.'

What is the past participle form of 'complete'?

The past participle form of 'complete' is also 'completed'. It is used in perfect tense constructions to describe actions that were completed at some point in the past relative to another time or action. For example, in the sentence 'I have completed my report,' 'completed' is the past participle form, indicating a finished action.

Can you give an example of 'completed' used in a sentence in the past perfect tense?

Yes, an example of 'completed' used in the past perfect tense would be. 'By the time the meeting started, I had already completed the presentation.' In this sentence, 'had completed' is the past perfect form, indicating that the action of completing the presentation occurred before another action in the past (the meeting starting).

How can I differentiate between when to use the past simple and when to use the past participle form of 'complete'?

The key to differentiating between the two forms lies in the structure of the sentence and the context of the action. The past simple form, 'completed', is used for actions that were finished at a specific time in the past and is often used with past time indicators (e.g., yesterday, last week). Example. 'I completed the project last week.' The past participle form, also 'completed', is used in perfect tenses (present perfect, past perfect, future perfect) and is often used to indicate a relationship between the time of the action and another point in time. It is used with auxiliary verbs (has, have, had) to form these tenses. Example in present perfect. 'I have completed the project,' indicating the action is relevant to the present moment.