Graduate past tense

Type your word here

Learn past tenses to communicate in English accurately

Meaning of graduate

to complete a course of study at a school or university, receiving a degree or diploma.


Word: graduate /ˈɡrædʒu.eɪt/
  • 1. She graduates with a degree in psychology this spring.
  • 2. He often graduates top of his class in all the training programs he attends.
  • 3. Many students graduate with honors in our university every year.

Past Simple

Word: graduated /ˈɡrædʒuˌeɪtɪd/
  • 1. She graduated from Harvard University with honors last year.
  • 2. After he graduated, he immediately started working for a well-known tech company.
  • 3. They graduated together and decided to start their own business a few months later.

Past Participle

Word: graduated /ˈɡrædʒuˌeɪtɪd/
  • 1. She has graduated from the university with honors.
  • 2. The program was graduated by a record number of students last year.
  • 3. Their degrees had been graduated in a virtual ceremony due to the pandemic.

Learn more words on the go

Master verb forms with Promova!

Download the app

Bare infinitive

  1. Habitual actions.
    Example. 'She usually graduates her students with high honors.'

Past Simple

  1. Actions completed at a definite time in the past.
    Example. 'I graduated from the University of Oxford in 201'
    Example. 'She graduated, started her own business, and then traveled the world.'
  2. A series of completed actions in the past.
    Example. 'I graduated from the University of Oxford in 201'
    Example. 'She graduated, started her own business, and then traveled the world.'

Past Participle

  1. Perfect aspects (have/has/had graduated) to indicate actions completed by a certain time.
    Example. 'Over two hundred students were graduated last year.'
  2. Present Perfect. 'They have already graduated and are looking for jobs.'
    Example. 'Over two hundred students were graduated last year.'
  3. Past Perfect. 'He had graduated before he turned 2'
    Example. 'Over two hundred students were graduated last year.'
  4. Passive voice to describe actions done to the subject.
    Example. 'Over two hundred students were graduated last year.'

Common mistakes

— 01

Confusing Forms

A common mistake involves treating irregular verbs like regular ones. For the verb 'graduate,' its past simple form is 'graduated,' and its past participle is also 'graduated,' following the regular verb pattern of adding -ed to the base form. However, some learners mistakenly apply this rule to irregular verbs, expecting them to follow the same pattern, which leads to errors. For instance, they might wrongly apply the -ed ending to an irregular verb like 'go,' resulting in an incorrect 'goed' instead of the correct past forms 'went' (past simple) and 'gone' (past participle).

— 02

Past Participle Without Auxiliaries

Another common mistake is using the past participle form of a verb without an auxiliary verb in constructions where one is needed. For example, in perfect tenses, the verb 'graduate' requires an auxiliary verb. 'I have graduated.' However, learners often omit the auxiliary, saying 'I graduated' when they mean to use the present perfect tense to indicate a recent past action with present relevance, thus confusing it with the simple past tense, which simply indicates that an action happened in the past.

— 03

Misuse in Passive Constructions

The past participle is essential for forming passive voice constructions, but learners frequently misuse it by either using the simple past form instead or omitting auxiliary verbs. For 'graduate,' the correct passive construction might be 'He was graduated from the university,' though it's more commonly stated in active voice as 'He graduated from the university.' Misusing the forms can lead to awkward sentences like 'He graduated by the university,' which confuses the meaning and the role of the university in the action.

Past tense quiz

Check your skills and find areas for improvement

Take quiz

Frequently asked questions

What is the past simple form of 'graduate'?

The past simple form of 'graduate' is 'graduated'. It is used to describe an action that happened at a specific time in the past. For example, 'I graduated from college in 2015.'

What is the past participle form of 'graduate'?

The past participle form of 'graduate' is also 'graduated'. This form is used in perfect tenses and passive voice constructions. For example, in the present perfect tense, you might say, 'I have graduated from university.' In a passive voice construction, you could say, 'He was graduated with honors,' although it's more common in modern English to say 'He graduated with honors.'

How do you use 'graduated' in a sentence to indicate a past action?

To indicate a past action, you use 'graduated' as the main verb in the past simple tense. You should include a specific time frame or indication of when the action happened. For example. 'She graduated in 2020.' This sentence clearly states that the action of graduating happened in the past, specifically in 2020.

Can you give an example of a sentence using 'graduated' in a perfect tense?

Yes, to use 'graduated' in a perfect tense, you would generally be referring to an action that has been completed at some point in the past, up to the present. In the present perfect tense, you could say, 'They have graduated from high school.' This sentence implies that at some point up to now, they completed their high school education. For the past perfect, you might say, 'By the time she started her first job, she had already graduated from college,' indicating that her graduation occurred before starting her job.