Tear past tense

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Meaning of tear

to pull or rip (something) apart or to pieces with force.


Word: tear: /tɛər/
  • 1. Tears easily ruin the delicate fabric of her dress.
  • 2. He always tears the envelopes open with such enthusiasm.
  • 3. Careless handling tears the pages of the old manuscript.

Past Simple

Word: tore /tɔːr/
  • 1. She tore the letter into pieces, determined to forget the words that hurt her.
  • 2. The storm was so fierce that it tore branches from the trees, scattering them across the streets.
  • 3. In his haste to leave, he accidentally tore his coat on the sharp edge of the door.

Past Participle

Word: torn /tɔːrn/
  • 1. The letter was torn up by an angry recipient.
  • 2. The dress has been torn by the sharp edge of the table.
  • 3. The banner was torn during the storm last night.

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Bare infinitive

  1. To describe a habitual action. When you want to talk about a routine or habitual action, use the Present simple.
    Example. 'He always tears his bread instead of cutting it.'
  2. To state a general truth or fact. When expressing something that is universally true or a fact.
    Example. 'Paper tears easily.'
    Example. 'He always tears his bread instead of cutting it.'

Past Simple

  1. To describe a completed action in the past. When you are talking about a specific action that started and finished at a certain time in the past.
    Example. 'She tore her dress while climbing the fence yesterday.'
  2. For a sequence of actions in the past. When narrating events that happened one after another in the past.
    Example. 'He tore the letter open, read it quickly, and then cried.'

Past Participle

  1. In passive voice sentences. When you want to emphasize the action rather than who performed it.
    Example. 'The contract was torn up by the angry client.'
  2. To form present and perfect tenses. To talk about actions that have a connection to the present or that occurred at an unspecified time in the past.
    Example. 'I have torn my jeans' (present perfect) or 'He had torn the map before realizing its value' (past perfect).
  3. As adjectives. The past participle can often function as an adjective describing the state of a noun.
    Example. 'They walked through the torn curtain into the abandoned house.'
  4. In phrases expressing condition. The past participle can be used in conditional or hypothetical constructions.
    Example. 'If it weren't for the torn page, we would know what to do next.'

Common mistakes

— 01

Confusing forms

A common mistake is confusing the past simple form 'tore' with the past participle form 'torn' when using the verb 'tear.' The past simple is used to describe an action that happened at a specific time in the past, e.g., 'Yesterday, she tore the paper in half.' In contrast, the past participle form is often used in perfect tenses or as adjectives, e.g., 'The paper has been torn since yesterday' or 'The torn pages were scattered everywhere.'

— 02

Forming the Past Participle

Another mistake involves forming the past participle of 'tear' incorrectly. Some may mistakenly add an -ed ending, saying 'teared' instead of the correct 'torn.' This error stems from overgeneralizing the rule that forms the past participle by adding -ed to the base form of regular verbs. Since 'tear' is an irregular verb, its past participle does not follow this pattern. The correct past participle is 'torn,' as in 'The fabric has torn easily.'

— 03

Misusing in Passive Voice

Users often mistakenly employ the past simple form instead of the past participle when forming passive voice sentences, or vice versa. For example, saying 'The letter was tore by her in anger' instead of the correct 'The letter was torn by her in anger.' Understanding the distinction and applying the correct form ('torn' for the past participle) is crucial for constructing accurate passive sentences.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the past simple and past participle forms of 'tear'?

The past simple form of 'tear' is 'tore.' The past participle form is 'torn.' These forms are used to indicate actions that happened in the past, with 'torn' often used in perfect tenses and passive voice constructions.

Can you provide an example sentence using the past simple form 'tore'?

Yes, of course. An example sentence using 'tore' would be. 'She tore the envelope open eagerly, looking for the invitation.' This sentence demonstrates an action that was completed in the past.

How can the past participle 'torn' be used in a sentence?

The past participle 'torn' can be used in various ways, including in perfect tenses and passive constructions. For example, in the present perfect tense. 'He has torn his jacket on the fence.' In a passive voice sentence. 'The letter was torn up by the dog.' Is it common to confuse the past simple and past participle forms of 'tear' with other verbs