Past tense, of course, is very important for any conversation. We're talking about what we did the day before; your friend will tell you about a crazy story that happened lat weekend, etc. And today let's learn how to form past tense sentences in Russian.
Putting verbs in the past tense
Let's start with verbs, which is the easiest part of this topic. We take an infinitive and change its ending depending on the gender of the subject. Here's the table:
So, we just take any infinitive and replace the ending "-ть" with the right ending for the gender. And again, the gender of the subject matters here.
Мама играла на пианино - mom played the piano
We chose a feminine ending, because mom is feminine.
Мальчики играли в футбол - boys played soccer
Мальчики is plural, that's why we chose a plural ending of "играть".
A couple of exceptions
Sometimes you will see some verbs forming past tense forms in their own unique ways. Here's two of those exceptions that are extremely common:
As you can see, the infinitives don't have almost anything in common with the forms of the past tense verbs. This will happen extremely rarely, however, don't be scared!
Past tense context words
Let's learn some words that you can use to talk about the past:
Вчера (vchera) - Yesterday
На прошлой неделе (proshloy nedele) - Last week
Тогда (togda) - Then
Раньше (ran'she) - Before, earlier
Позавчера (pozavchera) - The day before yesterday
Недавно (nedavno) - Recently
Давно (davno) - Long ago
В прошлом году (v proshlom godu) - Last year
Однажды (odnazhdy) - Once
Когда-то (kogda-to) - Once, at some time in the past
These are all used by natives a whole lot! Here's some examples:
Однажды мы смотрели кино и... - Once we were watching a movie and...
Это было давно - This was a long time ago
Дедушка приехал ко мне в гости в прошлом году - Last year granpa came to visit me
Мудрец когда-то мне сказал об этом - A wise man once told me about this
Practice past tense with BeFluent Camp! Click this image -