View table of contents for this book View table of contents for LinguaLinksLibrary Go to LinguaLinks home page

What is relative past tense?



Relative past tense is a relative tense that refers to a time located before that of a contextually determined temporal reference point.

Example (English)
  • The construction “having + verb” in the following sentences expresses relative past tense:

    • Having spoken, he sat down.
    • Having spoken, he will sit down.

    The speaking occurs before the time of sitting, which may have differing relations to the moment of utterance.

  • Generic
      Relative past tense is a kind of

    Comrie 1985b 59

    Context for this page:

    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

    Page content last modified: 5 January 2004

    © 2004 SIL International