Bengali grammar – Past perfect and simple past tenses

Bengali has five past tenses (simple past, habitual past, perfect, past perfect and past continuous) and the verb endings for the second (tumi) and third (se etc) person forms have been a source of some confusion for me.

They’re not that complicated, but nevertheless I regularly try to use (and consequently mangle) the simple past (ami korlam etc) and past continuous (ami korechilam etc). So today I revised these two tenses.

Simple past:

Ami kōrlam
Tumi kōrle
Se kōrlo
Apni/tini kōrlam

Past perfect:

Ami kōrechilam
Tumi kōrechile
Se kōrechilo
Apni/tini kōrechilam

N.B. The simple past is used when speaking about something that happened very recently, in the last day or two. The past perfect is used when speaking about something that happened less recently, but still at a particular time.

E.g.
Gōtō kal amar bōndu amake phon kōrlo
Sōnibar-e amar ma-baba bari-te esechilo

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