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What is the Past Tense of Come

“Come” is among the most elementary and common verbs in English, both used as a stand-alone verb, as well as within phrasal verbs like “come up” and “come away”

. It is arguably among the most indispensable of English verbs, which is one of the many reasons that instructors will tend to teach this word in the earliest days of one’s English journey.

The past tense of come is “came” and the past participle is “come”.

What is the past tense of “come”?

Come (verb):

(1) To travel or move toward a place that is close to the relative position of the speaker

(2) To happen, occur, or take place

  • Infinitive                      to come
  • Simple Past                 came
  • Past Participle             come

Conjugation Table

 pronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Icomecamehave comeam coming
You (sing.)comecamehave comeare coming
He/She/Itcomescamehas comeis coming
Wecomecamehave comeare coming
You (pl.)comecamehave comeare coming
Theycomecamehave comeare coming

Example Sentences

(1) To travel or move toward a place that is close to the relative position of the speaker

  • Come over to my house at around 9:00 am and we will get started on the project
  • Their parents came to England back in 1970 as immigrants, but they were born here
  • I have come here today to deliver a message

(2) To happen, occur, or take place

  • The harvest festival doesn’t come until later in the autumn
  • The day will come when you want to have a family of your own

Focus: Past Tense of Come

It’s unthinkable that an English learner should try and get very far in the English language without mastering the verb “come”. This means knowing it in its past tense forms as well, and to that end, we have prepared some example sentences below using the following tenses:

  • Simple past
  • Present perfect
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect

Simple Past Tense of Come

  • I came to class late today and the teacher got very angry
  • We came to this restaurant last year for my father’s birthday dinner
  • You said that when you came to work here, things would change, but I see no changes so far

Present Perfect Tense of Come

  • I have come to tell you that from today, your Tuesday classes will be moved to Thursday
  • The local music festival has finally come! Let’s go and buy tickets right now
  • He has come to our school to lead a professional development seminar for the teachers

Past Continuous Tense of Come

  • I was just coming to see you, but here you are now
  • We were rapidly coming to the conclusion that he really had nothing interesting to say
  • Originally, they were coming in July, but they’ve had to change it to August

Past Perfect Tense of Come

  • You had come here for advice, but found only criticism
  • He had come to the point in his life where he wanted to spend more time with his family

Understanding the Usage of ‘Came’ and ‘Come’

While ‘came’ is used to denote something that happened in the past, ‘come’ is employed in a more complex scenario, often appearing in perfect tenses and passive voice constructions. Here are some examples to illustrate the difference:

  1. He came to my house yesterday.
  2. I have come to seek your advice.
  3. They have come a long way since their first performance.

Understanding the Verb “Come”

“come” often signifies movement towards or arrival at a place. It can also indicate a change in state or condition.

Phrasal Verbs with “Come”

“Come” is foundational to numerous phrasal verbs:

  • Come across: To find or encounter something.
    • I came across my old diary while cleaning.
    • She comes across as very confident.
  • Come up with: To suggest or think of an idea or plan.
    • He came up with a brilliant solution.
    • Can you come up with $500 by tomorrow?
  • Come around: To change one’s opinion or to visit.
    • She’ll come around eventually and see the benefits.
    • Why don’t you come around after dinner?

Common Mistakes

Note these frequent errors related to “come”:

  • Incorrect: He come yesterday.
  • Correct: He came yesterday.
  • Incorrect: Have they comes to the meeting?
  • Correct: Have they come to the meeting?


As a fundamental verb in English, ‘come’ plays a pivotal role in both verbal and written communication and we hope this quick look at it helped you.

Remember, practice makes perfect. By using ‘came’ and ‘come’ in your daily conversation or writing, you can enhance your English proficiency considerably.

More resources

Congratulations, you’ve now gained a deeper understanding of the past tense of ‘come’. However, the journey doesn’t end here! Explore our other articles on verb tenses on the links below to dive deeper into the English language and master its nuances.

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.

You can check other past tense words and our past tense resources by clicking on the links in the table below and in the resource list below that.

Table 2: Table of Links for irregular Past Tense Verbs

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We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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