For the DS9 episodes with a similar title, please see "Past Tense, Part I" and "Past Tense, Part II"

Past tense was a way of speaking about something that had happened in the past. Xindi-Aquatics used SONAR when speaking in the past tense. (ENT: "The Council")

In 1986, Gillian Taylor noticed that Spock spoke of humpback whales in the past tense, leading her to believe something was fishy about him and Kirk. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In 2152, when Malcolm Reed made some candid suggestions to Captain Jonathan Archer, he assured the captain that despite his criticisms, it was "a privilege to have served with you." Archer picked up on his usage of the past tense as a sign of his trepidation about the potential consequences of speaking freely with his commanding officer. (ENT: "Minefield")

In 2265, Spock noted that Professor Robert Crater always spoke of his wife Nancy Crater in the past tense, which led Kirk to ask what happened to her. (TOS: "The Man Trap")

In 2376, when Harry Kim reminded Lyndsay Ballard that she had always been his biggest fan, she asked him not to use past tense. (VOY: "Ashes to Ashes")

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