The Word Tense is derived from latin word “tempus” which means time. A Tense indicates the time of an action, event or condition by changing its form. Tenses are divided into three types:

  1. Present Tense
  2. Past Tense
  3. Future Tense

Present Tense

A verb that refers to the present time is said to be in the present tense

  1. a) Present Simple Tense: (S+V1+s/es)

We use the simple present tense when an action is happening right now, or when it happens regularly (or unceasingly, which is why it’s sometimes called present indefinite). Present tense expresses an unchanging, repeated, or reoccurring action or situation that exists only now. It can also represent a widespread truth.

  • Habits & Regular actions / events:

            Example:  I wake up early (wake-woke-woken)

  • Universal / general / eternal truths:

            Example: The earth moves from the east to the west.

  • In Proverbs & to introduce Quotations:

            Example:  Fortune favours the brave.

  • News Headlines:

            Example: The bomb blast claims ten lives 

  1. b) Present Continuous Tense: (S+ is/am/are +V1+Ing)

When we want to talk about an action that is happening now or at this time (and is unfinished), we use the present continuous tense.

Example: Take an umbrella, it is raining outside.

He sells apples daily but today he is selling oranges.  (sell-sold-sold)

He is a heart patient but he is always smoking. 

  1. c) Present Perfect Tense: ( S+ have/has+V3)

The present perfect is a grammatical combination of the present tense and the perfect aspect that is used to express a past event that has present consequences

Example: Mahesh has sent a message to me lately.

She has attended the dance classes for 2 months. 

  1. d) Present Perfect Continuous Tense: ( S+ have/has + been + V1 +ing)

The present perfect continuous tense shows that something started in the past and is continuing at the present time.

Example: We have been studying here since June, 2011.

Why do you look tired?  I have been playing football.

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Past Tense

 Past Tense is used to refer to an action or event that began and was completed at a particular moment of time in the past.

  1. a) Simple Past Tense: ( S + V2)

Past tense expresses and action or situation that was started and finished in the past.

Example: The British separated Pak from India.

When I was in X class, I woke up by 4 am daily. 

  1. b) Past Continuous Tense: ( S + was/were +V1+ing)

The past continuous describes actions or events in a time before now, which began in the past and is still going on at the time of speaking. In other words, it expresses an unfinished or incomplete action in the past

Example: He was drawing water from the well at 5 pm yesterday

When they were returning home, it started raining. 

  1. c) Past Perfect Tense: ( S + had +V3)

The past perfect refers to a time earlier than before now. It is used to make it clear that one event happened before another in the past. It does not matter which event is mentioned first – the tense makes it clear which one happened first.

Example: He had taken his meals by 1 pm yesterday

The students had entered the exam halls before the exam commenced. 

  1. d) Past Perfect Continuous Tense: ( S + had been + V1 + ing)

It is used to indicate that a continuing action in the past began before another past action began on interrupted the first action

Example: When I saw him, he had been watering the plants for 1 hour

e) Future Tense: 

Simple Future Tense: ( S + shall/will + V1)

The simple future is a form of the verb that refers to an action or event that has not yet begun

Example: He will come here tomorrow

I will buy it at any price

Future Continuous Tense: ( S + shall/will + be + V1)

Future Continuous Tense is used to express an on-going or continued action which will occur at some time in the future. It expresses future actions having an on-going nature – that is expected to start in future and continue for a period of time in future.

Example: We shall be practicing the grammar at this time tomorrow.

They will be writing exams next month    

Future Perfect Tense: (S + shall/will + have + V3)

Future perfect tense describes actions that will start in the future and end at a specific point. It is formed by adding the helping verbs ‘will have’ plus the past participle of the verb

Example: We shall have learnt the grammar by the end of this month

Future Perfect Continuous Tense: ( S + shall/Will + have + been + V1+ ing)

The Future Perfect Continuous Tense is used to indicate a continuing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future.

Example: We shall have been practicing the grammar for half an hour.

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