News & Events
- April 20, 2021
- Posted by: Maya
- Category: General English General English Study material
Tenses play a crucial role in the English language. It denotes the time an action takes place, whether sometime in the past, in the present or will take some time in the future.
From a general view of tenses, this module will go on to discuss each tense in detail with examples and also New way to learn Tense with Examples and Exercises. The table below gives a glimpse of the way tenses are used using the verb ‘play’
|Simple||Played (verb+ed)||Plays (verb+s)||will/shall play (will/shall+verb)|
|Perfect||had played (had+past participle)||has/have played (has/have+past participle)||will/shall have played(will/shall+past participle)|
|Continuous||was/were playing(was/were+verb+ing)||is/am/are playing(is/am/are+verb+ing)||will/shall be playing(will/shall be+verb+ing)|
|Perfect Continuous||had been playing (had been+verb+ing)||has/have been playing(has/have been+verb+ing)||will/shall have been playing(will/shall have been+verb+|
12 Types of Tenses
1) Simple Past Tense–
Indicates an action took place before the present moment and that has no real connection with the present time.
For example, “He danced in the function.” (The action took place in the past, is finished and is completely unrelated to the present)
“He flew to London yesterday.”
a. The verb ‘flew’ is an irregular verb which does not take ‘ed’ in the past tense like regular verbs.
b. The form of Simple Past Tense is – verb + ed
2) Past Perfect Tense–
Indicates an action in the past that had been completed before another time or event in the past.
For example, “He had exercised before it started to rain.”
“He had slept before I came back from the market.”
a. The form of Past Perfect Tense is- had + verb (past participle form or the 3rd form of the verb)
3) Past Continuous Tense–
Indicates an action going on at some time in the past or an action in the past that is longer in duration than another action in the past.
For example, “It was getting darker.”
“The light went out while theywere reading.”
a. The form of Past Continuous Tense is- was/were + verb + ing
4) Past Perfect Continuous Tense–
Indicates an action in the past that took place before another time or event in the past and continued during the second event/time point in the past.
For example, “At that time, he had been writing a novel for two months.”
“He had been exercising when I called.”
a. The form of Past Perfect Continuous Tense is- had + been + verb + ing
1) Simple Present Tense–
Indicates an action that is generally true or habitual. That is, it took place in the past , continue to take place in the present, and will take place in the future. This tense is used to denote
-a habitual action- for instance, “He walk to school.”
-general truths- for instance, “The sun rises in the east”, “Honesty is the best policy.”
-a future event that is part of a fixed timetable- for instance, “The match starts at 9 o’ clock.”
a. The form of Simple Present Tense is- verb (infinitive without ‘to’ and agreeable with the subject)
2) Present Perfect Tense–
Indicates an action that has been completed sometime before the present moment, with a result that affects the present situation.
For example, “He has finished the work.”
“He has slept.”
a. The form of Present Perfect Tense is- has/have + verb (past participle form or 3rd form of the verb)
3) Present Continuous Tense–
Indicates an action that is taking place at the moment of speaking.
For example, “She is walking.”
“I am studying.”
a. the form of Present Continuous Tense is- is/am/are + verb + ing
4) Present Perfect Continuous Tense–
Indicates an action that started in the past and is continuing at the present time.
For example, “He has been sleeping for an hour.”
a. The form of Present Perfect Continuous Tense is- has/have + been + verb + ing
Read More : What is Future Tense?Get Examples and Practice Exercise
1) Simple Future Tense–
Indicates an action that will take place after the present time and that has no real connection with the present time.
For example, “She will visit her ailing grandmother soon.”
“He will walk home.”
a. the form of Simple Future Tense is- will/shall + verb
2) Future Perfect Tense–
Indicates an action in the future that will have been completed before another time or event in the future.
For example, “By the time we arrive, he will have studied.”
a. The form of Future Perfect Tense is- will/shall have + verb(past participle form or 3rd form of the verb)
3) Future Continuous Tense–
Indicates an action in the future that is longer in duration than another action in the future.
For example, “He will be walking when it starts to rain.”
a. The form of Future Continuous Tense is-will/shall be + verb + ing
4) Future Perfect Continuous Tense–
Indicates an action in the future that will have been continuing until another time or event in the future.
For example, “He will have been exercising an hour at 2:00.”
a. The form of Future Perfect Continuous Tense is- will/shall have been + verb + ing
Rules On Article
In Present Indefinite Sentences, the number and person of the subject play very important role.
If the subject is singular number third person,affix `s’ or ‘es’ to the verb. If the verb ends in any of the following ss, o, x, z, sh,ch. add, `es’ instead of ‘s’ with the verb.
Like : Pass, Miss, Do, Mix, Fix, Whiz, Buzz,Catch, Fetch, Clash, Rush etc.
When the main verb is in future, use Present Simple in clauses with; if till, as soon as, when,unless, before, until, even, if, in case and as.
(a) We shall wait till she arrives.
(b) I shall not go there, even if it rains.
Present Simple must be used instead of the Present Continuous with verbs of perception (feel, hear, smell etc.), Verbs of cognition (believe, know, think etc.), verbs of emotion (hope, love, hate etc.) which cannot be used normally in continuous form.
Incorrect We are seeing with our eyes.
Correct We see with our eyes.
Incorrect Are you hearing a strange noise?
Correct Do you hear a strange noise?
Incorrect We are smelling with our nose.
Correct We smell with our nose.
Incorrect I am feeling you are wrong.
Correct I feel you are wrong.
Incorrect The water is feeling cold.
Correct The water feels cold.
But these verbs can be used in progressive form in the following cases
- The Session Judge is hearing our case.
- We are thinking of going to USA next year.
- He is minding (looking after) the children, while his wife is away.
- I am seeing my lawyer today.
- I am having some difficulties with this puzzle.
One must not use adverbs of past time like; yesterday, last year, last month, ago, short while ago etc. with Present Perfect Tense.
He has completed his book yesterday. (Incorrect)
He completed his book yesterday. (Correct)
Use of Since/For Students commit mistakes in using ‘Since’ or ‘For’. Please note, ‘For’ is used for ‘Period of Time’ and ‘Since’ is used for ‘Point of Time’. With morning, evening etc., use since and with ‘some time’,’hours’,’months’, etc. use ‘for.
If two or more actions took place in a sequence, we use Simple Past to denote the actions. (Otherwise Past Perfect is used to denote the earlier action) This is usually used with conjunction ‘before’.
(a) He switched on the light before he opened the door.
(b) The train started just before I reached the station.
The use of Simple Past with, ‘Wish’ and ‘If only’ shows ‘unreal past’ and present state of things.
(a) I wish I were a millionaire! (I am not a millionaire)
(b) If only I knew her! (I don’t know her)
In the following structure, the use of Simple Past denotes ‘unreal past’ and present time situation .
(a) It is timewe went home. (It is time for us to go home)
(b) It is time you finished. (It is time for you to finish)
Use of Past Continuous with ‘When’ and ‘While’ , ‘When’ is usually used when one action was completed and another while action was going on.
When he arrived, his wife was washing her clothes.
`While’ is used when two actions were going on at a time.
While she was cooking, I was washing the clothes.
Past Perfect is used when we look back on earlier action from a certain point in the past.
She had completed her work, before I reached there.
The Past Perfect is also used for an action which began before the time of speaking in the past and which stopped some time before the time of speaking.
He had served in a bank for twenty years, then he retired and established his business. His children were now well settled.
Here we cannot use either since or the Past Perfect Continuous.
Past Perfect Continuous is used when the action began before the time of speaking in the past, and continued up to that time.
It was now eight and she was tired because she had been cleaning the house since dawn.
When two actions are to be taken place on some future time, we use Future Perfect for the action completed first and Present Simple for the action to be completed afterwards.
(a) The student will have left the class before the teacher comes.
(b) The Principal will have started before I reach there.
Future Perfect is also used for such incidents/actions, about which we presume that another person already had the knowledge of that incident or the action is already completed by that time.
(a) You will have heard about Mother Teresa.
(b) He will have read the newspaper so far.
Sequence of Tense
The Sequence of Tenses are the principles which govern the tense of the verb in a subordinate clause vis-a-vis the tense of the verb in a principal clause. The rules which determine the tense of the subordinate clause if the tense of the principal clause is in present or past or future, are studied under the Sequence of Tense.
If the principal clause is in the Past Tense, the subordinate clause should also be in the past.
(a) My father assured me that he would buy a bike for me.
(b) He failed because he didn’t work hard.
(i) A Past Tense in the principal clause may be followed by a Present Tense in the subordinate clause when the subordinate clause expresses a universal truth, mathematical calculation, historical fact, moral guidelines, habitual fact or something that has not vet changed. In such cases the tense of the subordinate clause is not governed by the tense of principal clause (The subordinate clause is usually in Present Tense in such cases).
(a) He said that the Earth revolves round the Sun.
(b) We learnt at school that the truth always triumphs.
(ii) If the subordinate clause is introduced by a conjunction of comparison such as ; ‘than’, ‘as well as’ etc. in such case, the Past Tense in the principal clause may be followed by any tense in the subordinate clause as per the sense of the statement. Further more, any tense in principal clause can be followed by any tense in the subordinate clause.
(a) He loved me more than he loved you.
(b) He loved me more than he loves you.
(c) He loved me more than he will love you.
(d) He will love you more than he loved me.
(e) He has loved you more than he loved me.
(f) He will love you more than he loves me.
(g) She helps you as well as she helped me.
(h) She will help you as well as she has helped me.
(iii) If the subordinate clause is an adjective clause , in that case, it may be in any tense even the principal clause is in Past Tense.
(a) I visited the place where accident took place.
(b) I visited the village where he lives.
(c) I visited the hotel where she will stay.
A Present or Future Tense in the principal clause may be followed by any tense.
(a) He says that she passed the examination.
(b) He says that she will come tomorrow.
(c) Ram says that he likes that girl.
(d) Ram will say that Sita is a beautiful girl.
(e) Ram will say that he didn’t like that girl.
(f) He will say that he will pass the examination positively.
Exception :If the subordinate clause is introduced by if, till, as soon as, when, unless, before, until, even if, as. etc. and the principal clause is in Simple Future, in that case the verb in subordinate clause must be in Present Simple.
(a) We shall not go to market if it rains.
(b) He will wait till she comes.