Tenses Definition and Examples
Tense in English Grammar is a form of verb that defines or indicates the actual occurrence of the verb i.e. when the verb/incident actually happened. Tenses are very important for they help us identify whether the incident occurred in past, present or future. There are three types of tenses in Grammar- past tense, present tense and future tense. Let us understand with help of a simple example. Read the below given sentences-
- I am going to school.
In the given sentence the speaker is talking about the present moment i.e. he is going to school right now. Now consider the sentence-
- I went to the school.
In this the speaker is talking about some time in the past when he went to the school. Similarly the sentence-
- I will go to the school.
Talks about the future when the speaker has planned to go to the school.
Identify the verb ‘go’ and its tenses i.e. ‘go’ for the future, ‘went’ for the past and ‘going’ for the present. All are different form of verb that determine the time of occurrence.
Types of Tenses
Apart from the three main types of tenses- present, past and future; there are different subtypes also which we will understand further.
- Present Tense
Present tense is that form of verb which speaks of the action which is currently going on at the moment or is being performed continuously. Like- She is singing, it is raining, the theatre is showing a Hindi movie etc are some examples of sentences using present tense. i.e. - singing, raining and showing. Present Tense is further divided into four types as given below.
A Simple Present Tense is the simplest way to say something about an incident, people or yourself at the moment happening in real time or around the time. The basic Formula of Simple Present Tense is- (subject+verb) for Ex- I work for the Bank of America, Tom eats bread every day, you look tired etc. We will further understand simple Present Tense with examples ………
Present Continuous or Present Progressive Tense is used to describe incidents those are happening at the moment in real time. Simple Formula of Present continuous Tense is (subject +verb to be in ‘ing’ pattern) usually the verbs in the present continuous ends with –ing. E.g. - singing, writing, laughing etc. To better understand Present Continuous or Present Progressive Tense read further……
Present Perfect Tense is used to share something which happened in the past but is still relevant in the present scenario. The Formula of Present Perfect Tense is (subject+have/has+main verb past form) For Ex- I have worked there for five years, I have eaten burger, but never chicken. We will further get into details of this type of tense……..
Present Perfect continuous Tense expresses the events that we have been doing and are still going on at the moment. The Formula of Present Perfect Tense is (subject + have/has been + ing verb form) ex- I have been doing this for whole day, he has been sleeping since morning. We will better understand in the following exercise…….
- Past Tense
Past tense is that form of verb which speaks about the incident which had already occurred in the past. For ex- I ate a burger yesterday, Sally wrote a letter to the Chairman, I had gone to the doctor etc. All the sentences talk about the incidents of the past using past tenses of the verbs i.e. ate, wrote and gone. Past tense has great flexibility with regard to time and can talk about something which happened just five minutes back or even five years back. Past Tense is further classified into the following subtypes…..
A simple Past Tense is the simplest way to share something about a past incident which has happened anytime in the past. The basic Formula of Simple Past Tense is (subject + past verb). For Ex- I ate a pizza yesterday, Sally went to the doctor, He sang really well etc. We will further understand better with the help of some more examples and exercises….
Pats Continuous or Past Progressive Tense is used to specify the events those have happened continuously in the past. The basic Formula of Past continuous is (subject + was/were +verb with ‘ing’) For Ex- Sally was writing a letter, I was dancing, Rony was swimming, They were singing etc. We will further understand the subject with help of suitable examples and exercises……
The Past Perfect Tense is used to describe something which happened in the past but is also relevant in the present. Formula of Past Perfect Tense is (subject + had + past form of main verb) For Ex- I had eaten a lot and went to bed immediately, He did well and was confident. We will further get into the details with following examples and exercises……
Past Perfect Continuous Tense expresses events which have been going on in the past but are not going on anymore. Basic Formula of Past Perfect Continuous is (subject + had been + ing form of verb). For Ex- I had been singing, Jane had been dancing when the lights went out etc. We will further understand the Past Perfect Continuous Tense with suitable examples and exercises……
- Future Tense
Future Tense speaks about the incidents that have not happened yet but could happen any time in the future. It could refer to any point of time in the future- from the next second to the next decade. For Ex- I will swim, Jane will meet Sally, Jane will be meeting Sally etc. The Future Tense is further classified into four subtypes as described below…..
Simple Future Tense is the simplest way of expressing future incidents. The very basic Formula of simple Future Tense is -(Subject + auxiliary verb or modal + verb) A modal is a word which expresses the probability of occurrence of the event. Some modals (auxiliary verbs) are – will, might, may etc. For Ex- Jane might go to New York, Ricky might go to college tomorrow etc. We will further in the chapter go through the exercises and different types of modals……
Future Continuous Tense talks about the incidents those will be happening in the future continuously. Formula of Future continuous Tense is - (subject + modal or auxiliary verbs with be + ing form of verb) For Ex- I will be dancing, Sally will be singing etc. Go through the following explanation and exercises to better understand Future continuous Tense….
Future Perfect Tense talks about an incident that will have happened up to a particular time or incident in the future. Formula of Future Perfect Tense is - (subject + will + have + main verb past form) For Ex- By the time you reach I will have gone already, She will have worked for ten years from coming Saturday. Further go through the following Exercises and Examples….
Future Perfect Continuous tense describe an event which will be occurring up to a certain point of time in the future. Basic Formula of Future Perfect Continuous Tense is -( subject + modal + have been + ing form of verb) For Ex- I will have been driving for 15 hours so I don’t think that I will like to work, She will have been working for almost a year from next week. We will further go in to the details with help of Examples and Exercises….