Verbs have different characteristics that help make us clear while talking. Indicating the tenses is one of the characteristics that is related to time.
What Do We Mean by Tense?
Any verb which is able to indicate the exact or approximate time for the occurrence of action, has a tense. So, the tense, makes the time of actions clear.
Indicating Tense or Not?
Different Tenses in English
There are three main tenses in English, as follows:
Can One Tense Indicate More than One Time?
A particular tense can describe two different actions in two different periods of time. As a result, there is a need to know the usage of every tense to use them in the right way. Check out the examples.
Combination of Aspects and Tenses
Every verb can indicate two characteristics. One is the tense and the other is the aspect. The verb is not meaningful unless it has both the aspect and the tense together. The tense alone has no significance.
Let us consider the tense and the aspect of the verbs all together on a table.
|Simple||present simple||past simple||future simple|
|Progressive||present progressive||past progressive||future progressive|
|Perfect||present perfect||past perfect||future perfect|
|Perfect Progressive||present perfect progressive||past perfect progressive||future perfect progressive|
Let us learn them one by one.
Use of the Simple Present Tense
The 'simple present tense' (also called 'present simple tense'), is used to express actions that are happening repeatedly, or how often something happens. Another use is to describe actions that are happening in a chain of series. We can also use the present simple tense to describe actions in general.
It is really important to know that we can use the present tense to describe the timetable in the future. Check out the examples.
The Jimmy Fallon show
Use of the Simple Past Tense
The 'simple past tense' (also called 'past simple tense') is used to describe actions that began happening in the past and finished in the past with no connection with the present time. Here are a few examples.
Use of the Future Simple
The 'simple future' (also called 'future simple') is used to talk about events that have not happened yet. The important point to keep in mind is that these structures are not actually considered tenses. That is why we do not call them tenses. For example:
Use of the Present Progressive Tense
The 'present progressive tense' (also called the 'present continuous tense'), is used to describe an action that happens at the same time of speaking or around it. Sometimes we can use the present progressive to express a fixed plan, date, or for something that we have already decided on it. Check out the examples:
Use of the Past Progressive Tense
We use the 'past progressive tense' (also called 'past continuous tense'), to talk about an unfinished action that started to happen in the past. In some cases, we can use the past progressive tense to indicate that an event happened in the middle of another incident.
Alice and Sam
Use of the Future Progressive Tense
The 'future progressive tense' is used when an action happens because it normally does or to express an action that is in progress at a certain time in the future. Here are the examples.
Use of the Present Perfect Tense
The 'simple present perfect tense' is used to express actions that started in the past but continued up to the present time or at least have a connection with the present. These are a few examples that may help you:
Use of the Past Perfect Tense
The 'past perfect tense' is used as the past form of the present perfect tense, or to express an earlier action when it comes to a series of events in the past. The event that happened earlier than the other one, is expressed in the past perfect tense. For example:
Use of the Future Perfect Tense
The 'future perfect tense' is used to express an action that will already have happened before a certain time in the future. Here are a few examples that may help you understand the concept:
Use of the Present Perfect Progressive Tense
The 'present perfect progressive' tense is used to express actions that began to happen in the past and have just stopped. The emphasis in this structure is on the length of the time. Check out the examples:
Use of the Past Perfect Progressive Tense
The 'past perfect progressive' tense is used to express the length of an action that had been happening before another event. Check these examples out for more clarification.
Use of the Future Perfect Progressive Tense
The 'future perfect progressive' tense is used to indicate the length of an action that will be already happened before a certain time in the future. For example:
There are three different tenses in English that are used in four different aspects. Here are the tenses and the aspects in English.
- present simple, present progressive, present perfect, present perfect progressive
- past simple, past progressive, past perfect, past perfect progressive
- future simple, future progressive, future perfect, future perfect progressive
- What Do We Mean by Tense?
- Indicating Tense or Not?
- Different Tenses in English
- Can One Tense Indicate More than One Time?
- Combination of Aspects and Tenses
- Use of the Simple Present Tense
- Use of the Simple Past Tense
- Use of the Future Simple
- Use of the Present Progressive Tense
- Use of the Past Progressive Tense
- Use of the Future Progressive Tense
- Use of the Present Perfect Tense
- Use of the Past Perfect Tense
- Use of the Future Perfect Tense
- Use of the Present Perfect Progressive Tense
- Use of the Past Perfect Progressive Tense
- Use of the Future Perfect Progressive Tense