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Tenses of English Grammar and their Uses Tense comes from the latin word Tempus, which means

time, that is the time when action occurs or has occurred. If you look at the verbs here, the actions would clearly show their time of occurrence. For instance, I teach English ( resent or current! I taught English( ast! I will teach English(Future! "ince verbs are the most im#ortant as#ects in a sentence, it is mandatory that we handle them with caution and skill. $ou would do well by bearing this #iece of info in your mind%
Verb Come Give Eat Run sweep be Write Past Came gave ate Ran Swept Was Wrote Past Participle come given eaten run swept been written

There are four ty#es of actions that need to considered for all the three time frames that is, the #ast, the #resent and the future. a! "im#le action, which is an action that is simply mentioned without giving an idea of whether there is a continuation or a completion of the action. b! &ontinuous action is an action that is in progress and would be completed in future. c! erfect action is a completed or finished action. d! erfect &ontinuous action is an action that has begun and will be completed in the future.

The "tructure of Tenses is%


Time Frame simple continuous Be Verb - ing Auxiliary Verb Main Verb past I worked I was working present I work I am working future* I will work I will be working I will have worked I will have been working

perfect continuous perfect

have have been

past participle verb -ing

I had worked I had been working

I have worked I have been working

Note: One needs to apply this structure to all the five personal pronouns: I, we, you, he/she/it and they. SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE The sim#le #resent tense is used ' (. To e)#ress a habitual action, such as' *e drinks coffee from his favorite mug every morning. I wake up every day at ten o+ clock. The rooster crows at ,am every morning. I go to bed at (( every night. I go to &hurch on "undays. I always sleep with two #illows at my head. -. To e)#ress general truths, such as' The sun sets in the west. "ugar is sweet. .uck favors the brave. "ea water is salty. /ogs bark. "ome birds hunt at night. Fish cannot survive outside water.

0. In e)clamatory sentences beginning with here 1 there to e)#ress what is actually taking #lace in the #resent' *ere comes the train2 There goes the #lane! There goes the thief2 *ere comes the bride2 3. In vivid narrative' 4iguel now rushes forward and deals a heavy blow to 5orge. Immediately the Em#eror hurries to his home. *e #lays his role marvelously. ,. To e)#ress a future event that is a #art of a fi)ed timetable or fi)ed #rogram' The ne)t train is at 60.66 tomorrow afternoon. The conference begins at (( o+clock. The flight leaves at ,.-6 in the morning. 7hen does the "#anish restaurant reopen8 The museum is o#en daily from (6am to ,#m. The new mall o#ens ne)t week. The show starts in e)actly 06 minutes. The daily meeting is held in +9oom :+ at -.66 #m. resent continuous tense% The #resent continuous is used% (. For an action going on at the time of s#eaking' The nightingale is singing (now!. The men are playing football. *e+s working right now. They+re at #re#aring for a rehearsal dinner at the moment. It+s raining just now. -. For a tem#orary action, which may not be actually ha##ening at the time of s#eaking' 4aria is teaching at a music school. ("he is not actually teaching now. "he may be at a movie theater or #laying with her #et at the time of s#eaking.! *e is working at the #lantation. (*e may not be actually working at the time of s#eaking.!

0. For tem#orary situations, where it may not continue for a very long time' I am working in 4e)ico for a cou#le of months. I am managing with ;(66 for the time being. *e<s currently living at his #arents< home. 3. For an action that has already been arranged to take #lace in the near future' I am going to club tonight. 4y wife is arriving tomorrow evening. They are driving to 4e)ico &ity next Sunday. ,. For habits, but they have to be tem#orary or new habits' *e+s drinking a lot nowadays. 5acinto is smoking too much. I have been working late every night. =. For annoying habits, when something ha##ens often and we dislike it. (>dverbs like +always+, +very often+, +forever+ or +constantly+ are used!. $ou+re always losing the wallet2 They are constantly missing the meetings. *e+s forever making e)cuses.

resent #refect tense% The #resent #erfect is used% (. To indicate com#leted activities in the immediate #ast (with ?ust!' "he has ?ust left the office. The idea ?ust struck him. The messenger ?ust delivered the courier. The clock ?ust struck 10. I have ?ust finished writing the book. -. To e)#ress #ast actions whose time is not given and not defined@ as, I have watched AThe >vengers< movie. I have never known him to be chivalrous. 4r. .eo has been to 5a#an. I have read that novel. I have been to B>">. Have you ever lost your tem#er in office8 Have you seen the #yramids at 4achu ichu8 0. To describe #ast events when we think more of their effect in the #resent than of the action itself' 4a) has eaten all the #astries. (i.e., there is nothing left for you!. I have lost my wallet. ("o I will not be able to #ay the bill!. I have finished my assignment ( C now I am free!. I have been eating too much. ( C I have #ut on some weight, or I am having stomach troubles!. 3. To denote an action beginning at some time in the #ast and continuing u# to the #resent moment (often with since and for #hrases!' I have known him since childhood. *e has been sick for over a week now. 7e have lived in .eon for ten years. 7e haven t seen edro for several days. ,. To show re#etitive actions at uns#ecified times in the #ast' 4a) has already had a few fist fights with 5uan. I have been to .ondon a few times. I have seen the magic show numerous times.

resent #erfect continuous tense% The #resent #erfect continuous is used for an action which began at some time in the #ast and is still continuing' *e has been sleeping for five hours (and is still slee#ing!. They have been building the bridge for several months. They have been playing since four o+clock. "ilas and I have been talking about ado#ting a child. I have been looking for the missing car keys since ten o+clock. *e has been suffering from cold all day. This tense is also sometimes used for an action already finished. In such cases the continuity of the activity is em#hasiDed as an e)#lanation of something. I!ve been watering the #lants. I!ve been restoring the #ainting. I have been repairing the >&. I have been cleaning the floors.

>"T tenses "im#le #ast tense The sim#le #ast is used to indicate an action com#leted in the #ast. They are events that ha##ened or started and com#leted in the #ast and that have no relation with the #resent. The s#ecified time or the time is easily understood or already im#lied. It often occurs with adverbs or adverb #hrases of #ast time. E)am#les% The trainer left for Te)as yesterday. I received his letter a week ago. "he joined school last year. 7e finished our tests yesterday. I played for the 4ariachi band last summer. I ate a big ?uicy taco for my breakfast. >le)ander :ell invented the tele#hone in (EF=. I joined U"T Global as a trainer two weeks ago. 7e saw the circus several times in the last month. "ometimes this tense is used without an adverb of time. In such cases the time may be either im#lied or indicated by the conte)t. I learnt "#anish in .eon. I didn t slee# well. I felt very tired after running a mile. *e looked left and right for hel#, but could not find anyone. *e left all his money to his children. The sim#le #ast is also used for #ast habits' *e studied many hours every day. "he always carried an umbrella. *e always checked his wallet before he left home. *e always bought his tickets from &ounter -. ast continuous tense' The #ast continuous is used to denote an action going on at some time in the #ast. The time of action may or may not be indicated. I was eating nachos at F o+clock yesterday morning. 7hat were you doing e)actly twenty'four hours ago8 I was walking down the road when I met with an accident.

7hen I went into his room, he was snoring like a bear. 7hile she was watching the movie, she fell aslee#. 4amma was telling a story at " o clock last night. They were hunting deer all of last week. The rain was pouring after weeks of e)treme heat. The lakes were overflowing with water. ast erfect Tense 9efers to event that ha##ened in the #ast before another event was com#leted. It tells us which event ha##ened first regardless of which event is mentioned first or second in a sentence or conversation. 7ords usually used with the ast erfect tense are when, after, already, ?ust and as soon. They had already finished the meeting when I came in to ?oin them. 7hen he had completed his thesis, he went for a walk in the #ark. >fter I had drunk a few shots, I felt ill. 7e arrived at the theater after the movie had started. 4ilk had already come to a boil when I turned off the stove. The whole chicken had burned when I finally reached the oven. #s soon as she had got down the train, she stumbled and fell. 7e had finished our #rayers by E o+clock. *e had fractured his hand in the car accident and had to stay at home for cou#le of weeks.

The #ast #erfect continuous is used' for an action that occurred over a #eriod of time in the #ast. for an action which started and finished in the #ast before another #ast action. *ere, since or for is usually used. I had been praying. I had been waiting tables at a restaurant. 5ill got an a#artment at last. "he had been looking for one since last month. They had been trying for a baby for , years before they were able to conceive.

$uture %ense& Simple $uture %ense 'sage& >re indicative of actions that will ha##en in the future. There are ways we can use to e)#ress the future in English% (. 7ill ' "ay something that 4ay or 4ay not occur in the future' The movie will be shown ne)t "aturday at E#m. I think he will get in touch with me later. The training will end soon. Earth will not sto# revolving around the sun. (state a fact.! I will hel# you clear the tables after the #arty. (e)#ress willingness! There+s #olice outside. I will go and see what+s the #roblem. (make a sudden decision! $ou will finish the re#ort by ,#m today. (give a command! They will ask the resident to s#eak at the s#ecial event. (invitation! I will have a lobster. (order! *old my hand or I will kick you. (threat! 7ill you give me a wake u# call tomorrow morning, #lease8 (Guestions! I will make sure it does not ha##en again. (#romise! "he will be in a lot of #ain once the #ain killers wear off. -. going to *e thinks he is going to win the rally. 4y daughter is going to be 3 ne)t week. 7e are going to the hotel as soon as the cab arrives. 7e are going to the sho##ing mall when it sto#s raining. I am going to be at the .eon city office tomorrow. 7e are going to move to a new home ne)t week. (Intention or decision! 7e are going to visit the museum ne)t Friday evening. ( lans or arrangements! .ook at dark clouds. It is going to rain very hard. ( rediction! I am #robably going to be in .os >ngeles tomorrow. (when not sure! 7e are going to visit 4y grandma late ne)t week. (near future! 0. to Used for instructions, obligation and something that is arranged. $ou are not to o#en the door to any strangers. (instruction! $ou are to #ersonally deliver this message to the &EH in the ne)t (6 minutes. (obligation! I am su##osed to meet my fiance tomorrow. (arrangement!

I am not to eat anything cold till I am healed. (information! > famous actress is to #resent the car to the contest winner. (duty! 3. about to Used for an action or event that will ha##en very soon. The family sits down at the table when they are about to eat dinner. 7ould you like to ?oin me for breakfast8 A>m about to start now. I have never cheated in e)ams, and am not about to start now. 7e ran home Guickly when the #rotest was about to begin. The audience went silent when the o#era was about to start. 7hen the traffic light turns orange, it usually means the vehicles are about to sto#. () Simple present tense 9efers to something that has been scheduled or arranged to ha##en at a #articular time. The first train from .eon leaves at 3am. The flight for 4e)ico &ity de#arts from gate 0 at =%3,#m. The s#ecial discount offers closes >#ril 06. The new sea #ort o#ens on resident+s day. The &hinese food festival ends tomorrow. *) +resent continuous tense The #resent continuous tense is used for future arrangements. I am having dinner with my boss ne)t week. They are flying to Bew $ork sometime tomorrow. 9ita is being #romoted to the #ost of &EH ne)t week after -, years+ service. 7e are visiting :raDil ne)t month. 4y #artner is writing another book in the ne)t few weeks. $uture ,ontinuous %ense 9e#resents an action that will last a #eriod of time, or be in #rogress at a certain or s#ecified time in the future. I will be serving drinks at the bar all day tomorrow. They will be going on vacation this /ecember. 7ill they be coming for breakfast tomorrow8 $ou will be doing the same boring translation ?ob when you turn u# for work tomorrow. The first flight will be leaving terminal 0 at =am. 7ill you be ?oining the team #arty tonight8

$uture +erfect %ense It is used for an action which will have finished by some future time or date, with time e)#ressions such as by E o+clock, by this evening, by ne)t 4onday, by then, until noon tomorrow, before closing date, by the time and more. "he will have com#leted the coding by (6 o+clock tonight. 7e willIshall have gone for dinner by the time you return. 4y brother will have been married for e)actly ten years ne)t "aturday. >t noon tomorrow, I will have been cancer free for fifteen years. >t this time ne)t month, I will have reached .os >ngeles. 7ill the staff have finished the birthday cake by the time the boss arrives8 I will have saved about ;(666,666 by the year -6-6. The code would be tested and e)ecuted by the time the #ro?ect manager arrives. The +eat all you can+ s#ecial offer will have finished by tomorrow night. If you don+t come soon, we will have finished all the food at the table. (conditional! *e will have #re#ared, #rinted and filed the documents by ne)t 7ednesday. 7e will have been stranded on the lake for more than an hour by the time the rescuers arrive. $uture +erfect ,ontinuous %ense To indicate the length of time that an action continues in the future, or to show an action in #rogress until an event ha##ens in the future. :y the time the flight arrives, we will have been waiting for more than forty'five minutes.