Tense

Introduction

A tense is the form of the verb usually associated with time. Tenses are the forms of verb that serve primarily to situate a reported action or process within time, either relative to the standpoint of its utterance or relative to another event. The form taken by a verb to indicate time as in past-present-future. Verb tenses are inflectional forms of verbs or verb phrases that are used to express time distinctions. The grammatical term perfect expresses an action or state completed at the time of speaking or at a time spoken of. Continuous or progressive indicates an on-going action.

Tense

A form of the verb that shows whether something happens in the past, present or future. Future with going to I'm going to visit my aunt on Sunday. It's going to rain. Future with present continuous He is meeting John for dinner at eight tomorrow. Future with present simple The plane leaves at 9.00 next Saturday. Future with will or shall I'll help with the cleaning. It will be lovely and sunny tomorrow Past continuous, progressive

I was watching TV all evening. Past perfect continuous, progressive I had been studying for three hours so I felt tired. Past perfect simple After I had phoned Mary, I went out.

Contents

Other

A verb may take one of the following tenses.

  • present
  • future
  • perfect
  • pluperfect
  • future perfect
  • imperfect
eat ate
go went
sleep slept

Introduction

The tense of a verb or a sentence relates to the time when the action or state described by the verb or sentence occurred/occurs/will occur. The main contrast with tense is between past, present and future. Most verbs in English indicate the past/present distinction by inflection. The tense of a verb shows the time of the verb's action. There are six verb tenses: present, present perfect, past, past perfect, future, and future perfect.