Friday, 14 September 2012

Tenses in English

Tenses in English

Tenses structure

Tense denotes the time of a verb or an action or state.
[The word tense comes from the Latin tempus or time]
Simple Present Tense: 
S + Verb1 + O
Present Continuous Tense:
S + am/is/are + Verb + ing + O
Present Perfect Tense: 
S + has/have + Verb 3 + O
Present Perfect Continuous Tense:
S + has/have + been + Verb + ing + O
Simple Past Tense:
S + Verb2 + O
Past Continuous Tense:
S + was/were + Verb + ing + O
Past Perfect Tense:
S + had + Verb3 + O
Past Perfect Continuous Tense:
S + had been + Verb + ing + O
Simple Future Tense:
S + shall/will + Verb1 + O
Future Continuous Tense:
S + shall be/will be + Verb + ing + O
Future Perfect Tense:
S + shall have/will have + Verb3 + O
Future Perfect Continuous Tense:
S + shall have been/will have been + Verb + ing + O



1.       Simple present is used in the following situations:
i.                     To express present actions or events or facts:
I get up at 6 a.m    The train leaves at 7 p.m
ii.                   To express a habitual action:
I get up everyday at 6 a.m   He takes milk every morning
iii.                  To express a historical fact:
The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 is a turning point in the history of freedom movement in India
iv.                 To express general truth or eternal truth:
The earth moves round the sun
v.                   In imperative sentences:
Draw a straight line
vi.                 In Exclamatory sentences beginning with here and there:
Here comes the bus!
vii.                In quotations:
Keats says, “ A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.”
viii.              To indicate a future event that is a part of a present plan or arrangement:
They leave for London by the next mail
ix.                 To use verbs of perception, verbs of appearing and verbs of emotion(see, hear, look, seem, feel etc.):
I see, you are a fool      I hear the buzzing sound
x.                   In clauses of time and condition:
I shall wait till you finish your lunch. If it rains we shall get wet
2.       Present Progressive/Continuous is used in the following situations:
i.                     For an action going on at the time of speaking:
Lila is dancing now
ii.                   Imagining an unseen activity:
I think Subha is lying in bed at home
iii.                  For an action that is planned or arranged to take place in the near future:
Kiran and his friends are leaving Kuttak tonight
iv.                 For giving information about a third person’s whereabouts:
Where is Krishna? She is watering the plants
v.                   For explaining what one is doing:
What are you doing?  I am drawing a picture
3.       Present Perfect is used in the following situations:
i.                     To indicate a completed action in the immediate past:
He has just gone out
ii.                   To express past actions whose time is not definite:
I have never complained about the problem
iii.                  To denote an action beginning at sometime past and continuing up to the present moment:
I have known him for a long time
iv.                 To denote relation between what happened in the past and the present time:
I have found the letter you were looking for
v.                   To denote duration of event:
We have lived here for 5 years
vi.                 To denote that an action has been repeated a number of times:
He has visited Nepal several times
4.       Present Perfect Continuous is used:
i.                     For an action which began sometime in the past and is still continuing:
She has been sleeping for six hours
ii.                   To focus the recent activity with its present results:
Your eyes are red—have you been crying?
5.       Simple Past is used in the following situations:
i.                     To talk about a past event as a simple fact of time.
Harsha left school last year
ii.                   Simple Past is also used with ‘used to/would’ for past habits:
He used to study many hours everyday
iii.                  For situations that existed for a period of time in the past but not now:
The Mughals ruled here for several hundred years
6.       Past Continuous is used in the following situations:
i.                     To talk about any continuing process of doing something in the past:
The train was late and they were waiting at the station for three hours
ii.                   To denote a temporary situation at or around a particular time in the past:
At the time of robbery, she was staying with her uncle
iii.                  When we talk about two past actions going on at the same in past:
I was watching the TV while my sister was reading a novel
7.       Past Perfect is used in the following situations:
i.                     To describe an action completed before a certain moment in the past:
I met him in Chennai in 2004. I had seen him last four years ago
ii.                   To denote a time expression with by the time, when, etc.:
I had gone to bed when the phone rang
8.       Past Perfect Continuous is used in the following ways:
i.                     To express an action that continued in the past for a given period of time:
We had been expecting the news for some time
ii.                   To express a Past Continuous and a Simple Past with when:
He had been suffering from flu when he was interviewed
9.       Simple Future is used in the following situations:
i.                     To talk about simply to some future event:
He will come back this evening
ii.                   If two future actions are joined by when,  the one will be in the Future Tense and the other will be in Simple Present Tense:
I shall leave the place when she comes
10.   Future Continuous is used in the following situations:
i.                     When we talk about an activity going on at a particular time in the future:
Next Monday, we will be celebrating our Tinku’s birthday
ii.                   To talk about near future:
We will be leaving for Europe tonight
iii.                  To refer to some future activities previously arranged:
She will be helping us to organize the party
iv.                 To ask someone politely about the immediate future:
Will/would you be using the computer for long?
11.   Future Perfect Tense is used in the following situations:
i.                     To denote something that will be ended in future:
We shall have finished our task before the sun sets
ii.                   To denote the completion of some events in the past before starting an event in future:
We hope the situation will have improved before we reach there
12.   Future Perfect Continuous Tense is used in the following situations:
i.                     To denote an activity by a certain future time:
He will have been studying in America when he gets his degree
ii.                   To emphasize how long something could be going on over a period of time in future:
Next year, he will have been researching at SVU for four years
prepared by: B. Balaji Reddy, Asso. Prof., SVPCET, PUTTUR

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