Tense in English Grammar is an extremely important part as far as the English language is concerned. English being an international language, it is an essential fact that we must know how to speak and write well and correct English. Under such circumstances, Tense in English Grammar would be the best option to serve the purpose well.
Let’s now try to understand what Tense in English Grammar is, and how this will help us to master the art of speaking and writing without any mistakes in the English language.
Definition of Tense in English Grammar
Tense is the change of form in a Verb to express the time of an action. Verb and Tense are interrelated because it is the Verb of which Tense is determined. For Example,
- They are playing football.
- They were playing football.
- They will be playing football.
In each of the above sentences, the main verb is, “Play”. But the action of the Verb is being completed at a different time. So, when and in which time the action of a Verb was completed or is completed or will be completed, depends on Time. From here, we get the concept of Tense in English Grammar. Let’s consider the examples in the following.
Tense in English Grammar Examples with explanation
(1)They are playing football: In this sentence, the action is going on in the present time. This type of form of the verb is called Present Tense when the action takes place at present moment.
(2) They were playing football: In this sentence, the action of the verb was going on at some point of time in the past. Such a form of the verbs in the sentence is called the Past Tense.
(3) They will be playing football: In this sentence, the action has not been completed yet. It will be completed in the future time. So, regarding the form of the verbs in the sentence, we can easily say that sentence is in the Future Tense.
The above examples and explanation clearly point out that we can choose the Tense of the sentences by the action of a verb that was completed or is completed or will be completed, In this condition, Verb, and Tense are interrelated because it is the Verb of which Tense is determined. Now, we will check the types of Tense in English Grammar.
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Types of Tense in English Grammar
Basically, there are three tenses in English Grammar as far as the action of the verbs is considered. For Example,
Present Tense describes an action in the present time.
Use of present tense
We use the present tense to express the present time in the following situations.
- Universal or general truth, for example, Pride begets ruin.
- habitual or permanent action, for example, My father works very hard.
- future action. for example, I am going to New York tomorrow.
- past events to make the narrative more vivid, for example, Sherlock Holms now begins to find the truth.
- an action going on in the present, for example, He is doing the job.
- to express an action just finished, for example, He has completed the work.
Past Tense describes an action in the Past time.
Use of past tense
Past tense is used in sentences in the following situations
- to indicate a single act in the past, for example, My brother wrote a letter.
- habitual action in the past, for example, He studied herd
- an action that was going on in the past, for example, They were playing football.
- to express an action completed before another past action, for example, The patient had died before the doctor came.
Future Tense describes an action in the Future time.
Use of future tense
We may use the future tense in the sentences when the action of the verb indicates,
- an action that will happen in the future, for example, They will recite a poem during the function.
- represent an action that will be going on at some future time, for example, My mother will be sleeping at that time.
- an action that will be completed at some point of time in the future, for example, He will have done this before you came.
Structure of Tense in English Grammar
We already come to know that there are three tenses in English Grammar for the above examples and explanations. Now, we will see each tense has four categories, for example,
- Perfect Continuous
The structure of each tense has been given in the below table with a pictographic description.
Structure of Present Tense in English Grammar with examples
|Present Indefinite||Subject + Verb+ Object.|
Example: You play football.
|Present Continuous||Subject + am / is/are / + Verb + ing + Object.|
Example: We are playing football.
|Present Perfect||Subject + Have / Has + Verb ( Past-Participle Form) + Object.|
Example: He has played football.
|Present Perfect Continuous||Subject + Have / Has + Been + Verb + Ing + Object.|
Example: They have been playing football.
Structure of Past Tense in English Grammar with examples
|Past Indefinite||Subject + Verb( Past Form) + Object.|
Example: She played football.
|Past Continuous||Subject + was/were + Verb + Ing + Object.|
Example: I was playing football.
|Past Perfect||Subject + Had + Verb ( Past-Participle Form) + Object.|
Example: He had played football.
|Past Perfect Continuous||Subject + Had + Been + Verb + Ing + Object.|
Example: They had been playing football.
Structure of Future Tense in English Grammar with examples
|Future Indefinite||Subject + Shall / Will + Verb + Object.|
Example: She will play football.
|Future Continuous||Subject + Shall be / Will be + Verb+ Ing + Object.|
Example: I was playing football.
|Future Perfect||Subject + shall/ Will + Have + Verb ( Past-Participle Form) + Object.|
Example: He will have played football.
|Future Perfect Continuous||Subject + Shall/ Will + have + Been+ Verb + Ing + Object.|
Example: They will have been playing football.
FAQ on Tense in English Grammar
Q: What are the 4 types of tense?
Ans: The four types of Tenses are Indefinite, continuous, perfect, and Perfect Continuous. All these are technically called forms of tense. All the basic three tenses have those forms.
Q: What are the 12 tenses in English?
Ans: The 12 tenses in English are:
- 1. Present Indefinite
- 2. Present Continuous
- 3. Present Perfect
- 4. Present Perfect Continuous
- 5. Past Indefinite
- 6. Past Continuous
- 7. Past Perfect
- 8. Past Perfect Continuous
- 9. Future Indefinite
- 10. Future Continuous
- 11. Future Perfect
- 12. Future Perfect Continuous
Q: What is tense in grammar with examples?
Tense refers to the changes in verb forms that refer to the time of action done. There are three basic tenses in English.Example of Tense-
Present Tense: I eat rice.
Past Tense: I ate rice.
Future Tense: I shall eat rice.