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THE USES OF TENSES

PRESENT
Present Simple
a) to express what is actually taking place at the time of speaking.
e.g.: See, how fast she runs!
Here comes Afsal.
b) to express a habitual action
e.g.: I go to bed daily at 11pm.
She comes here everyday.
c) to express a universal truth.
e.g.: God loves all men.
The sun rises in the East.
Water boils at hundred degree Celsius.
d) to denote a future action already planned
e.g.: I leave for the Gulf tomorrow.
John comes here day after tomorrow.
Our school opens next month.
e) to make narrative vivid (historic present)
e.g.: After hearing this the king hurries to his capital and punishes his enemies.
f) to introduce a quotation especially with the verb say
e.g.: The Bible says: Love your enemies.
The notice says: Admissions are closed.
g) in conditional (ie. if clauses and time clauses)
e.g.: I he studies well he will pass.
If it rains, I will cancel the tour.
When he comes, we will tell him the news.
When I reach Delhi, I will write to you.
h) to express wants/wishes
e.g.: I want to spend a few days here.
He wishes to come with you.
i) likes/ dislikes
e.g.: I like it very much.
He doesnt like it to eat meat.
j) commands/ requests
e.g.: (You) Get out.
Dont sit here.
Be silent, please.
Please help me.
k) needs
e.g.: I need a change.
We need a room.
l) general facts/present
e.g.: I understand you.
I love you.
She doubts me.
m) in running commentaries, stage directions, itineraries and in describing the process of an
experiment or a recipe.

n) instead of the present continuous tense with verbs of the senses and verbs of possession.
e.g.: He loves his parents.
I hate rats.
I have a pen.
She expects a miracle.
[hear, see, smell, feel, desire, appreciate, hate, love, like, mind, value, want, wish, appear,
seem, consist, believe, think, expect, have, belong, own, owe etc.]
Present Continuous Tense
a) happening at the time of speaking
e.g.: Dont disturb me. I am studying.
Keep silence. They are praying.
b) an action happening but not at the time of speaking.
E.g.: I am writing a story.
We are practicing dance.
c) immediate future
e.g.: I am going to marry her.
He is going to stop his business.
d) an action which is definitely going to take place in the near future.
e.g.: I am leaving for the Gulf tomorrow.
e) to denote repeated actions.
e.g.: Some boys are always playing.
He is always reading comics.
Present Perfect
a) an action just completed
e.g.: I have just met him.
Everybody has come.
They have arranged everything.
b) an action in the past where the time is not given
e.g.: I have seen the Taj Mahal.
Sunil has visited many countries.
c) the result of an action.
e.g.: I have read it two times.
I have seen him once.
d) the result of a past action which still continues.
e.g.: I have lived in Mumbai for ten years.
Present Perfect Continuous
a) an action began in the past and is still continuing at the time of speaking.
e.g.: I have been waiting for you.
I have been studying English for ten years.

PAST
Simple Past
a) something done in the past or something that took place in the past.
e.g.: I met him yesterday.
He failed last year.

b) to express habitual actions in the past


e.g.: The Hindu women practiced Sati.
At college, I played football everyday.
c) to denote an action actually going on at the time stated
e.g.: While we worked they slept.
While they bathed, we fished.
d) in conditional clauses and time clauses
e.g.: If I had the money I would lend it to you.
If a burglar came into my room, I would scream.
When I went to London, I saw the Queen.
Past Continuous Tense
a) an action that was going on in the past time referred to
e.g.: When I saw her she was singing.
Mary was writing a story when Meera called on her.
Past Perfect
a) an action completed before another action in the past
e.g.: The train had left before they reached the station.
I had finished the work when Ali came to see me.
The rain had stopped when she came with the umbrella.
The patient had died before the doctor came.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense
a) an action that was continuing before another action began
e.g.: He had been working in a bank before he went to Switzerland.
Anil had been playing outside when the thunder struck.
When I went to him, he had been lying in bed.

FUTURE
Simple Future
a) an action which will take place in the future
e.g.: Maria will come tomorrow.
They will help us.
We will discuss it later.
Future Continuous
a) an action that will be continuing in the future
e.g.: This time tomorrow we will be climbing Mount Everest.
I will be studying in Std. IX next June.
Future Perfect
a) an action that will be completed in the future
e.g.: I will have completed my work before you come.
They will have spent the money by then.
Joseph will have finished the project by next month.
The film will have begun when you get to the theatre.
Future Perfect Continuous
It is not commonly used in modern English.