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TENSES : SIMPLE TENSE

Read the following sentences :

1. I write this letter to please you.


2. I wrote the letter in his very presence. 3. I shall write another letter tomorrow.

In sentences 1, the verb write refers to present time. In sentences 2, the verb wrote refers to past time. In sentences 3, the verb shall write refers to future time.

Thus, there are three main tenses : present tenses past tenses

future tenses
-The tense of verb shows the time of an action or event. - Note : sometimes a past tense may refer to present time, and a

present tense may express future time, as:

I wish I knew the answer. ( Past tense Present time )


Lets wait till he comes. ( Present tense Future tense )

Below we give the chief Tenses ( Active voice, Indicate Mood ) of the verb to love. PRESENT TENSE Singular Plural Number Number I love We love You love You love

1st person 2nd person

3rd person

He loves

They loves

PAST TENSE Singular Number I loved Plural Number We loved

1st person

2nd person 3rd person

You loved He loved

You loved They loved

1st person 2nd person 3rd person

FUTURE TENSE Singular Plural Number Number I shall/will love We shall/will love You will love You will love He will love They will love

THE USES OF THE PRESENT AND PAST


TENSES
Present Tenses
1. Simple Present Tense To express a habitual action,

E.g : - He drinks tea every morning.


- I get up everyday at five oclock. - My watch keeps good time.

To express general truths, E.g : - The sun rises in the east. - Honey is sweet. - Fortune favours the brave. In exclamatory sentences beginning with here and there to express what is actually talking place in the present, E.g : - Here comes the bus ! - There she goes !

In vivid narrative, as substitute for the simple past, E.g : - Mike now rushes forward and deals a heavy blow to Brian.

- Immediately the Sultan hurries to his capital.


To express a future event that is part of a fixed timetable or fixed programme E.g : - The next flight is at 7.00 tomorrow morning. - The match starts at 9 oclock.

- The train leaves at 5.20.


- When does the coffee house reopen?

2. Present ContinuousTense

For an anction going on at the time of speaking,


E.g : - She is singing ( now ). - The boys are playing hockeys. For a temporary action which may not be actually happening at the times of speaking,

E.g : I am reading David Copperfield(but I am not


reading at this moment ). For an action that as already been arranged to take

place in the near future,


E.g : I am going to the cinema tonight. My uncle is arriving tomorrow.

The following verbs, on account of their meaning, are not

normally used in the continuous form :a. Verbs of perception E.g : see, hear, smell, notice, recognize. b. Verbs of appearing E.g : appear, look, seem

c. Verbs of emotion
E.g : want, wish, desire, feel, like, love, hate, hope, refuse, prefer.

d. Verbs of thinking
E.g : think, suppose, believe, agree, consider, trust, remember, forget, know, understand, imagine.

e. Have ( = possess ), own, posses, belong to,contain,

consist of, be ( except when used in the passive )


E.g :

Wrong These grapes are tasting sour. I am thinking you are wrong. She is seeming sad. He is having a cellular phone.

Right These grapes taste sour.


I think you are wrong. She seems sad. He has a cellular phone.

Table 1

# However, the verbs listed above can be used in the continuous tenses with a change of meaning: E.g : She is tasting the soup to see if it needs more salt.

( taste = test the flavour of)


I am thinking of going to Malaysia. ( think of = consider the idea of)

They are having lunch.


( have = eat)

3. Present Perfect Tenses oTo indicate completed activities in the immediate past ( with just ),

E.g : - He has just gone out.


- It has just struck ten. oTo express past actions whose time is not given and not definite, E.g : - Have you read Gullivers Travels?

- I have never known him to be angry.


- Mr. Hari has been to Japan.

oTo describe past events when we think more of their effect in the present than of the action itself, E.g : - Gopi has eaten all the biscuits ( i.e., there arent any left for you ). - I have cut my finger ( and it is bleeding now ). - I have finished my work (= now I am free).

oTo denote an action beginning at some time in the past

and continuing up to the present moment ( often with


since- and for- phrases), E.g : - I have known him for a long time. - He has been ill since last week. - We have lived here for ten years.

- We havent seen Padma for several months.

4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

oFor an action which began at some time in the past


and is still continuing, E.g : - He has been sleeping for five hours ( and still sleeping). - They have been building the bridge for several months. - They have been playing since four oclock.

oAlso sometimes used for an action already finished. In

such cases the continuity of the activity is emphasized as


an explanation of something. E.g : Why are your clothes so wet? I have been watering the garden.

Past Tenses
1. Simple Past Tense To indicate an action completed in the past. It often occurs with adverbs or adverb phrases of past time.

E.g : - The steamer sailed yesterday.


- I received his letter a week ago.

Sometimes this tense is used without an adverb of time.

In such cases the time may be either implied or


indicated by the context. E.g : - I learnt Hindi in Nagpur. - I didnt sleep well (i.e., last night). Also used for past habits,

E.g : - He studied many hours everyday.


- She always carried an umbrella.

2. Past Continuous Tense

To denote an action going on at some time the


past. The time of the action may or may not be indicated. E.g : - We were listening to the radio all evening. - It was getting darker. Also used with always, continually, etc. For persistent habits in the past. E.g : He was always grumbling.

3. Past Perfect Tense Describes an action completed before a certain moment in the past, E.g : I met him in New Delhi in 1996. I had seen him

last five years before.


If two actions happened in the past, it may be necessary to show which action happened earlier

than the other. The past perfect is mainly used in


such situations. The simple past is used in one clause and the past perfect is the other, E.g : - I had done my exercise when Hari came to see me.

- I had written the letter before he arrived.

4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Is used for action that began before a certain point in


the past and continued up to that time, E.g : - At the time he had been writing a novel for two months. - When Mr. Mukerji came to the school in 1995s,

Mr. Anand had already been teaching these


for five years.

The Future
1. Simple Future Tense
Used to talk about things which we cannot control. It expresses the future as fact.

E.g : - I shall be twenty next Saturday.


- It will be Diwali in a week. To talk about what we think or believe will happen in the future. E.g : - I think Pakistan will win the match.

- Im sure Helen will get a first class.

To do something at the time of speaking.

E.g : - It is raining. I will take an umbrella.


- Mr. Sinha is very busy at the moment. All right. Ill wait. 2. Simple Present Tense Used for official programmes and timetables.

E.g : - The college opens on 23rd June.


- The films starts at 6.30 and finishes at 9.00. Often used for future time in clauses with If, unless, when, while, as before, after, untill and as soon as. The simple future tense is not used in such cases.

E.g : - I wont go out if it rains. ( not: will rain)

- Can I have some milk before I go to bed?


3. Present ContinuousTense Is used when talk about something that we have

planned to do in the future.


E.g : - I am going to Shimla tomorrow. - We are eating out tonight. 4. Future Continuous Tense To talk about actions which will be in progress at a time in the future.

E.g : - I suppose it will be raining when we start.


- This time tomorrow I will be sitting on the beach in Singapore.

To talk about actions in the future which are already

planned or which are expected to happen in the


normal course of things. E.g : - I will be staying here till Sunday. - He will be meeting us next week. 5. Future Perfect Tense To talk about actions that will be completed by a certain future time. E.g : - I shall have written my exercise by then. - He will have left before you go to see him.

6.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense Is used for actions which will be in progress over a period of time that will end in the future.

E.g : - By next March we shall have been living


here for four years. - Ill have been teaching for twenty years next July.