Tenses are forms of a verb that show the time, continuance or completion of an action or a state that is expressed in connection with the moment at which a statement is made about it.
Kinds of Tense
1. Present Tense
2. Past Tense
3. Future Tense
There are four sub categories of each of three.
(iv) Perfect Continuous
Uses of Tense
1. Simple Present Tense:
* Simple Present Tense is used to express universal truth, principle and proverb.
e.g.: (i) The earth moves round the Sun.
(ii) Oil floats on water.
(iii) Fortune favours the brave.
* This tense is used to express habitual, regular and repeated actions.
e.g.: (i) She drinks tea every morning.
(ii) He often gets late for school.
(iii) We like rice and curry.
* This tense is used to express human feelings, emotions and mental activity.
e.g.: (i) I love my family.
(ii) She thinks he is the best.
(iii) Shilpa hates beggars.
* This tense is used to show possession.
e.g.: (i) She has a Piano.
(ii) This car belongs to him.
(iii) They have a son and a daughter.
* This tense is used to express a future event that is part of fixed time table or fixed programme.
e.g.: (i) The next train is at 6.00 AM tomorrow.
(ii) The show starts at 12 o' clock.
(iii) She goes to London next monday.
* This tense is used instead of the simple future tense, in clauses of time and of condition.
e.g.: (i) She will not come if it rains.
(ii) I shall wait till he comes.
(iii) You will get success if you try hard.
II. Present Continuous Tense
* Present Continuous Tense is used for an action going on at the time of speaking.
e.g.: (i) The boys are playing cricket.
(ii) It is raining heavily.
(iii) She is sleeping in the room.
* This tense is used for a temporary action which may not be actually happening at the time of speaking.
e.g.: (i) He is reading the Bible.
(ii) She is learning French.
(iii) They are working on this project.
* This tense is used for an action that is planned or arranged to take place in the near future.
e.g.: (i) Her brother is arriving tomorrow.
(ii) We are going to the cinema tonight.
(iii) They are leaving for Mumbai next Friday.
* This tense is used to express intention of likelihood and it indicates future time.
e.g.: (i) He is going to meet her.
(ii) Dhoni is playing to score runs.
(iii) You are going to fail.
III. Present Perfect Tense
* Present Perfect Tense is used to indicate completed activities in the immediate past.
e.g.: (i) He has just arrived.
(ii) They have left for Delhi.
(iii) The show has just begun.
* This tense is used to denote an action beginning at sometime in the past and continuing up to the present moment (often with since for phrases).
e.g.: (i) I have worked here for five years.
(ii) She has known him for a long time.
(iii) We have lived here since 1998.
* This tense is used to express just actions whose time is not given and not definite.
e.g.: (i) Have you been to Agra?
(ii) She has read Geetangali.
(iii) I have written five books.
IV. Present Perfect Continuous Tense
* Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express an action which began at sometime in the past and is still continuing.
e.g.: (i) She has been sleeping for four hours.
(ii) They have been living here for ten years.
(iii) We have been working on this project since May last.
* This tense is also some times used for an action already finished. In such cases the continuity of the activity is emphasised as an explanation of something.
e.g.: (i) She has been waiting for you.
(ii) He has been playing.
(iii) They have been fighting.
V. Simple Past Tense
* Simple Past Tense is used to indicate an action completed in the past.
e.g.: (i) I met her a week ago.
(ii) We left school last year.
(iii) He saw you yesterday.
* This tense is used to indicate a situation related to past.
e.g.: (i) She was a good teacher.
(ii) We were very poor.
(iii) I was very happy.
* This tense is also used to express past habits.
e.g.: (i) He always carried a stick.
(ii) She never came late.
(iii) I studied two hours everyday.
VI. Past Continuous Tense
* Past Continuous Tense is used to denote an action going on at sometime in the past.
e.g.: (i) She was playing chess.
(ii) We were talking loudly.
(iii) It was getting dark.
* This tense is used to denote actions going on at the same time in the past.
e.g.: (i) While you were sleeping, she was reading.
(ii) While he was laughing, Sonu was weeping.
* This tense is also used for persistent habits in the past.
e.g.: (i) She was always complaining.
(ii) He was always chewing tobacco.
VII. Past Perfect Tense
* Past Perfect Tense is used to describe an action completed before a certain moment in the past.
e.g.: (i) She had written a poem even before she was eight years old.
(ii) I had seen him last five years before.
* If two actions happened in the past the earlier one is denoted by past perfect while the later one is denoted by simple past.
e.g.: (i) The train had left before I reached the station.
(ii) She took dinner after they had gone.
(iii) We had slept before he came.
VIII. Past Perfect Continuous Tense
* Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express an action that had begun before as certain point in the past and continued up to that time.
e.g.: (i) At that time she had been living there for two years.
(ii) We had been playing foot ball since 2000.
IX. Simple Future Tense
* Simple Future Tense is used to express an action that is still to take place.
e.g.: (i) He will come here tomorrow.
(ii) We shall meet her on Monday.
(iii) You will do it.
* This tense is also used to express intention will, threat and determination.
e.g.: (i) I will never tell a lie.
(ii) He shall not come here again.
(iii) We will help her.
X. Future Continuous Tense
* This tense is used to talk about actions which will be in progress at a time in the future.
e.g.: (i) She will be sleeping in the room.
(ii) They will be watching the match on TV.
(iii) I shall be reading a novel.
* This tense is also used to express future events that are planned.
e.g.: (i) She will be coming here for your marriage.
(ii) I shall be staying here till Monday.
XI. Future Perfect Tense
* Future Perfect Tense is used to indicate the completion of an action by a certain future time.
e.g.: (i) We shall have reached there by evening.
(ii) She will have written the letter by then.
* This tense is used when there are two actions and it is necessary to emphasise that the preceding action will be completely finished before the next actions starts.
e.g.: (i) She will have left before you go to see her.
(ii) I shall have come before she sleeps.
XII. Future Perfect Continuous Tense
* 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.: (i) We shall have been living here for ten years by next August.
(ii) She will have been reading for three hours.
EXERCISE - I
Directions: In the following questions, find out the part which has an error. If there is no error, your answer is (d).
1. (a) He came to the meeting/ (b) much later/ (c) than I expect/ (d) No error
2. (a) I could not recall/ (b) what he has told me/ (c) about her concern with Mahesh/ (d) No error
3. (a) She/ (b) did not write/ (c) till letter till now/ (d) No error
4. (a) Many observations indicate/ (b) that the number of the drug addicts/ (c) is grew day by day/ (d) No error
5. (a) I knew our college library was run chaotically/ (b) but only recently did I discover/ (c) how bad the situation is/ (d) No error
6. (a) He asked/ (b) why he does not/ (c) join the picnic party/ (d) No error
7. (a) My wife is painting/ (b) the furniture/ (c) whenever she has time/ (d) No error
8. (a) The police break open/ (b) the trunk/ (c) and found the looted Jewellery/ (d) No error
9. (a) The secret of his good health lies in the fact/ (b) that he is getting up before sunrise/ (c) and has a two mile walk every morning/ (d) No error
10. (a) Looking into the situation/ (b) that prevailed a few years ago/ (c) he was taken that decision/ (d) No error
11. (a) Before that alarm/ (b) had stopped ringing/ (c) Veera had pulled up the shade/ (d) No error
12. (a) When he was a student/ (b) he studies at least/ (c) till 10 o' clock at night/ (d) No error
13. (a) I have been working/ (b) for his organisation/ (c) for the last ten years/ (d) No error
14. (a) The teacher said to us/ (b) that we should stay at home/ (c) if it rains/ (d) No error
15. (a) He was being/ (b) laugh at/ (c) by Raman's friend/ (d) No error
EXERCISE - II
Directions: In the following questions, improve the part printed in bold, if needed.
1. We demonstrated to them how we were prepared the artistic patterns.
(a) are prepared (b) have prepared (c) had prepared (d) No improvement
Ans: c (had prepared)
2. They wanted to know where was his house.
(a) where is his house (b) Where his house was
(c) Where his house be (d) No improvement
Ans: b (Where his house was)
3. The building will redecorate during the summer season.
(a) will be redecorated (b) would be redecorated
(c) will be redecorate (d) No improvement
Ans: a (will be redecorated)
4. I had liked her since the first time I had seen her.
(a) I have seen (b) I did see (c) I saw (d) No improvement
Ans: c (I saw)
5. What he intends to propose is not clear from his letter.
(a) Intending to propose (b) Intended to be proposed
(c) is intending to be proposed (d) No improvement
Ans: d (No improvement)