SEE English Grammar Tense

Tense

Look at the following sentences.

 cooked  was cooking past 

 had cooked

 had been cooking  

 cooks

 is cooking

She has cooked present food.

 has been cooking  will cook

 will be cooking  will have cooked future  will have been cooking

In the above examples, the twelve different forms of the verb “cook” show different time i.e. past, present and future. “cooked/ was cooking/had cooked/ had been cooking ” show the past time; “cooks/is cooking/has cooked/ has been cooking” show the present time whereas “will cook/ will be cooking/will have cooked/ will have been cooking ” show the future time.

So, tense denotes time. There are three types of tense and each has four different verb forms.

 TenseExamplesStructures
1.Simple presentShe cooks food.sub + v1/v5 + ……
2.Present continuousShe is cooking food.sub + is/am/are +V4 +…….   
3.Present perfectShe has cooked food.sub + has/have + v3 + ……
4.Present perfect continuousShe has been cooking food.sub + has been/have been + v4 + …
5.       Simple pastShe cooked food.sub + v2 + ……
6.      Past continuousShe was cooking food.sub + was/were +V4 +…….   
7.      Past perfectShe had cooked food.sub + had + v3 + ……
8.        Past perfect continuousShe had been cooking food.sub + had been + v4 + …
9.       Simple futureShe will cook food.sub + will +v1 + ……
10. Future continuousShe will be cooking food.sub + will be/shall be +V4 +…….   
11. Future                    perfect continuousShe will have cooked food.sub + shall have/will have + v3 + …
12. Future                    perfect ContinuousShe will have been cooking food.sub + shall /will have been + v4 + …

3.1     PRESENT TENSE

3.1a The Simple Present Tense  Look at these sentences.

Prerana studies in Jolly School.Boys wear pants.
Prerana doesn’t study in Jolly School.Boys do not wear frock.
Does Prerana study in Jolly School? basketball?                     When      do      boys      play

The present simple is the tense used to describe actions that are timeless. If the time of the action cannot be defined, then the present simple tense is used. The time and/or place is stated or understood. The structure of a simple present sentence is  ‘Sub +V1/V5 + Obj……..”. 

V1 is used with the plural subjects, I and You.

V5 is used with the singular subjects.

Simple Present Tense

The Simple Present Tense is used in the following situations. 

                       Habitual actions/repeated actions -afgL÷lgoldt sfo{ _

                         He often goes to temple.                              They never play cricket.

                         I always get up at 5 o’clock.                         He sometimes visits new places.

                         They do not drink wine.                               She takes a bath every day.

Mina brushes her teeth twice a day.

                       General/universal truths and proverbs

                         A cow eats grass.                                         It is cold in the winter.      

                         The sun rises in the east.                              The earth is round like an orange.

                       Fixed timetable or work -lglZrt ;dotflnsf cg’;f/sf] sfo{_

A butcher sells meat. month.The exam starts from the next
He is a doctor. He treats patients.        English proverb:The meeting starts sharp at 4pm.
Man is mortal.All that glitters is not gold.
Honesty is the best policy.Slow and steady wins the race.

Negative and Interrogative

‘Do/does’ is used to make a simple present statement negative or interrogative.

             I like cricket.                                               She loves small children.

            He does not like cricket.                              He does not love small children.

            Do you like cricket ?                                   Do they love small children?

Note: Use of ‘do’ forms: do for V1( with plural subjects, I and you)                                       does for V5 (with singular subjects)

Time adverbials that are generally used with the simple present tense are always, never, often, seldom, sometimes, everyday, once/ twice/ thrice a day/week/ month/year,  nowadays, rarely, usually, generally, frequently, daily, hardly, occasionally, etc. 

3.1b     The Present Continuous Tense Look at these sentences.

Pritija is writing a letter. Boys are playing basketball.
Pritija is not writing a letter. Boys are not playing basketball.
Is Pritija writing a letter? Where      are       boys       playing

basketball?

The above sentences are in the present continuous tense. The verb form used in this tense is ‘is/am/are + V4’. We use ‘not’ to make it negative and keep the auxiliary is, am, are before the subject to make interrogative. This tense is used to express the action that is going on at the time of speaking or temporary actions. It is also called Present Progressive Tense.

Present Continuous Tense

This tense is used to express the following:

Action that is going on at the time of speaking Ramesh is reading a story now.        

They are working in the field at present.

                         Look! He is coming here.                   

She is still sleeping in her room.

Don’t make a noise. The baby is sleeping.

Wait! I am coming.

Hurry up! The train is whistling.

This tense is used with now, still, at present, at this moment, nowadays, these days, Look!, Listen! Wait!, Keep quite!Hello! Hurry up! etc.

                       The fixed and decided future planning or arrangements

We are visiting Dakshinkali tomorrow morning. Everything has been ready.

Sudha is flying to Thailand next week. He has bought a ticket.

                       After ‘but today/ but now’ as:

She always walks slowly but today she is walking fast. I always watch news but now I am watching sports.

Present Continuous Tense

3.1c The Present Perfect Tense Look at these sentences. 
Prashant has written a letter.We have visited Janakpur.
Prashant has not written a letter.We have not visited Janakpur.
Has Prashant written a letter?Have we visited Janakpur?

The present perfect tense is used to describe an action that occurred in the past, but has a connection to the present. The auxiliary verb “have/has” is used with the present perfect tense. The verb form is ‘have/has+V3’. To make it negative, ‘not’ is inserted after ‘have/has’ and to make interrogative, has/have is placed before the subject. 

Present Perfect tense n] Pp6f o:tf] sfo{ jf 36gf b]vfpF5 h’g e”tsfndf x’G5 t/ o;sf] ;DaGw jt{dfg;Fu x’G5 .

The present prefect tense is used to express the followings. 

                       Recent past actions

                         Rita has just arrived from the office.               Sunil has already taken dinner.

                         Our students have recently joined college.       Rama has written five poems.

       Present incomplete actions We have not finished the task yet.

I have never climbed the Mt. Everest.

Have you ever seen a live tiger?

                       Past actions with present result/ effect

                         She has broken her leg.                       She cannot walk even today.

                         I have prepared the meal                    You can take it now.

since+ point of time for+ period of time

       Actions started in the past but are still going on I have known you since last year. 

He has not seen me for a year.

3.1d The Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Look at these sentences:

I have been writing a letter for three hours. They have been quarrelling since 8 o’clock

Has Sunoj been playing football for six hours?

What has she been doing here since last year?

The above sentences are in the present perfect continuous tense. The form of the verb used is ‘has/have been + V4’.  We use not to make it negative and keep the auxiliary has, have before the subject to make interrogative. 

 We use the present perfect continuous tense to express an action that has already been started in the past but it is still going on in the present time. It is used to show the prolonged action with for/since + time or all + period of time.

                      She has been walking in the rain for four hours.

                      The workers have been waiting for the manager all this morning.

                      They have been working in this factory since 2001.

 We use the present perfect tense to express the completed actions but the present perfect continuous tense expresses the actions without any reference of completion.  

                      She has been writing a novel. She has written five pages so far.

 They have been cleaning the house for two hours. They have already cleaned two rooms.

 I have been watching TV for five hours. I have watched three serials up to now.

In other words, we can say that the present perfect continuous tense is used when.

            the action started in the past.      the action continued at the time of speaking/writing.          or the action just finished at the time of speaking/writing. 

                       the statement answers “how long” an action has been happening.

                       the action has happened continuously without stopping. 

3.2     PAST TENSE

3.2a The Simple Past Tense Look at these sentences:

Suman met me last week. We ate lunch at school.
Suman did not meet me last week.We did not eat lunch at school.
Did Suman meet me last week? Where did we eat lunch?

The above sentences are in the simple past tense. The verb used in this tense is ‘V2’. We use did not to make its negative and keep the auxiliary did before the subject to make interrogative.. In the negative and interrogative sentences, V1 is used after ‘did’. But in cases where ‘be verb’ and ‘have” are used, we use the same instead of ‘did’

 The simple past tense is used to express the past actions. It is generally used with yesterday, ago, last, those days, in + past point of time, etc.

                         She came here yesterday.                   

They gave me some books two weeks ago.

                         Madan visited Pokhara in 1987.           

We came here last month.

 The simple past tense is used to express the sequence of two past actions when they occurred at the same time and the second action happened due to the result of the first one. 

When I pushed her, she fell down.

The dog barked when he hit it.

As soon as I saw the house, I decided to buy it. 

Some more points:

The simple past tense is used when

                      The action happened in the past 

                      The action/event is completed /finished before the time of speaking. 

                      The time or/and place is stated or understood. 

                      The length of the event/action is not important. 

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