Tenses – Kinds of Tenses
We have gone through Verb and a few of its other types in one of our previous chapters. Today, we will again learn verb but this time, it’s about the time of action of verbs. This is known as Tenses.
Tense of a verb indicates the time of an action or any event. As we know, there are three universal times – present, past and future. Tenses cover the actions done in those times. The Tense also refers to the continuation or completion of an action. However, everything is implied in the three time periods.
In this chapter, we will learn the basics of three different types of tenses with appropriate examples. In our subsequent chapter, we will go deep into them and learn things more elaborately. So, here we go.
Three types of Tenses
There are primarily three types of tenses of the verb. They are
There are subcategories of the three tenses which indicate specific and acute timing of the verb actions. Read on →
→ Future Continuous Tense
→ Future Perfect Tense
→ Future Perfect Continuous Tense
You can see that all the tenses have the same structure and similar subcategories. We will learn each of them in our subsequent chapters in details and with more examples.
I go to school - [Simple present tense]
The above sentence refers to an action (going to school) of the verb ‘GO’. It’s a complete action, which was done in the past and will be continued in the future too. (The sentence indicates the action is done on a regular basis). The time referred to here is present time and this will continue likewise. So, this is known as Simple present tense.
Syntax of the Simple Present Tense
Negative sentence » Subject + DO NOT + present for the main verb + …. [e.g. I/You DO NOT go...]
→ 3rd person (singular) - Subject + present form of the main verb suffixed with ‘s‘/’es‘ + ….. [e.g. He/she/it goes....]
Negative sentence » Subject + DOES NOT + present for the main verb + …. [e.g. He/She/It DOES NOT go... ]
→ 3rd person (plural) – Subject + present form of the main verb + ….. [e.g. They go....]
Negative sentence » Subject + DO NOT + present for the main verb + …. [e.g. They DO NOT go... ]
Note: For other 3rd persons in singular, follow what’s said in 2nd person ; for other 3rd persons in plural, follow what’s said in 3rd person (plural).
I went to school – [Simple Past Tense]
The above sentence refers to an action (going to school) started and finished in the past. The action is complete and there is no trace or sign of this action in the present or any other time period. This is called Simple Past Tense. We must use the past form of the verbs in simple past tense.
Syntax of Simple Past Tense
Negative sentence » Subject + DID NOT + present form of the main verb + ….. [e.g. She/It/you DID NOT go ....]
I shall go to school – [Simple Future Tense]
The above sentence refers to an action (going to school) which has not happened yet. It’s a matter of a possible future action. In the future, the action (going to school) will be complete. Such sentence are known as Simple Future Tense. We need to use an auxiliary verb such as WILL/SHALL before the main verb to make a sentence in the future tense.
Syntax of Simple Future Tense
Note3: To make this tense negative, add NOT to the auxiliary verbs SHALL or WILL followed by the present form of the verbs.
Note4: Even first persons (I/We) can have WILL as auxiliary verbs in the future tense. This is acceptable in modern English. However, WILL is usually used to 1st persons to show willingness or definiteness of the action. SHALL is used just to make a future tense of the verb for 1st persons.
So, we got what tense is. Have a look at more examples of all Simple Tenses.
- I never smoke. → Simple present tense – negative
- I love reading horrible stories. → Simple present tense
- She will attend the meeting on Monday next. → Simpler future tense
- Mr. John arrived home. → Simple past tense
- The earth moves round the sun. → Simple present tense
- It did not rain yesterday. → Simple past tense – negative
- He speaks in Spanish. → Simple present tense
- I watch detective movies only. → Simple present tense
- The boys did not win the match. → Simple past tense – negative
- I will come back in an hour. → Simple future tense
- We love our nation. → Simple present tense
- He will not come to school today. → Simple future tense – negative.
So, we are done with the basics on Tenses today. We learnt what Simple Present, Simple Past and Simple Future Tenses are along with their syntax and with a few examples. In our next chapter, we will know Simple Present Tense in a more elaborate way. For now, read the chapter again and use the tenses as given. Let me know if you are stuck anywhere or if I miss out anything here.
Meet you all in our next chapter. Until then, happy learning. By the way, if you’re looking for a better education, check this superb education chance. The St Josephs University online program offers aspiring teachers an opportunity to advance their career.