English Usage & Grammar Notes

March 31, 2006

Verb Tenses (1)

Filed under: Uncategorized — hkeol @ 1:13 am

In English, there are three basic tenses: present, past, and future. Each has a perfect form, indicating completed action; each has a progressive form, indicating ongoing action; and each has a perfect progressive form, indicating ongoing action that will be completed at some definite time. Here is a list of examples of these tenses and their definitions:

Simple Forms Progressive Forms Perfect Forms Perfect Progressive Forms
Present take/s am/is/are taking have/has taken have/has been taking
Past took was/were taking had taken had been taking
Future will/shall take will be taking will have taken will have been taking


Simple Forms

Present Tense

Present tense expresses an unchanging, repeated, or reoccurring action or situation that exists only now. It can also represent a widespread truth.

Example Meaning
The mountains are tall and white. Unchanging action
Every year, the school council elects new members. Recurring action
Pb is the chemical symbol for lead. Widespread truth

Past Tense

Past tense expresses an action or situation that was started and finished in the past. Most past tense verbs end in -ed. The irregular verbs have special past tense forms which must be memorized.

Example Form
W.W.II ended in 1945. Regular -ed past
Ernest Hemmingway wrote "The Old Man and the Sea." Irregular form

Future Tense

Future tense expresses an action or situation that will occur in the future. This tense is formed by using will/shall with the simple form of the verb.

The speaker of the House will finish her term in May of 1998.

The future tense can also be expressed by using am, is, or are with going to.

The surgeon is going to perform the first bypass in Minnesota.

We can also use the present tense form with an adverb or adverbial phrase to show future time.

The president speaks tomorrow. (Tomorrow is a future time adverb.)

HKEOL

Learning & Publication Center

Kowloon – Hong Kong

dwjo@netvigator.com

Advertisements

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for this very useful information.
    Robert Tang

    Comment by Robert — April 1, 2006 @ 12:42 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: