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Articles

Using Tenses In English

 

(A Book By Manik Joshi)

 

"Using Tenses In English:
Past, Present, Future"

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[Series Name: 'English Daily Use' | Book No: 15]

 

 

This Book Covers The Following Topics:

 

What are “Tenses”?
AGREEMENT between SUBJECT and VERB
TWENTY-FOUR Auxiliary Verbs
REGULAR AND IRREGULAR VERBS
PRESENT TENSE
Present Indefinite Tense
Present Continuous/Progressive Tense
Present Perfect Tense
Present Perfect Continuous/Progressive Tense
PAST TENSE
Past Indefinite Tense
Past Continuous/Progressive Tense
Past Perfect Tense
Past Perfect Continuous/Progressive Tense
FUTURE TENSE
Future Indefinite Tense
Future Continuous/Progressive Tense
Future Perfect Tense
Future Perfect Continuous/Progressive Tense
Useful Notes
Exercise: 1
Exercise: 2
Exercise: 3
Exercise: 4

Sample This:

 

What are Tenses?

 

Tenses could be defined as “any of the form of a verb that may be used to show the time of the action or an event or state expressed by the verb”.

 

THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF TENSES:

 

The Past Tense The form of a verb that usually expresses an action that happened in the past

[Action happened before present]

 

The Present Tense The form of a verb that usually expresses an action that happens at this time

[Action happens in present]

 

The Future Tense The form of a verb that usually expresses an action that will happen in future

[Action will happen after present]

 

 

EACH OF THESE THREE KINDS OF SENTENCES HAS FOUR TYPES OF FORMS:

Indefinite or Simple Form

Continuous or Progressive Form

Perfect Form

Perfect Continuous or Perfect Progressive Form

 

 

EACH OF THESE FOUR TYPES OF FORMS HAS FOUR KINDS OF STATEMENTS:

Affirmative Statement --

Used to Show ‘Agreement’

Negative Statement --

Used to Show ‘Disagreement’

Interrogative Statement --

Used to Ask ‘Question’

Interrogative-Negative Statement --

Used to Ask ‘Question’ and Show ‘Disagreement’

 

 

AGREEMENT BETWEEN SUBJECT AND VERB 

 

There must be agreement between subject and verb in any sentence.

Singular Subject should be used with Singular Verb.

Plural Subject should be used with Plural Verb.

 

Examples:

David plays. [Subject is Singular. Verb is Singular]

Boys play. [Subject is Plural. Verb is Plural]

 

Note: Be careful to differentiate between singular and plural verbs. In above sentences, many learners might think ‘plays’ as a plural verb and ‘play’ as a singular verb. But this is not actually the case. Formation of making plural verbs is just opposite of making plural nouns. Nouns are generally made plural by adding ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ in singular noun. On the other hand, if you add ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ in a verb it becomes singular.

 

Thus,

Noun + s/es = Plural

Verb + s/es = Singular

 

Following are some examples:

Noun – Singular – ball, bench, book, utensil

Noun – Plural – balls, benches, books, utensils

 

Verb – Plural – fly, run, sing, wander

Verb – Singular – flies, runs, sings, wanders

 

There are many words which are used as both noun and verb.

Read the following examples of ‘watch’ and note the difference between singular and plural nouns and verbs:

Watch – Singular Noun

Watch – Plural Verb

Watches – Plural Noun

Watches – Singular Verb

 

PRESENT INDEFINITE TENSE

 

Expresses

Permanent situation [in the past, present and future]

Example: Our family lives in Seattle.

 

General truth (fact or statement)

Example: London is the capital of England.

Example: Clean water is fundamental to public health.

Example: Many barrages have no utility and causes floods.

 

Habitual action [actions that occurs regularly]

Example: She listens to music every day.

 

‘Future meaning’ (timetable, planned event, etc.)

Example: My shop closes at 9pm.

Example: The train arrives at 7:30pm.

 

Traditions, rituals, customs

Example: Indians celebrate festival of light in the month of Oct-Nov.

 

Commands and Instructions [Imperative Sentences]

[Note: In imperatives, subject ‘you’ remains hidden]

Example: Condemn perpetrators of terrorism.

Example: Don’t stop me from getting the job done.

Example: Promote values of humanity and tolerance.

Example: Tell us about the exact nature of your work.

Example: Take every step to help him.

 

Used in if-clause of present and future real conditional sentences

Example: If I go there, I meet him.

Example: If things don't work out, we won't be panicked.

 

Headlines in news reporting [Use of simple present tense instead of simple past tense is common in news headlines]

Example: Flight skids on landing at airport.

Example: Residents recalls Jim Corbett on death anniversary.

Example: Thunder storm brings relief to residents.

 

 

(A). AFFIRMATIVE PATTERN

subject + first form of main verb + other words

Singular Verb is used with subject ‘He and She’ + All Singular Subjects.

Plural Verb is used with subject ‘I, We, You and They’ + All Plural Subjects.

Examples:

He/She talks. I/We/You/They talk.

We seek opportunity to chart out our own course.

Wild boars sometimes roam the streets of deserted villages.

Lean margin of victory or defeat gives an impression of a tough contest.

Nowadays, voters value development over other issues.

They want civic amenities and employment opportunities.

 

 

(B). NEGATIVE PATTERN

subject + auxiliary verb ‘do/does’ + not + first form of main verb + other words

Auxiliary Verb ‘Does’ is used with subject ‘He and She’ + All Singular Subjects.

Auxiliary Verb ‘Do’ is used with subject ‘I, We, You and They’ + All Plural Subjects.

Examples:

He/She does not talk. I/We/You/They do not talk.

Most buses do not cater to interior parts of the villages.

He does not know what to say.

 

Contraction – [‘Auxiliary Verb + Not’]

Short (Contracted) Form of ‘do not’ -- don’t

Short (Contracted) Form of ‘does not’ -- doesn’t

Examples:

He/She doesn’t talk. I/We/You/They don’t talk. [Contracted form of ‘Auxiliary Verb + Not’]

We don’t want anything by way of charity.

Right to free speech doesn’t include right to insult a person's dignity.

 

END OF THE SAMPLE

 

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[Series Name: 'English Daily Use' | Book No: 15]

 


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