Brace yourself for a detailed study guide for learning verb tenses of the English language.
Verb tenses let us know how an action is related to time flow. Learning verb tenses can significantly improve your grammar skills.
Verb tenses have three main types, present, past, and future. They are divided into four categories; simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect.
Verb tenses are a bit lengthy, as there are twelve English verb tenses, making it hard for the students to learn and use them correctly.
However, it is interesting because the English language has only two ways of forming a tense from the verb alone; the past and the present. For instance, “we wrote” and “we write.” When forming the other verb tenses, we need to add “have, be, or will” before the verb, known as helping or auxiliary verbs.
Past tense is used to describe things that happened in the past.
It is further divided into four categories:
Past Simple Tense
It describes the events, actions, or conditions that occurred in the past.
Subject + verb (2nd form) + object.
I took a shower before leaving for school.
I wrote a few poems for the school magazine.
I enjoyed my time travelling and vlogging over the summers.
Past Continuous Tense
It describes any action or event happening in the past, i.e., any occurring circumstance or continuing action which happened in the past.
They will have baked a cake for her birthday tomorrow..
She will have arrived in New York for their match.
I will have stopped feeling bad by then.
Future Perfect Continuous Tense:
It explains activities/events that are continuing or happening or done after an expected time instant.
Structural formula: Subject + shall/will + have been + verb (ing) + object (optional) + time instant.
She will have been waiting for this moment all her life.
You shall have been all settled to attend our wedding ceremony.
He will have been waiting for me at the cafe before I arrived
We will have been waiting for you to come back.
You can revise your tenses by checking out the table below:
It rained yesterday. Simple past verb
It rains every July. Simple present verb
It is going to rain tonight. It will rain tonight. Will / be going to + simple present
It was snowing. Was/were + verb + -ing
It is snowing. Am/is/are + verb + -ing
It will be snowing tomorrow. Will be + verb + -ing
It had already rained before I left. Had + past participle verb
I have driven in the rain many times. Have/has + past participle verb
It will have rained 4mm by the end of the day. Will have + past participle verb
It had been raining for two days before it stopped. Had been + verb + -ing + for/since
It has been raining all day long. Has/have + verb + -ing + for/since
It will have been raining for days before it stops. Will have been+ verb + -ing + for/since
Verb tenses limit confusion in communication by intentionally and deliberately directing our focus on defining the time when something occurred. Now that you are familiar with the basics of verb tenses, you can solve various online exercises and tests; to further strengthen your grip over the correct use of tenses.
Always make sure to use a consistent tense in your writing.
Alison sings and danced in the school play.
Alison sang and danced in the school play.
The first example contains both a present tense verb (sings) and a past tense verb (danced), making it hard to comprehend for readers. So always make sure that if both actions take place in the past, use the same past verb tense, and vice versa, in your sentence.
There is no need to fret if you are still unclear on the proper use of verb tenses. Our expert English teachers at MTS have got your back. Sign up today for a demo lesson to make learning English grammar fun and exciting.
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