What is Tense? The complete tense is given here in the Tense Chart.
PRESENT TENSE PAST TENSE FUTURE TENSE
To know Tense, we first need to know what verb is. (Tenses)
Verb, we know is defined as a doing word or action word.
Now, when an action is done, we also need to know the time of the action.
Tense is the form of a verb that talks about the time an action (verb) has taken placE
Tenses can be categorized into three main parts in a Present, Future & Past Tense Chart :
PRESENT, FUTURE & PAST TENSE CHART – Present Tense:
Things that actually happen when the words are spoken or written.
Eg. The gardener waters the plants.
He comes to my house in the evening.
TENSE CHART – Past Tense :
Things that actually happened before the words were spoken or written is past tense.
Eg. The gardener watered the plants.
He came to my house in the evening.
PRESENT, FUTURE & PAST TENSE CHART – Future Tense :
Things that will actually happen after the words are spoken or written.
Eg. The gardener will water the plants.
He will come to my house in the evening.
Present, Future & Past tense is further sub-categorized into four different parts in the Tense Chart :
- Simple / Indefinite
- Perfect Continuous
Now we shall discuss each of the present, future & past tense from the Tense Chart in details :
PRESENT TENSE from the TENSE CHART :
- The Simple Present Tense: This tense is used to express
- Action that is actually taking place NOW.
Eg. Here comes my brother.
How heavy it rains!
[ In none of the above cases we shall say,
Here is my brother coming.
(OR)How heavy it is raining! ]
This denotes an action which we are habituated to doing.
Eg. I brush my teeth in the morning.
Mr. Sharma goes for a brisk walk in the evening.
In both the above examples, we see brushing teeth and going for a brisk evening walk are habitual actions.
It is a truth that never changes regardless of time and space.
Suppose two and two are four.
The sum total of two and two is four is a fact that is always true and can never change.
Similarly, The Earth revolves around the sun.
A situation or a fact that will never change.
Eg. My house faces the East.
Now I can renovate my house a thousand times but I can never change its position.
Again, Kolkata stands on River Hooghly.
(OR) The Taj Mahal is in Agra.
In both the above instances we see the facts or situations are unchangeable.
An action that will take place in the future, but its futurity is already decided.
Eg. The school reopens after Summer Vacation on 16th June.
Here, though the date for the reopening of school is in the future, the decision has been taken when the words are spoken or written. Hence, the verb used is in the simple present tense.
N.B. This sentence would not have been incorrect if the verb is used in the future tense.
The school will reopen after Summer Vacation on 16th June.
- The Present Continuous Tense :
- This tense expresses an action going on at the time of speaking or writing.
Eg. The children are playing in the park.
The gardener is pruning the weeds.
This tense also marks an action that will happen in the future.
Eg. I am leaving for Patna the next week.
My sister is getting married the next year.
The Present Perfect Tense from the Tense Chart :
The Present Perfect Tense is used to express an action that has just completed.
Eg. The students have completed their assignment.
I have just drunk a glass of milkshake.
Present Perfect Tense also expresses a past action the result of which continues in the present.
Eg. I have known her for the past ten years.
In the example pronoun ‘I’ knows pronoun ‘her’ for ten years. That means ‘I‘ first came to know ‘her ten years back and after a span of ten years ‘I’ obviously still know her.
The Present Perfect Continuous Tense :
- An action that began in the past and is continuing up to the present time.
Eg. Stella has been cooking since morning.
Nitin and Suresh have been working on this project for the last three years.
N.B.We use the word Since to indicate a certain point of time (since morning, since Tuesday, since January, since 2017, since 6 o’clock,and so on).
And the word For to indicate a period of time (for two hours, for five days, for three months, for six years and so on).
PAST TENSE from the TENSE CHART :
The Simple Past Tense: This tense helps us to express,
- An action that one did or took place in the past time.
We usually associate Simple Past Tense with adverb phrases of time, like – yesterday, previous week, month, year, and such.
Eg. She came to my house yesterday.
- To express a habitual action in the past.
Eg. Rajput women burnt themselves alive when their enemies defeated them and captured their kingdom.
- An action actually going on at the time stated.
Eg. While mother cooked I laid the table.
Here we can see two actions taking place at the same time :
Mother cooked. I laid the table.
Now if you ask a question –When did you lay the table? I shall answer –I laid the table while mother cooked.
So which action is actually going on?
I laid the table.
And what is the time when the action took place?
Hence we see, the action of laying the table was going on at the time when mother was cooking.
N.B.While mother was cooking I was laying the table (is also correct).
The Past Continuous Tense: An action was still going on at the past time stated.
Eg. She called on me. I was painting.
The first action – She called on me took place during the progress of the second action “I was painting”.
Hence, the sentence will be like,
When she called on me, I was painting.
The Past Perfect Tense from the Tense Chart: We use this tense to denote an action which the subject completed at some point in the past before the commencement of another action.
Eg. The train had left before they reached the station.
The above example shows the train left first and then they reached the station.
N.B.We always use ‘Had’ with the 1st action.
The Past Perfect Continuous Tense: We use this tense to show an action that had continued for a certain time.
She had been jogging for an hour. He joined her.
This shows the action of jogging had continued for a certain time before he joined her.
FUTURE TENSE IN THE TENSE CHART :
The Simple Future Tense: This tense expresses an action that will take place or is about to take place.
Eg. We shall visit an orphanage tomorrow.
The Future Continuous Tense: We use this tense to express an action that will go on at some point in the future time.
Eg. You will be traveling by train the next Tuesday.
The Future Perfect: This tense refers to an action that a subject will complete at some point of time in the future.
Eg. You will have decorated the room before the guests arrive.
So, what do we see,
the subject ‘You’ will complete decorating the room before the guests arrive.
Hence, both the actions will take place in the future, but 1st action will get over before the 2nd action commences.
The Future Perfect Continuous Tense: This tense denotes an action whether finished or unfinished will continue for some point in time.
Eg. They will have been playing for two hours when you come here.