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Rules For Tenses in english grammar

In English grammar, tense refers to the time when the action or event described by a verb takes place. There are three primary tenses in English:

Present tense – used to describe an action that is currently happening or a state that is still true. Example: “I am studying English.”

Past tense – used to describe an action or event that occurred in the past. Example: “I studied English yesterday.”

Future tense – used to describe an action or event that will happen in the future. Example: “I will study English tomorrow.”

Each of these tenses can be further divided into four aspects: simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous.

Simple tense – describes a straightforward action or state. Example: “I study English.”

Continuous tense – describes an ongoing action or state. Example: “I am studying English.”

Perfect tense – describes a completed action or state that has an impact on the present. Example: “I have studied English.”

Perfect continuous tense – describes a continuous action or state that started in the past and continues up until the present. Example: “I have been studying English.”

1.Simple Present Tense

The simple present tense is used to describe actions that are happening in the present or actions that happen regularly.

Examples:

1.She reads books every day. (regular action)
2.The train leaves at 6 pm. (scheduled action)
3.The sun rises in the east. (fact)

4.She walks to work every morning.
5.They study Spanish at the university.
6.The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
7.He likes to drink coffee in the morning.
8.The teacher teaches math to the students.

2.Present Continuous Tense

The present continuous tense is used to describe actions that are happening at the moment of speaking or actions that are in progress.

Examples:

1.He is watching a movie right now. (action in progress)
2.They are working on a new project this week. (temporary action)
3.I am waiting for my friend at the airport. (current action)

4.She is walking to work right now.
5.They are studying Spanish at the moment.
6.The sun is setting in the west.
7.He is drinking coffee in the morning.
8.The teacher is teaching math to the students right now.

3.Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is used to describe actions that have happened in the recent past, but the exact time is not specified.

Examples:

1.They have visited that museum before. (completed action)
2.She has learned how to cook Indian food. (experience in the past with present relevance)
3.He has lived in London for five years. (duration of time up to present)

4.I have eaten breakfast already this morning. (The action of eating breakfast happened at an unspecified time in the past, but has a connection to the present)
5.She has traveled to many countries. (The experience of traveling to different countries happened over a period of time leading up to the present)
6.They have been studying Spanish for two years. (The action of studying Spanish started in the past and is still ongoing in the present)
7.He has just finished reading the book. (The action of finishing reading the book happened recently, but at an unspecified time in the past with a connection to the present)

4.Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The present perfect continuous tense is a verb tense used to describe actions or events that started in the past and are still happening in the present or have just recently stopped. It is formed by using the present perfect tense of the verb “to be” followed by the present participle (-ing) form of the main verb.

Examples:

1.I have been studying for three hours. (The action of studying started in the past and is still ongoing in the present)
2.She has been working at the company for five years. (The action of working started in the past and is still ongoing in the present)
3.They have been playing tennis since this morning. (The action of playing tennis started in the past and is still ongoing in the present)
4.He has been painting the house all day. (The action of painting the house started in the past and has just recently stopped)
5.The children have been watching TV for hours. (The action of watching TV started in the past and is still ongoing in the present)

5.Simple Past Tense

The simple past tense is used to describe actions that happened in the past and are completed.

Examples:

1.She went to Paris last summer. (completed action)
2.They ate pizza for dinner yesterday. (completed action)
3.I played tennis with my brother when I was young. (completed action in the past)

4.She walked to work yesterday. (The action of walking took place at a specific time in the past)
5.They studied Spanish in high school. (The action of studying took place a number of times in the past)
6.The sun rose in the east this morning. (The action of rising took place at a specific time in the past)
7.He drank coffee this morning. (The action of drinking took place at a specific time in the past)
8.The teacher taught math yesterday. (The action of teaching took place at a specific time in the past)

6.Past Continuous Tense

The past continuous tense is used to describe actions that were happening in the past and were interrupted by another event.

Examples:

1.She was studying for her exams when her phone rang. (action interrupted)
2.They were having a picnic when it started raining. (action interrupted)
3.I was cooking dinner when the power went out. (action interrupted)

4.She was walking to work at 8 am yesterday. (The action of walking was in progress at a specific time in the past)
5.They were studying Spanish when I called them. (The action of studying was in progress for a specific duration in the past)
6.The sun was setting when we arrived at the beach. (The action of setting was in progress at a specific time in the past)
7.He was drinking coffee while he was reading the newspaper. (The action of drinking and reading were in progress at the same time in the past)
8.The teacher was teaching math when the fire alarm went off. (The action of teaching was in progress at a specific time in the past and was interrupted by the fire alarm)

7.Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense is used to describe actions that happened before another action in the past.

Examples:

1.He had already finished his homework when his friend called. (completed action before another past action)
2.They had seen that movie before they went to the cinema. (completed action before another past action)
3.She had written the email before she went to bed. (completed action before another past action)

4.I had eaten breakfast before I went to work. (The action of eating breakfast was completed in the past before the action of going to work)
5.She had traveled to many countries before she settled down. (The action of traveling was completed in the past before the action of settling down)
6.They had studied Spanish for two years before they moved to Spain. (The action of studying was completed in the past before the action of moving to Spain)
7.He had just finished reading the book before he went to bed. (The action of finishing reading the book was completed in the past before the action of going to bed)
8.The teacher had already taught math before the students arrived. (The action of teaching was completed in the past before the action of the students arriving)

8.Past Perfect Continuous Tense

The past perfect continuous tense is a verb tense used to describe an action or event that started in the past and continued up until another point in the past. It is formed by using the past perfect tense of the verb “to have” followed by the been and the present participle (-ing) form of the main verb.

Examples:

1.I had been studying for three hours when my friend called. (The action of studying started in the past and continued up until the moment when my friend called)
2.She had been working at the company for five years before she was promoted. (The action of working started in the past and continued up until the moment when she was promoted)
3.They had been playing tennis since the morning before it started raining. (The action of playing tennis started in the past and continued up until the moment when it started raining)
4.He had been painting the house all day before he realized he ran out of paint. (The action of painting started in the past and continued up until the moment when he realized he ran out of paint)
5.The children had been watching TV for hours before their parents came home. (The action of watching TV started in the past and continued up until the moment when their parents came home)

9.Simple Future Tense

The simple future tense is used to describe actions that will happen in the future.

Examples:

1.I will travel to Europe next summer. (planned future action)
2.They will buy a new car next month. (planned future action)
3.He will start a new job next week. (planned future action)

4.I will travel to Europe next summer. (The action of traveling will happen in the future)
5.She shall study for her exams tomorrow. (The action of studying will happen in the future)
6.They will attend the conference next month. (The action of attending will happen in the future)
7.He will call you tonight. (The action of calling will happen in the future)
8.The company will launch a new product next year. (The action of launching will happen in the future)

10.Future Continuous Tense

The future continuous tense is used to describe actions that will be happening at a specific time in the future.

Examples:

1.They will be celebrating their anniversary at a fancy restaurant at 8 pm tomorrow. (future action at a specific time)
2.She will be studying for her exams all night. (future action in progress)
3.He will be working on a new project at the office next Monday. (future action in progress)

4.I will be traveling to Europe this time next week. (The action of traveling will be in progress at a specific time in the future)
5.She will be studying for her exams all day tomorrow. (The action of studying will be in progress for a specific duration in the future)
6.They will be attending the conference at this time tomorrow. (The action of attending will be in progress at a specific time in the future)
7.He will be calling you at 8 pm tonight. (The action of calling will be in progress at a specific time in the future)
8.The company will be launching a new product next month. (The action of launching will be in progress at a specific time in the future)

11.Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is used to describe actions that will be completed by a specific time in the future.

Examples:

1.By the end of the year, they will have saved enough money for a down payment on a house. (completed action by a specific time)
2.I will have finished this book by tomorrow. (completed action by a specific time)
3,She will have graduated from college in three years. (completed action by a specific time)

4.I will have finished my homework by 8 pm tonight. (The action of finishing homework will be completed in the future before the time of 8 pm tonight)
5.She will have graduated from college by next year. (The action of graduating will be completed in the future before the time of next year)
6.They will have completed the project by the end of the month. (The action of completing the project will be completed in the future before the time of the end of the month)
7.He will have read the book before the movie comes out. (The action of reading the book will be completed in the future before the time when the movie comes out)
8.The company will have released a new version of the software by the end of the year. (The action of releasing the new version will be completed in the future before the time of the end of the year)

12.Future Perfect Continuous Tense

The future perfect continuous tense is a verb tense used to describe actions or events that will have been in progress for a specific duration of time in the future before another action or event. It is formed by using the modal auxiliary verb “will” or “shall” followed by the verb “have” in the present perfect tense, “been” and the present participle (-ing) form of the main verb.

Examples:

1.By the time I arrive at the party, my friends will have been waiting for me for two hours. (The action of waiting will have been in progress for two hours in the future before I arrive at the party)
2.By next year, she will have been studying French for five years. (The action of studying French will have been in progress for five years in the future before next year)
3.By the end of the week, they will have been working on the project for two months. (The action of working on the project will have been in progress for two months in the future before the end of the week)
4.By next week, he will have been training for the marathon for six months. (The action of training for the marathon will have been in progress for six months in the future before next week)
5.By the time the meeting starts, the executives will have been discussing the proposal for three hours. (The action of discussing the proposal will have been in progress for three hours in the future before the meeting starts)

tenses structure

  Tense Structure Example
1. Simple Present Tense Subject + Verb (base form) + Object Here is an example:

Subject: I
Verb (base form): eat
Object: breakfast

Affirmative: I eat breakfast.

2. Present Continuous Tense Subject + To be (am/is/are) + Verb (present participle) + Object Subject: She
To be: is
Verb (present participle): reading
Object: a bookAffirmative: She is reading a book.
3. Present Perfect Tense Subject + have/has + past participle + Object Subject: They
Have: have
Past participle: seen
Object: the movieAffirmative: They have seen the movie.
4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense Subject + have/has + been + verb (present participle) + object Subject: I
Have: have
Been: been
Verb (present participle): studying
Object: EnglishAffirmative: I have been studying English.
5. Simple Past Tense Subject + past form of verb + object Subject: She
Past form of verb: walked
Object: to the storeAffirmative: She walked to the store.
6. Past Continuous Tense Subject + was/were + verb (present participle) + object

 

Subject: They
Was/were: were
Verb (present participle): playing
Object: soccerAffirmative: They were playing soccer.
7. Past Perfect Tense Subject + had + past participle + object Subject: I
Had: had
Past participle: eaten
Object: breakfastAffirmative: I had eaten breakfast.
8. Past Perfect Continuous Tense Subject + had + been + verb (present participle) + object

 

Subject: She
Had: had
Been: been
Verb (present participle): studying
Object: EnglishAffirmative: She had been studying English.
9. Simple Future Tense Subject + will/shall + base form of verb + object

 

Subject: We
Will/shall: will
Base form of verb: visit
Object: New York CityAffirmative: We will visit New York City.
10. Future Continuous Tense Subject + will/shall + be + verb (present participle) + object

 

 

Subject: They
Will/shall: will
Verb (present participle): be playing
Object: soccerAffirmative: They will be playing soccer.
11. Future Perfect Tense Subject + will/shall + have + past participle + object

 

 

Subject: I
Will/shall: will
Past participle: finished
Object: my workAffirmative: I will have finished my work
12. Future Perfect Continuous Tense Subject + will/shall + have + been + verb (present participle) + object

 

 

Subject: She
Will/shall: will
Been: have been
Verb (present participle): studying
Object: EnglishAffirmative: She will have been studying English for 5 years.

unseen passage questions

 

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Home » tenses with examples || tenses table || tenses structure

tenses with examples || tenses table || tenses structure

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