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Tenses

Tenses

 

Verbs come in three tenses: past, present, and future. The past is used to describe things that have already happened e.g., earlier in the day, yesterday, last week, three years ago. The present tense is used to describe things that are happening right now, or things that are continuous. The future tense describes things that have yet to happen e.g., later, tomorrow, next week, next year, three years from now.

The following table illustrates the proper use of verb tenses:

 

Simple Present

Simple Past

Simple Future

I read nearly every day.

Last night, I read an entire novel.

I will read as much as I can this year.

Present Continuous

Past Continuous

Future Continuous

I am reading Shakespeare at the moment.

I was reading Edgar Allan Poe last night.

I will be reading Nathaniel Hawthorne soon.

Present Perfect

Past Perfect

Future Perfect

I have read so many books I can’t keep count.

I had read at least 100 books by the time I was twelve.

I will have read at least 500 books by the end of the year.

Present Perfect Continuous

Past Perfect Continuous

Future Perfect Continuous

I have been reading since I was four years old.

I had been reading for at least a year before my sister learned to read.

I will have been reading for at least two hours before dinner tonight.

 

The Present Tense                                                The Past Tense

Simple Present                                                                    Simple Past

Present Perfect                                                                    Past Perfect                                                                            

Present Continuous                                                             Past Continuous

Present Perfect Continuous                                                 Past Perfect Continuous

 

The Future Tense

     Simple Future

      Future Perfect

      Future Continuous  

       Future Perfect Continuous

The tense of a verb tells you when a person did something or when something existed or happened. The three main tenses are the present, the past, and the future.

 

Recap

  • Verbs come in three tenses: past, present, and future.
  • The past is used to describe things that have already happened. The present tense is used to describe things that are happening right now, or things that are continuous. The future tense describes things that have yet to happen.

 

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