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Glossary :: Grammar

 

Verb Tenses

 

Verb tenses indicate the time at which an event occurred. It is actually the property of the verb form and in English there are 3 basic tenses: past, present, and future.

 

Each of these tense has a perfect form that provide the following indications: progressive form which is used for indicating an ongoing action, perfect form which is used for indicating a completed action, and a perfect progressive form which is used for indicating an ongoing action that will be completed at some definite time.

 

There are twelve verb tenses that indicate different time frames:

 

1. Past simple expresses an event that occurred in the past.  Most past simple verbs end with "ed". However, there are others that have irregular forms.

I went.

2. Past Perfect expresses an event that took place in the past before another past action. This tense is formed by using "had" with the past participle of the verb.

I had gone.

3. Past Progressive expresses a past event which was happening when another action took place. This tense is formed by using the verb 'be' as was/were with the verb form ending in -ing.

I was going.

4. Past Perfect Progressive expresses a past, ongoing action that was completed before some other past action. This tense is formed by using 'had been' and the present participle of the verb (the verb form ending in -ing).

I had been going.

5. Present Simple expresses an event that takes place in the present, at this very moment. It is used to describe an event when the exact time frame is unknown or not relevant.

Kate washes the dishes while John reads the newspaper.

6. Present Progressive expresses continuous action that is taking place at the same time the statement is written. It is formed by using the verb 'be' as am/is/are with the verb form ending in -ing.

I am watching the game.

7. Present Perfect Progressive expresses an action that began in the past, continues in the present, and may continue into the future. This tense is formed by using 'has/have been' and the present participle of the verb (verb form ending with -ing).

They have been running this training program for 2 years.

8. Present Perfect expresses an action that happened at an indefinite time in the past, or an action that began in the past and continues in the present. This tense is formed by using 'has/have' with the past participle of the verb.

The storm has lasted for five days.

9. Future Simple expresses an event that will occur in the future. It is formed by using 'will' with the simple form of the verb.

 I will get there.

10. Future Perfect Progressive expresses a future, ongoing action that will occur before some specified future time. It is formed by using 'will have been' and the present participle of the verb (the verb form ending in -ing).

I will have been visiting Sweden for 1 month by the end of this summer.

11. Future Perfect expresses an event that will occur in the future before some other action. This tense is formed by using 'will have' with the past participle of the verb.

The coach will have personally trained each player before the championship game.

12. Future Progressive expresses a continuous action that will take place in the future. It is formed by using 'will be' with the verb ending in -ing.

The team will be practicing every Monday afternoon.

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