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Thursday, 23 October 2014

All Tense with example

Tense for English version

Talking about the present

These notes cover the following tenses in English grammar:
·                     Present simple
·                     Present continuous
·                     Present perfect simple
·                     Present perfect continuous

Present Simple

Form

The construction of this tense is shown in the table below. 

Present Simple

I
you
we
they
look
do not look (don't look) 
he
she
it
looks
does not look (doesn't look)

Meanings

In general terms, the Present Simple is used to describe permanent and repeated events or actions. So, facts, habits and routines are often expressed using this tense.
Fact: Lions live in Africa . 
Habit: My brother bites his nails.
Routine: I go to work at 8:00 every day.
With routines we often add adverbs of frequency like always, often, now and again, every week, every year and so forth.

Other meanings

We can find a common use of the Present Simple to talk about temporary, unfinished actions in sports commentaries where the speaker, in the heat of a game, will often say things like:
Agassi serves deep and Ferrero returns across court and moves quickly to the net. Agassi's backhand goes down the line...
In a similar vein, we often fall back on this tense to create a sense of immediacy when we are describing past actions or telling jokes and anecdotes - this is usually only found in informal speech:
Anyway, this guy comes up to me last Saturday and says "I know you from somewhere, don't I?" and I reply "I don't think so" and he looks surprised. 
Note also that we can use will to refer to regularly repeated actions
Every evening my father will finish his dinner and then go off to the lounge where he'll sit in front of the TV for hours watching anything that comes on.

Present Continuous

Form

This tense is made by using the present tense forms of the verb be, which needs to change according to the subject of the sentence, and the present participle (verb + ing). This tense is sometimes called the Present Progressive by some grammars and course books.

Present Continuous

I 
am ('m)
am not ('m not)
looking
you
we
they
are ('re)
are not (aren't)
he
she
it
is ('s)
is not (isn't)

Meanings

1.             We use this tense mainly to refer to temporary events and actions which have begun but are not yet completed. 
He's washing the dishes at the moment. 
I'm doing my homework.
2.             We can also refer to intermittent actions that happen occasionally. 
She's having lunch at work this week. 
I'm catching the late train tonight.
3.             We can use the Present Continuous with a small number of verbs which describe changes and developments (for example grow, expand, increase, become, decline) to describe on-going events such as in a sentence like this: 
The world temperature is increasing. His standard of living is declining.
4.             Although we normally prefer the Present Simple tense to refer to habits and routines, there are times when we can use the Present Continuous especially if we want to show irritation with a repeated action. This is nearly always found with particular time expressions such as, constantly, forever, always and continually. 
He's always turning up late! 
You're forever complaining about something!
5.             There are many occasions when native speakers resort to using the Present Continuous tense to show the temporariness of a feeling.
He's feeling unwell. 
You're just being silly! 
Are you meaning to stay until after midnight? 
She's thinking what to do.

Present Perfect Simple

Form

We form the Present Perfect Simple with has or have (again depending on the subject of the sentence) and the past participle of the main verb (e.g. walked, gone, lived, known). Most past participles end in -ed, but there are some irregular verbs, two of which are included in the examples above. 

Present Perfect Simple

I
you
we
they
have ('ve)
have not (haven't)
looked
he
she
it
has ('s)
has not (hasn't)

Meanings

We use this tense when we want to refer to an action or event that began in the past and has duration up to and including the present time. In these cases we often indicate how long the action has lasted by using for or since with a time expression. We use for with a length of time, whereas we use since with a point of time. For example:
·                     We've lived in London for seventeen years.
·                     I've eaten in that restaurant since I arrived here.
In both instances the action began at a time in the past and is still true at the time of speaking. However, we need to compare these uses of the Present Perfect Simple with the Present Perfect Continuous which we will look at next. 

Present Perfect Continuous

Form

As with any continuous tense we need the verb be and the present participle. Only this time, because we are dealing with a Perfect tense we also need the verb have somewhere in the equation. So, the order of these elements is: has/have + been + present participle.

Present Perfect Continuous

I
You
we
they
have been ('ve been)
have not been (haven't been)
looking
he
she
it
has been ('s been)
has not been (hasn't been)

Meanings

When we are referring to the present time, the Present Perfect Continuous is used to talk about actions that started in the past and are continuing up to the time of speaking and often need a time phrase with either for or since.
·                     We've been seeing each other for a few months now.
·                     My mother's been going to yoga since she was 25.
We tend to prefer the Present Perfect Continuous in contrast to the Present Perfect if the action is not short-term or if it is repeated frequently.
·                     We've been living in London for seventeen years.
·                     I've been eating in that restaurant since I arrived here.
In the first example I want to stress the length of my stay in London and the fact that I do not see it as a short-term activity; it is, therefore, likely to continue for some time into the future. In the second example I am trying to emphasise the repetition of the activity.

 

Talking about the past

These notes cover the following tenses in English grammar:
·                     Past simple
·                     Present Perfect Tenses
·                     Past Continuous
·                     Past Perfect Simple

Past Simple

Form
The regular form is verb +ed although of course there are many irregular verbs in English; for example, think/thought; come/came; drive/drove; spin/spun; write/wrote.
We need to introduce the auxiliary verb did into Past Simple negative sentences and questions, so he arrived becomes he did not arrive and did he arrive? 

Past Simple

I
you
we
they
he
she
it
did not (didn't)
looked
look
There is one exception to this - the verb be. The following chart shows the positive and negative forms of this verb in the past. Unlike all other Past Simple verbs, questions are made simply by inverting the subject and the was/were, e.g. she was late becomes was she late?

Past Simple of be

I
he
she
it
was
was not (wasn't)
you
we
they
were
were not (weren't)
Meanings
The Past Simple is one of the tenses that we use to talk about events, states or actions that have been completed at some point in the past. To emphasise this completion at a time before the present we often add expressions such as in 1980, in the last century, many years ago, yesterday, when I was younger, but these expressions are not of course obligatory.
The Past Simple is also preferred when we want to give more precise detail concerning an event. This is something that we often hear in news broadcasts where the speaker begins by using the Present Perfect to indicate that the event happened very recently and then switch to the Past Simple to give a more detailed account of the event. For example:
The north coast of France has been swept by violent storms. Trees were uprooted, houses were damaged and cars were blown off the roads. There was, however, no loss of life.
This demonstrates quite clearly the main use of the Past Simple as a tense of narration which is used to move a story forward and to pinpoint its main events and action. The other past tenses are normally reserved for setting the scene or giving background information against which the Past Simple highlights the more important elements of the narrative. Here's an example which should illustrate the point:
I'd been out shopping all day and it had just started snowing quite heavily when I decided to head back home. By the time I'd got to the car it was snowing even faster. I got in and set off along the High Street. I was driving really carefully, but suddenly some idiot pulled out in front of me. I braked hard. But there was no way I could've missed him. I ran straight into the side of his car. The guy jumped out and started shouting at me.
The Past Perfect tenses and Past Continuous are used merely as a backdrop to the more exciting action which is in the Past Simple. However, you need to note that this tense is not only used for single, momentary actions like those in the story above. It is also used to describe events that occurred over longer periods of time and actions which were repeated over an extended period, but are now ended. So,
·                     During the 1930s he made several attempts to climb Everest. (repeated)
·                     Our family lived in this house for over 30 years. (extended period)
·                     That's the boy that hit me! (single action, but compare with...)
·                     The old man hit the horse until it collapsed (clearly repeated action)
As we move on to the next past tense, you will need to keep in mind the fact that the Past Simple refers only to actions, states and events that were wholly completed at some time in the past. This is important as we will be examining the differences between this tense and the Present Perfect tenses in the next section.

Present Perfect Tenses

We have already met the Present Perfect Simple and Present Perfect Continuous during our discussion of the tenses that we can use to talk about the present. We noted that these tenses are used to refer to actions which began in the past and are still true now and that time expressions with for and since often accompany them.
·                     I have lived here for 25 years.
·                     I have been working in this factory since I was a boy.
Meanings
Let's begin with the Present Perfect Simple. When referring to the past, we use this tense to talk about completed events, actions and states in the past which occurred during a time period which is not yet finished. Often we use time expressions to indicate the time period we are interested in has not yet finished. This sounds rather complicated so let's look at a couple of examples.
·                     I've had four cups of coffee today.
·                     Anne's been off work three times this year already.
·                     I've read two books this week.
In each example the implication is that today, this year and this week have not yet finished and that there is still time for these events to happen again. Sometimes there is no time expression, but it is implied: 
·                     I've never been to Australia. (the listener will understand that the speaker's life is the implied time period)
·                     Note the difference between these two sentences.
·                     I have never met my uncle (Present Perfect)
·                     I never met my uncle (Past Simple)
Both sentences indicate that a meeting between my uncle and myself has not happened at any time in the past. However, because the Present Perfect refers to an unfinished time period, most native speakers of English would say that there is still a possibility for me to meet my uncle. In contrast to this, the second sentence indicates that, for example, a meeting is now out of the question because my uncle died before I had a chance to meet him.
You will find grammar books and English teaching course books that give short lists of words and expressions that are used with one tense or the other, but these should really only be treated as rule-of-thumb approximations since you may find that these rules are often broken by native speakers of English.
Both the Present Perfect Simple and Present Perfect Continuous are used to refer to completed events, but there are often subtle differences that we need to be aware of:
·                     I've painted the lounge.
·                     I've been painting the lounge.
We understand that the actions in both of the sentences have stopped, but in the first example we know that the painting itself has finished, whereas in the second, the lounge may not yet be ready. So a major difference here is that the continuous form may be used to show that an action has recently stopped but may not yet be completed. Also, the action usually took place over an extended period of time.
Both tenses can also be used to denote actions which happened repeatedly, but we would have a preference for the continuous form in this case, e.g.
·                     I've tried to get in touch with you.
·                     I've been trying to get in touch with you.
The use of the second sentence would seem to indicate that the speaker has tried on many separate occasions to get in touch, while the first may or may not show this.

Past Continuous

Form
Perhaps unsurprisingly the form of the Past Continuous closely resembles the Present Continuous except that the verb be (am, is, are depending on the subject) is used in its past tense form. So, in place of am and is we use was and instead of are we use were. The main verb is still the present participle -ing form. The full tense looks like this: 

Past Continuous (Progressive)

I
he
she
it
was
was not (wasn't)
looking
you
we
they
were
were not (weren't)
Meanings
The Past Continuous is used to describe an action that was happening before a particular point in the past and was still in progress at that point. The action may or may not have continued after that point. 
·                     He was still talking at 4:00. (He very probably continued talking past that time).
·                     I was walking down the street when I saw an old friend from school. (It is not clear at this point whether I stopped to talk to my friend or whether I carried on without stopping).
The second sentence is an example of this tense's most common use. As we saw above in the discussion on the Past Simple, the Past Continuous is often used to set the scene or background to a narrative and the Past Simple action then interrupts this situation. We can also use this tense with time expressions such as the whole..., every day, all day, every minute of... to describe events that extend over long periods of time. 
·                     We were walking the whole day yesterday.

used to / would

Form
The forms for both of these auxiliaries are used to talk about the past. They are quite straightforward since neither of them changes for the subject and both are followed by the simple verb form, as you can see in the chart. 

used to/would

I
you
he
she
it
we
they
used to
did not use to (didn't use to)
would
look
Meanings
Both of these can be used as alternatives to the usual past tense to describe habits and to denote actions which took place over a period of time (not usually given in the same sentence) and which have since ceased to happen. 
·                     I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day.
·                     We would jump into the car and head for the sea.
As you can see from the examples, both indicate repeated action over an extended period and also distance from the time of speaking. It would be odd to continue using these forms throughout the rest of the narrative so speakers will often switch back and forth between used to, would and the Past Simple.
While both used to and would can be used to describe repeated actions in the past, onlyused to can be used for past states which occurred over a long stretch of time. For example, try replacing used to in the following sentences and see how you feel about the results.
·                     I used to be lonely when I first moved here.
·                     The whole family used to belong to the local tennis club.
·                     I used to know the roads around here really well.
You should have rejected the sentences with would as not being acceptable English. However, look at the next set of sentences which contain stative verbs and decide how you feel. 
·                     He wouldn't realise what had happened until someone pointed it out to him.
·                     I would often feel guilty about not taking the dog for a walk.
·                     She would be angry whenever I didn't finish my homework.
In these examples the states did not occur over a long period of time, but were rather temporary, single actions repeated at various times in the past. In each case used to can, of course, be substituted. 
was going to / were going to
Form
This tense is formed by using was or were (depending on the subject) plus going tofollowed by the simple verb. 

was/were going to

I
he
she
it
was going to
was not (wasn't) going to
look
you
we
they
were going to
were not (weren't) going to
Meanings
We use this tense to describe a past intention that never actually occurred. We often find this form when someone is trying to give an excuse for not having done something that was expected of them or when someone feels that they have let another person down. The clause containing was/were going to is frequently followed immediately by but. 
·                     We were going to come last week, but the weather was so awful.
·                     She was going to bring her new boyfriend along (but... is understood)
·                     My parents were going to go on holiday this year, but they didn't have enough money.

Past Perfect Simple

Form
The Past Perfect Simple is made by adding the past participle (usually the verb form ending in -ed, but there are irregular verbs) to had, which does not change according its subject.

Past Perfect Simple

I
you
he
she
it
we
they
had
had not (hadn't)
looked
Meanings
The Past Perfect can only be used to refer to something that happened and finishedbefore another point in the past. You will never see this tense alongside any tense that refers to the present time. More often than not, this tense will be used in a clause that is connected to another clause containing the Past Simple - the words that connect these clauses are called conjunctions; some examples are: because, that, when, as soon as, so, after, before and so forth.

Talking about the future

Expressing the future time in English is particularly fraught with problems not only because there are so many different forms to choose from, but also because the distinction between them is not always clear. 

Will

Form
There should be no problem in making this particular form of the future tense since willdoes not change with the subject and the main verb is the form that you would find in a dictionary and so does not change either. 

will

I
you
he
she
it
we
they
will ('ll)
will not (won't)
look 
Meanings 
This is the form that most people immediately associate with the future tense, but it is in fact restricted in its use. It has two main functions.
·                     the first is to talk about unplanned or spontaneous future events;
·                     the second is for predictions that are not based on current evidence.
Some examples should help to clarify the different meanings: 
(The telephone rings) I'll get it.
I'll make us a cup of coffee. 
In these two cases the speaker is deciding what to do on the spur of the moment without prior consideration. You may have noticed that they act as offers. This is also true of promises or threats like: 
·                     I'll give you the money back next week.
·                     I'll kill you!
·                     For predictions, we may hear or read sentences like:
·                     I think it'll rain tomorrow.
·                     There's no way that we will lose the game.
·                     You will meet a tall, dark, handsome stranger.

Going to

Form
This is an unusual compound form since it is made up of the Present Continuous tense of the verb go with to + the main verb, so it is easy to confuse this with a normal Present Continuous. 

am/is/are going to

I
am ('m) going to 
am not ('m not) going to
look
you
we
they
are ('re) going to
are not (aren't) going to
he
she
it
is ('s) going to
is not (isn't) going to
Meanings
There are two main functions of this tense; the first is to refer to premeditated intentions. Examples of this are: 
·                     I'm going to take a few days off.
·                     We're going to visit my parents at the weekend.
The meaning that the speakers want to get across here is that I/we hope that these events will take place, but they are always subject to change if needs be or if some unforeseen obstacle arises. There is a sense of an arrangement, but it has a rather indefinite feel to it.
The second use of this form is for talking about predictions based on present or past evidence. You may remember we said that will is used for referring to predictions that are not reliant on current evidence - going to, on the other hand, is used for those predictions where we can rely on present evidence or past experience. For example: 
·                     Look at those clouds - it's going to rain.
·                     Have you heard that Jenny's going to have a baby?
·                     Getting up at 4:00 in the morning is going to be a problem.
In the first sentence there is clear, visible evidence that my prediction is likely to come true. It would be, at best, unusual to use any other of the future forms in this situation and, at worst, incorrect. The prediction in the second example is based on information that I have heard directly from Jenny herself or from someone who already had the information. The final sense seems to be based on my past experience of getting up early in the morning.

Present Continuous

Form
We have already met the Present Continuous when talking about present, temporary events and actions, so, it is perhaps rather surprising to find that it can also be used to refer to events that have not even started yet. In fact, this is a very important use of this tense. 
Meanings
While the going to future form is often used to discuss intentions (possibly prearranged), the Present Continuous is used more for referring to solid arrangements and plans. For example, we are more likely to prefer this form when we have made a booking at a restaurant or theatre or have bought tickets for a train/plane journey. This tense is often accompanied by a time adverbial such as next month, in July etc.
·                     Next holiday we're staying in a five-star hotel. (the reservation has been made)
·                     They're all taking the day off on the 7th.
·                     I'm spending Christmas in the Bahamas.

Present Simple

Form
Just as the use of the Present Continuous to refer to future time may have been surprising, the Present Simple may, at first sight at least, seem the most unlikely candidate for talking about future events. The form is as before: 
Meanings 
The foremost use of this tense form to indicate future time is almost certainly after time conjunctions such as after, before, when, if, until, as soon as and so on. A few examples should demonstrate this: 
·                     She'll get in touch as soon as she has the information.
·                     If I see Michael, I'll give him the message.
·                     When you finish the report, put it on my desk.
Perhaps not quite so obvious is its use in referring to programmes, timetables, itineraries and public events that we have no direct control over. 
·                     I'm spending Christmas in the Bahamas. The plane leaves on the 20th.
·                     When does the film start?
·                     Often precise times are given.

Future Continuous

Form
There are two more commonly used tenses with more complex forms that are used to refer to the future, the first consisting of will + be + the present participle and the second consisting of be going to + be + the present participle. The full forms are given in the following tables: 

Future Continuous (Progressive) with will


I
you
he
she
it
we
they
will ('ll) be
will not (won't) be
looking 

Future Continuous (Progressive) with be going to

I
am ('m) going to be
am not ('m not) going to be
looking
you
we
they
are ('re) going to be
are not (aren't) going to be
he
she
it
is ('s) going to be
is not (isn't) going to be






Meanings
There are two basic functions for these two forms and the difference in meaning between them is, for our purposes, negligible. Firstly, we use the Future Continuous to talk about predicted or planned events that start at some unspecified time in the future and are still occurring at a given time in the future. In this sense it is often used with time adverbials beginning this time next... or a precisely specified time. Since this sounds rather complicated it may be better to illustrate this with a diagram and a couple of examples. 
·                     This time next week I'll be lying on a beach in Hawaii.
Another example of this is: 
·                     We'll be watching the TV at 9:00. (It is not known when we will start, but at 9:00 we will be in front of the TV and we will probably continue to watch after 9:00.)
In their second sense, we can avoid any hint of intention, planning, prediction, willingness or unwillingness by using these two tenses. The impression is that this is how the future will unfold in spite of everything else, so it can be used to show that we are not being put out or putting others out or to check on someone's plans before asking a potentially embarrassing favour. For instance: 
·                     Would you like a lift? - I'm going to be heading in that direction anyway.
·                     Will you be dropping by later? (e.g. As a prelude to asking the listener to bring something from the supermarket on the way.)

Future Perfect Simple

Form
The following two tenses are not used as often as the others that we have looked at, but they still need to be explained as they are likely to arise in the teaching classroom if only at the more advanced levels. They are both complex verb forms; the Future Perfect Simple is made with will + have + the past participle. 

Future Perfect Simple

I
you
he
she
it
we
they
will ('ll ) have ('ll've)
won't have
won't've
looked
Meaning
We use this tense to look at events or actions from a point in the future after we expect the event or action to have already finished. It is often accompanied by a time phrase beginning with either by or before. Again, a diagram is perhaps the best way to demonstrate this tense. 
·                     I will have passed my driving test by the end of the year.

Future Perfect Continuous

Form 
The Future Perfect Continuous is formed with will + have + been + the present participle. 

Future Perfect Continuous

I
you 
he 
she 
it 
we 
they
will have been 
'll have been 
'll've been 
will not have been 
will not've been 
won't have been 
won't've been
looking 
Meaning
Rather like the Future Perfect Simple, this tense is used to view future events that have already happened from a more distant point in the future The main difference between the two being that by using the Future Perfect Continuous, we are emphasising the duration of the event. One example of this tense might be:
·                     My family will have been living abroad for 5 years this September.

Related page

What is Tense? Definition of Tense.

What is the type of tense?

What Is the Past Tense?

What Is the Present Tense?

What is the Future Tense?

Structure of All Tense

Simple Present Tense

Present Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Simple Past Tense

Past Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Simple Future Tense

Future Continuous Tense

Future Perfect Tense

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

All Tense with example

Table of English Tenses with example

TENSE CHART




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