Tenses in the English Language – Present and Past Tense

Is it confusing for you to deal with tenses in English? Do you fear discussing tenses in front of your friends? Now, you don’t need to worry because you can know about the English language’s sentence structure and its relation with tense. Often, the most confusing tenses are ‘perfect continuous tense’. However, with the services of our adept and proficient scholars, you will have no problem any longer.

While teaching online, we often receive many complaints from parents that their children have problems in knowing tenses. Therefore, we explained in easy words the ambiguity of tense. These are three English language tenses, and each is further categorized into four sub-categories.

You may also like to learn about – The Sentence structure in the English Language.

  • Present tense
  • Past tense
  • Future tense

Present tense

Have your students or your kids ever asked you what the present tense is? You could only answer them if you knew. So, we use the present tense for events that are happening now or exist currently. We also use it for universal truths that are never to be changed. In addition, the present tense has four categories.

  • Present indefinite tense
  • Present continuous tense
  • Present perfect tense
  • Present perfect continuous tense

Present indefinite tense

Present indefinite tense is used for the current situation and universal truth. It is also used for general habits. If you are confused with verbs, let us clear it for you. The first form of the verb with ‘s’ or ‘es’ when used with singular subjects. For example.

  1. They play cricket.
  2. We go to school.
  3. Ali eats an apple.
  4. She polishes her shoes.

Present continuous tense

The tense is used for an ongoing situation that is in action. In this tense, we also use the first form but with the addition of ‘ing’ that is preceded by ‘is, am, and are’. For example,

  1. We are singing a song.
  2. I am walking on the road.
  3. She is doing her homework.

Present perfect tense

The present perfect tense indicates an action that has been done in some indefinite time in the past. In the third form, the verb is used in the present perfect tense, taking ‘has or have’ as an auxiliary verb. For example,

  1. They have grown seeds of pine trees.
  2. We have done the course in the English language.
  3. He has gone to school.
  4. I have not committed any mistakes.

Present perfect continues tense.

The most confusing tense in the English Language is any perfect continuous tense. The tense is used for an action that was started in some previous time but continues in the present time. We also use for and sense in perfect continuous tenses. ‘For’ is used for a period, and ‘since’ is used for a specific point in time. The structure of the present perfect continuous tense is thus:  sub + has/have+ been+ verb+ing + object +since/ for + time

  1. He has been writing a letter for two hours.
  2. They have been playing cricket since afternoon.
  3. I have been studying in this college for three years.

Past tense

Past tense is used to indicate an action that has happened before or used for a state that existed before. The verb used only in the past tense is the second form of the verb. There are four different types in the past tense.

  • Past indefinite tense
  • Past continuous tense
  • Past perfect tense
  • Past perfect continuous tense

Past indefinite tense

Past indefinite tense is used for actions or states that happened or existed previously, but the time is not specific. The sentence structure used in past indefinite tense is subject + second form of verb + object. For example,

  1. You played well.
  2. I wanted to call her.
  3. They washed their clothes.
  4. He taught me the rules for forming past tense.

Past continues tense

When action was in progress in past times, it is also called past progressive tense. It refers to a movement happening at some unknown time in the past. A sentence in past continuous tense takes a verb’s first form, preceded by the helping verb ‘was or were’. For example,

  1. He was planting the trees.
  2. I was going to school.
  3. They were walking on the road.

Past Perfect tense

The past perfect tense is used to indicate an action that happened before some specific time in the past. The helping verb ‘had’ is used in the past perfect tense followed by a past participle. For example,

  1. Shah had reached there before the arrival of his clients.
  2. No one had done their homework in the classroom.
  3. They had met my parents, but I could not meet them.

Past perfect continuous tense

Past perfect continuous tense is used to show an action that was started in some past time and continued till another specific time in the past. The structure of the sentence in past perfect continuous is: sub + had+ been+verb+ing + object+since/for + time. the examples are:

  1. They had been working in the factory since 2019.
  2. We had been playing cricket for the morning.
  3. I had been studying from dawn to dusk.

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