The tense of a verb indicates the time of action.
I go to school daily.
Birds are flying.
She bought a table.
Ali will come tomorrow.
They have gone home.
You could have done it.
There are four tenses in English.
- Present tense: Children like sweets.
- Past tense: She found a purse.
- Future tense: They will leave today.
- Conditional: He would have succeeded if he had tried.
The tense has the following forms.
1. Present tense:
a) Simple present – He goes to school.
b) Present Continuous- He is going to school.
c) Present Perfect- He has gone to school.
d) Present perfect Continuous- He has been going to school.
2. Past tense:
a) Simple Past-He went to school.
b) Past Continuous- He was going to school.
c) Past Perfect- He had gone to school.
d) Past Perfect Continuous- He had been going to school.
3. Future tense:
a) Simple Future- He will go to school.
b) Future Continuous- He will be going to school.
c) Future Perfect- He will have gone to school.
4. Conditional tense:
a) Present Conditional – He would go to school.
b) Past Conditional- He would go to school if he weren’t unwell.
c) Perfect Conditional-He would have gone to school if he hadn’t been unwell.
SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE
Affirmative- I play.
Negative- I do not play.
Interrogative- Do I play?
Simple Present tense is used------
a) To express what is always true.
The moon moves round the earth.
Clouds bring rain.
Fish lives in water.
b) To express habitual action.
My mother works in an office.
My grandfather lives in a village.
Forests are full of wild animals.
Adverbs or adverb phrases like always, often, usually, sometimes, never, every month etc. are often used with this tense.
c) To express actual present.
Verbs of perception like see, hear, understand, know, believe, etc. are used in this manner. They are not used in the present continuous tense which is normally used to express real present.
Do you see those lights?
I understand the problem.
I know what you want.
d) To describe the action of a play, to give commentaries on sport events, important functions, funerals and also to describe experiments in a laboratory. It is also used in discussing characters in plays, novels etc.
As the curtain rises, the audience sees an empty stage in half light.
Ali receives the ball. Then he passes it to Hamid. Hamid shoots the ball into the goal.
e) To refer to plans in the future.
I leave tomorrow evening.
The examinations begin next week.
The parade starts tomorrow morning at seven.
f) To quote from a book, an author, rules etc.
Keats says, ‘A thing of beauty is joy for ever’.
‘Cowards die many time before their death,’ says Shakespeare.
The rule says the boxers shall not hit each other below the belt.
g) In subordinate clauses of condition and time.
He will pass if he works hard. (Condition)
We will talk about this when you come back. (Time)
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