Grammar :

Tense




The tense of a verb indicates the
time of an action or event.

The word “tense” comes from Latin word
tempus which means time.

Read the following sentences.

1.I write the letter now.

2.I wrote the letter yesterday.

3.I shall write the letter tomorrow.

The first sentence says that I write the letter at this moment.
That means that the time of the action of writing the letter is now.
This sentence is in present tense.
The tense which refers to the present time is said to be in
present tense.


The second sentence says that I wrote the letter yesterday.
That means that the time of the action of writing the letter is yesterday.
This sentence is in past tense.
The tense which refers to the past time is said to be in
past tense.


The third sentence says that I shall write the letter tomorrow.
That means that the time of the action of writing the letter is tomorrow.
This sentence is in future tense.
The tense which refers to the future time is said to be in
future tense.


There are four forms of tenses in each one of the three tenses.

The four forms of present tense are:

1. Simple Present tense. (We write a letter now)
2. Present continuous tense. (We are writing a letter)
3. Present perfect tense. (We have written a letter)
4. Present perfect continuous tense. (We have been writing a letter)

The four forms of past tense are:

1. Simple past tense. (We wrote letter)
2. Past continuous tense.(We were writing a letter)
3. Past perfect tense. (We had written a letter)
4. Past perfect continuous tense. (We had been writing a letter)

The four forms of future tense are:

1. Simple future tense. (We will write a letter)
2. Future continuous tense. (We will be writing a letter)
3. Future perfect tense. (We will have written a letter)
4. Future perfect continuous tense. (We will have been writing a letter)

That means that there are twelve tenses in total.
They are:

1. Simple present tense.

2. Simple past tense.

3. Simple future tense.

4. Present continuous tense.

5. Past continuous tense.

6. Future continuous tense.

7. Present perfect tense.

8. Past perfect tense.

9. Future perfect tense.

10. Present continuous tense.

11. Past prefect continuous tense.

12. Future perfect continuous tense.


Using the verb “write” and the pronoun “we”, let us form all these twelve tenses.

The following sentences can be related one by one as per the order mentioned in the above-stated sentences.

1. We write a letter now.

2. We wrote a letter yesterday.

3. We will write a letter tomorrow.

4. We are writing a letter now.

5. We were writing a letter yesterday.

6. We will be writing a letter tomorrow.

7. We have written a letter now.

8. We had written a letter yesterday.

9. We will have written a letter tomorrow.

10. We have been writing a letter.

11. We had been writing a letter yesterday.

12. We will have been writing a letter tomorrow.



12 Tenses



Go to the section on 'Present Tense' to continue.



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