(2021 മെയ് ലക്കം)
Uses of Tenses
Tense denotes a verb form which expresses a time relation.
Tense refers to different forms of the verb indicating the time of the action and its degree of completeness.
English divides time into past, present and future. The three tenses are the present tense, the past tense and the Past Tense and the Future Tense. Each of these three tenses has four forms, like a) Simple, b) Continuous, c) Perfect d) Perfect Continuous
Thus, there will be a total of twelve distinct tense forms.
They are :
The form of this tense is : base form of the verb and go/goes come / comes -s form.
- The Simple Present expresses habitual or repeated actions
- A bus passes this way at 7 am.
- He walks everyday five kilometres every evening
- He goes to office by bus.
- He watches English movies only
- They usually open the shops at 9 am.
Note : In this case the following time expressions are used : often, usually, always, generally, occasionally, seldom, never, everyday, every morning, hardly ever etc.
- Simple Present tells what actually happens at the time of speaking.
Eg: 1. Here comes, Baby Sheela
- He lectures effectively
- Certainly, he goes to market
Note : The time expressions used are : now at the moment, at present, at the present time, today, this evening etc.
- The Simple Present is used to express some general or universal truth.
- The sun rises in the east and sets in the west
- Water boils at 100o
- Fortune favours the brave.
- The earth revolves on its axis.
- Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another.
- Simple Present may be used instead of the Future Tense to describe an action in the immediate future.
- He is an leave tomorrow
- He leaves for the U.A.E. next week
- College reopens on Monday
- When does the college reopen ?
- Simple Present is used in exclamatory sentences that tell us what actually happens at the time of speaking
- See ; how fast the train runs !
- How fiercely the lion roars !
- There goes the bell !
- Here they come !
- The Simple Present is used, to describe a future action in adverbial clauses beginning with when, as, it as soon as, after once, before, till, until etc when the verb in the main clause is in the future tense.
- I shall show you the place, when you come here the next time.
- If you go directly to the market place, you can meet your manager.
- You will fail, if you do not try your best
- When he comes back, I will reveal the secret.
- In newspaper headlines to describe a past event.
The Simple Past
- We often call simple past tense simply Past Tense
- In the V1 ________ V2 ___________ V3 series ,
V2 is the simple past
- We use the Simple Past to narrate same event which is clearly set in past by such adverbs or phrases as ago, yesterday, on Monday last, last Monday, last week in 1947
Eg: 1. He met him his friend yesterday
- When did you see him last ?
- His father died on Monday last
- She left the place after the marriage of his sister
- Alexander came, saw, and conquered.
- The Simple Past can expresses habitual action in the past. It has the same meaning as would or used to
Eg: When he was a college student, he walked to college in the morning and returned by bus.
When he was a college student, he would walk to college in the morning and return by bus.
When he was a college student, he used to walk to college in the morning and return by bus.
The Simple Future Tense
- The Simple future tense is formed by will + bare infinitive /
shall + bare infinitive
will + write
shall + write
- Simple Future Tense is used to predict what the speaker knows will happen in the future
- He will come the next week
- They will join us after the vacation
- To express the speaker’s opinions assumptions and speculations about the future.
- The A.B.C alliances will win the election
- He will recover from his illness by next month
- Perhaps he will meet her
- They will help me in my work
- When there is intention or a feeling of certainty in the mind of the speaker, instead of will I shall going to form is preferred.
Note : Verbs as think, suppose, feel, recognize, know, understand, want, wish, remember,
going to form is not used.
eg: 1. You are going to lend me the money I asked for.
- He is going to start a new venture.
- He is going to play chess this evening.
- He will remember to pay your bill.
- You will know the results next week
- They will feel your impudence very much.
- You will understand my difficulties.
The form of the tense is
be + ing
|be = is||was||are||were||am|
is + going
are + going
am + going
- This tense denotes an action that is going on now, at the present time.
eg : 1. It is raining
- They are collecting mangoes
- The masons are building a wall
- Workers are reaping paddy
- The boys are flying kites at this moment.
- The present continuous tense is used to denote a future action with an adverb or adverbial phrase indicating the future.
eg: 1. I am going to the movies to night
- She is leaving for Goa tomorrow.
- He is returning from Dubai immediately.
With the adverb, always to denote a frequently repeated action, which annoys the speaker.
eg: 1. He is always criticizing the opposition leader.
- He is always murmuring in the class.
Note : There are certain verbs which are never used in the continuous tense. Some of them
Know, understand, want, need, remember, feel (touch), touch, love, see, hear, taste, hate, belong, intend, contain, seem, appear, owe, own, hold, include, mean, pardon, suppose, want, smell, forget, have (in the sense of possess) etc.
eg: I am seeing a river before me (incorrect)
- I see a river before me (correct)
- He is lacking the means go to college (incorrect)
He lacks the means to go to college (correct)
- He is lacking in common sense (correct)
lacking + concrete thing (incorrect)
lack + concrete thing (correct)
lacking + abstract noun
- I am seeing somebody coming (incorrect)
I see somebody coming (correct)
- Roses smell sweet (are smelling – incorrect)
- I hate sin, but not the sinner ( am hating – incorrect)
- I agree with you ( am agreeing – not correct)
- Water is consisting of oxygen and hydrogen (incorrect)
Water consists of oxygen and hydrogen (correct)
- He is thinking he is hand some (incorrect)
He thinks he is handsome (correct)
The progressive aspect should not be used for descriptive statements.
- I am thinking of buying a new car (correct)
Here, think means intend.
The Past Continuous
The form of the tense is :
be + ing
was + ing
were + ing
- The Past Continuous tense represents an action as going on at a point of time in the past.
eg: 1. They were playing football
- Then he was preparing some notes
- At 7 a.m yesterday, I was sleeping soundly in my room.
- He was watching TV while she was washing clothes.
- To denote an action which was in progress at a particular point of time when another took place in the past.
eg: 1. I was reading newspaper when he came in
- They were playing when the Head Master crossed the ground.
He / is always / teasing the / dog.
The Future Continuous Tense
The form of the tense is :
Shall / will + be + ing
Shall be reading
Will be reading
- The Future Continuous Tense denotes an action going on at some point of time in the future.
eg: 1. At this time tomorrow, he will be sleeping.
- They will be assembling at the club this evening
- I am sure he will be going in his office at noon tomorrow through the file.
- We will be completing the painting during the summer vacation.
- They will be playing the match at this time tomorrow.
- To denote an action that will continue from beginning to end of a future period of time
eg: 1. They will be working here for 10 days
- What will you be doing tomorrow afternoon.
- I shall be chipping and carving all day tomorrow.
The Present Perfect Tense
The form of this tense is :
has / have + past participle
- The Present Perfect Tense expresses an action just completed or completed before now by the present time
eg: 1. He has just left the place
- She has finished her work
- He has applied for leave of absence
- I have met that man some where before
- The train has arrived at the platform
- The Present Perfect is also used to refer to a past action in a more general sort of way.
eg: 1. He has studied here for three years.
- I have often taken my lunch at the Modern Hotel
- I have often gone to the Prabha Talkies.
- He has had many bitter experiences in his carrier.
- We have been to Ootty twice
- The clerk has cleared all his back files.
- The Present Perfect tense states something that has been continuous from the past up to the present.
- I have lived in this house since 2010. (ie. Still lives in this house)
- We have been here for half an hour [ for + duration of time ]
- I have not played cricket since I left school [ since + point of time]
- The peon has not had any rest since nine o’ clock.
- There has not been a famine in our country, for decades
- I hasn’t seen him since my college days
- The Present Perfect Tense and the Simple past tense.
- The Present Perfect Tense indicates that an action is in a state of completion
by the present time. It does not refer to any definite time in the past. So the
Present Perfect Tense must not be accompanied by a past adverbial like ago,
yesterday, last month, in 1947 etc.
If we want to refer to any definite time in the past, we should use the
simple past instead of Present Perfect Tense.
eg: 1. Tagore has won the Nobel Prize in 1913. (incorrect)
Tagore won the Nobel Prize in 1913 (correct)
If we do not want the definite time 1913, we can use present perfect tense.
Tagore has won the Nobel Prize (correct)
- We have had an enjoyable time (correct)
We have had an enjoyable time during the last summer (incorrect)
- I have read “My Experiments with Truth” in my school days. (in correct)
- I read “My Experiments with Truth” in my school days (correct)
The Past Perfect Tense
The form of the verb is :
had + past participle
- Past Perfect Tense is used to express an earlier action when two fast actions are mentioned.
eg: 1. The wedding ceremony had started when we reached there.
- I had completed my work before he arrived.
- When the train had left the station, the police man went into his cabin.
- He thanked me for what I had done.
Note : If these comes only an fast action, simple past should be used and avoid past
He had attended the party (incorrect)
He attended the party (correct)
Future Perfect Tense
The form of the verb in this tense is,
Shall / will + have + past participle
Will have painted
Shall have painted
- The Future Perfect Tense denotes that some action will be completed before a certain point of time in the future.
eg: 1. He will have completed his walk by the time you reach there.
- They will have left the place before his arrival.
- We will have completed half of the portion by December.
The Present Perfect Continuous Tense
The form of the verb in this tense is ,
has / have + been + ing
has been writing
have been writing
The Present Perfect Continuous Tense denotes an action that began in the past, continues up to the present and still continuous.
eg: 1. I have been learning English since 2010
- They have been living here, for 20 years
- They have been playing since 4 pm
Past Perfect Continuous
The form of the verb in this tense is :
had + been + ing
had been reading
had been writing
- The Past Perfect Tense denotes an action that began in the past and continued up to another event or action in the past.
eg: 1. He had been preparing for the examination when he heard the news its
- I had been walking for half an hour when it started to rain.
- He informed me that the artists had been playing the instruments for two hours
The Future Perfect Continuous Tense
The form of the verb in this tense is :
shall / will + have + been + ing
shall have been reading
will have been reading
- This tense denotes the idea that an action which began in the past continued up to the present and will continue up to a point of time in the future.
eg: 1. He will have been waiting there for 10 hours by 5 p.m.
- By the time he retires in 2025, he will have been teaching for 35 years.
- I will have been watching TV for two hours by noon.
- By next month we shall have been functioning in this building for 100 years.