English Grammar

Tense

English Grammar has many topics such as Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Modals, Tense, Active and Passive Voice etc. Let us learn more in detail about the topic of Tense in this article. Many banking and aptitude tests have a section on English grammar, where they ask you about the different grammar rules and sentences related to tense, active/passive voice, modals, etc. Therefore it is imperative to be methodical while learning the English Grammar. The article here explains the topic Tense in detail.

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Tense and the types of Tense

Tense plays a very important role in the sentence structure. It tells us more about the time at which the action has occurred or will occur or is occurring. When we speak of tense, it is the tense of a verb that we are speaking about. This tense tells you more about what the subject of the sentence has done or will do or will be doing. In the English Language, there are three main tenses. They are the Present Tense, Past Tense and the Future Tense. Furthermore, there are four forms of each of these different types of tense.

Tense

Types of Tenses – Source – Pinterest

The following table shows the different forms of tense and their usage and structure.

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Present tense

Tense Usage Structure
Simple Present It is used to express a habitual action, fact or general truth. Subject + Verb (base form)+ Object
Present Continuous Used to describe an action going on at the time of speaking. Is/am/are + ‘ing’ form of present participle
Present Perfect To express an action that has just got completed. Has/have + past participle
Present Perfect Continuous Used to express an action that began in the past and is still continuing. Has/have+ been+ ‘ing’ form of the present participle

Past Tense

Tense Usage Structure
Simple Past Generally used to express a regular action that has occurred in the past. Subject + past participle + object
Past Continuous Expresses a continuing action at some point in time in the past. was/were + ‘ing’form of  present participle
Past Perfect It is utilised to express an action that was completed at a certain time in the past. has + past participle
Past Perfect Continuous Used to express an action which began before the time of speaking and continued up to that time. had + been + ‘ing’ form of  present participle

Future Tense

Tense Usage Structure
Simple Future To express an action that will take place in the future Shall/Will + base form of the verb
Future Continuous This is used to express an action that will be in progress at a given point in time in future. Will/Shall be + ‘ing’ form of present participle
Future Perfect This tense is used to express an action which will be completed by a certain time in the future. Will/shall  have + past participle
Future Perfect Continuous It is used to express an action that will have been going on at or before some point in time in the future. Will/ shall have been + ‘ing’ form of present participle

Solved Questions

Check out the following examples and questions for a better understanding.

Fill in the blanks with the right form of the tense of the verbs given in the bracket.

  1. Rani sleeps for more than ten hours. ( Sleep – Simple Present Tense)
  2. He will pass the examination this year. ( Pass – Simple Future Tense)
  3. We were playing cricket yesterday. ( Play – Past Continuous)
  4. The postman is delivering letters. ( Deliver – Present Continuous)
  5. He felt hot and sticky. ( Feel – Simple Past)
  6. He will be reading a novel at this time tomorrow. ( Read- Future Continuous)
  7. All the students have paid their fees. ( Pay – Present Perfect)
  8. The train had arrived at the station when I reached there. ( Arrive – Past Perfect)
  9. She will have done her work before I reach. ( Do – Future Perfect)
  10. India has been progressing very fast since independence. ( Progress – Present Perfect Continuous)
  11. I had been waiting for you since morning. ( Wait – Past Perfect Continuous)
  12. Tomorrow, at this time, I shall have been flying to London for two hours. ( Fly – Future Perfect Continuous)

More Practice Questions

Fill in the blanks with the right form of the tense.

  1. She often …… to the Cinema because she loves movies.
  1.  is going
  2. go
  3. going
  4. goes

Ans. Option D

2. We ….. to a new place, as the old place was too small for us.

  1. shifted
  2. shifts
  3. is going to shift
  4. shifts

Ans. Option A

3. Ram … football in the same club as me.

  1. plays
  2. played
  3. play
  4. will have played

Ans. Option A

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