In grammar, tense is a class that expresses time reference with relevancy to the moment of speaking. Tenses are usually manifested by the utilization of specific kinds of verbs, particularly in their conjugation patterns. The main tenses found in many languages cover the past, present, and future.
English Tenses Meaning
English tenses are the forms of a verb which show the time at which action eventuates:
English tenses can be effective in learning the English language from scratch. There are three main kinds of tenses that give a concept of the time when the incident quoted in a statement takes place. With good knowledge of 12 English tenses, eloquent English and perfect grammar are not too far away.
The nature of tenses is described with examples and fundamental structures. This would provide a clear conception to understand the knowledge of English grammar and will be helpful in writing better sentences.
Types of Tenses with examples
There are three main verb tenses in English: present, past, and future. The present, past, and future tenses are distributed into four phases: simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive. There are 12 principal verb tenses that English learners should know.
Present indefinite tense ( Simple present tense )
Subject + Verb + s/es
Present Continues Tense (Progressive)
Subject + is/am/are + verb(ing)
I am eating
They are playing cricket
She is singing
He is reading
Present Perfect tense
Subject + has/have + verb (3rd from)
I have completed my assignment
He has made this picture
They have played football
We have won the match
Present perfect continues (Progressive)
Subject + has been / have been +verb(ing)
I have been studying for the last three days.
They have been playing from 2 Pm
She has been sleeping since morning.
He has been working in this firm since 2019.
Simple Past tense ( Past Indefinite )
He Completed the book
They ate the meal
I read the newspaper.
Past Continues tense (Progressive)
Subject + was/were +verb(ing)
I was reading the book.
She was singing the song.
They were playing cricket.
He was eating breakfast.
Past perfect tense
Subject + had + verb (3rd form)
I had finished my book.
He had gone.
They had won the match.
She had eaten the meal.
Past perfect continues tense (Progressive)
Subject + had been + verb(ing)
He had been completing his task from Sunday.
She had been singing since 2018.
I had been playing games for the last two hours.
Simple future tense (Future Indefinite)
Subject + shall/will + verb(1st form)
I shall go to the park.
he will play cricket.
She will sing a song at the party.
They will play cricket in the morning.
Future continues tense
Subject + will be / shall be + verb(ing)
I shall be playing cricket
They will be eating dinner.
She will be singing the song
He will be writing an article
Future Perfect tense
Subject + will have + verb(3rd form)
He will have played football.
I will have ate lunch.
They will have gone towards the city
She will have sung a song.
Future perfect continues tense
Subject + will have been + verb(ing)
I will have been eating for 2 hours.
They will have been watching the TV since morning.
She will have been singing since the evening.
He will have been playing for 2 hours.
English Verb Tenses — negative
In this lesson, we will learn how the regular verb changes when it is negative:
|simple present tense|
|I do not play||We do not play|
|You do not play||You do not play|
|He does not play|
|She does not play||They do not play|
|It does not play|
|simple past tense|
|I did not study||We did not study|
|You did not study||You did not study|
|He did not study|
|She did not study||They did not study|
|It did not study|
|simple future tense|
|I will not run||We will not run|
|You will not run||You will not run|
|He will not run|
|She will not run||They will not run|
|It will not run|
|present continuous tense|
|I am not playing||We are not playing|
|You are not playing||You are not playing|
|He is not playing|
|She is not playing||They are not playing|
|It is not playing|
|past continuous tense|
|I was not playing||We were not playing|
|You were not playing||You were not playing|
|He was not playing|
|She was not playing||They were not playing|
|It was not playing|
|future continuous tense|
|I will not be playing||We will not be playing|
|You will not be playing||You will not be playing|
|He will not be playing|
|She will not be playing||They will not be playing|
|It will not be playing|
|present perfect tense|
|I have not played||We have not played|
|You have not played||You have not played|
|He has not played|
|She has not played||They have not played|
|It has not played|
|past perfect tense|
|I had not played||We had not played|
|You had not played||You had not played|
|He had not played|
|She had not played||They had not played|
|it had not played|
|future perfect tense|
|I will not have played||We will not have played|
|You will not have played||You will not have played|
|He will not have played|
|She will not have played||They will not have played|
|It will not have played|
|present perfect continuous tense|
|I have not been eating||We have not been eating|
|You have not been eating||You have not been eating|
|He has not been eating|
|She has not been eating||They have not been eating|
|It has not been eating|
|past perfect continuous tense|
|I had not been eating||We had not been eating|
|You had not been eating||You had not been eating|
|He had not been eating|
|She had not been eating||They had not been eating|
|It had not been eating|
|future perfect continuous tense|
|I will not have been playing||We will not have been playing|
|You will not have been playing||You will not have been playing|
|He will not have been playing|
|She will not have been playing||They will not have been playing|
|It will not have been playing|
Various English learners bother too much about tense. If you stopped 100 native English speakers in the street and questioned them about tense, 1 of them might give you an intelligent answer – if you were lucky. The other 99 would know little about terms like “past perfect” or “present continuous”. And they would know zero about aspect, voice or mood. But they can all speak eloquent English and interact effectively. Of course, for ESL it helps to know about tenses but don’t become obsessed with them. Be like those native speakers! Speak naturally!