Tenses are a very important part of the English language, as they hold a sentence together and enable the speaker/writer to convey accurate information.
Tenses are an integral element of the eight parts of the English language. They help in conveying accurate information through speech/text and hold a text together. They are a necessity in any sentence formation. Basically, tenses are of four types:
- Present Perfect Continuous
Each of these tenses has a present, past and future form as well, which can be detailed as below:
Simple Present Tense: In this form of the tenses, nothing is mentioned about the conclusion of an action. The action is merely mentioned in this tense.
- I eat.
- I sleep.
- I play.
Present Continuous Tense: This tense deals with the action being performed at a given point of time. Generally, the actions mentioned using these tenses are continuous in nature, i.e., they are on-going.
- I am eating.
- I am sleeping.
- I am playing.
Present Perfect Tense: In a present perfect tense, the action is completed successfully, which is why it’s termed as being perfect, as it has ended perfectly.
- I have eaten.
- I have slept.
- I have played.
Present perfect Continuous Tense: Such a form of tenses is usually used when the action to be mentioned has been taking place for a while and is still on-going.
- I have been eating.
- I have been sleeping.
- I have been playing.
Simple Past Tense: As the name suggests, an action mentioned in the simple past tense is understood to have taken place in the past and is simply mentioned.
- I ate.
- I slept.
- I played.
Past Continuous Tense: From the past continuous tense, one can understand the action had been taking place till a certain point of time in the past.
- I was eating.
- I was sleeping.
- I was playing.
Past Perfect Tense: This tense is used to express an action that took place before another action that followed it.
- I had eaten.
- I had slept.
- I had played.
Past perfect Continuous Tense: In this tense, the action mentioned is something that started in the past and continued until another time in the past.
- I had been eating.
- I had been sleeping.
- I had been playing.
Simple Future Tense: Simple future tense involves decision making. It is when a person decides to perform a particular action and may or may not declare the same.
- I will eat.
- I will sleep.
- I will play.
Future Continuous Tense: The future continuous tense is used to express an action of the future that will not have been completed until a certain point of time in future.
- I will be eating at 9 a.m.
- I will be sleeping when you arrive.
- I will be playing at 5 p.m.
Future Perfect Tense: Future perfect tense describes an action that will be duly completed before another action starts taking place after it.
- I will have eaten before 10 a.m.
- I will have slept before you arrive.
- I will have played before 6 p.m.
Future Perfect Continuous Tense: This tense is used to discuss an action that would be on-going before a mentioned time in future.
I will have been sleeping for two hours when you arrive.
I will have been playing for an hour when it is 5 p.m.
Tenses of English: A Review