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The Tenses

THE TENSES

When we talk about tense, we are talking about how the verb expresses the time when something happens. In English the tenses have two forms for each tense: a simple form that just describes what happens in an action and a continuous form that describes that action in the form of a process that continues.

The best way to examine the English tenses is to imagine that all the actions happen with a third person subject (they/he/she/it) and you can see through that tense what happens. In summary we look at three types of time: present past and future. Most languages show the time in the action with different inflections or endings that change the spelling of the verb but in that sense English only has two: present and past and there is no future tense. We have to express a future action in other ways.

  • PRESENT SIMPLE
  • PRESENT CONTINUOUS
  • PAST SIMPLE
  • PAST CONTINUOUS
  • PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
  • PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS
  • Author: Torsten Daerr