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Proper Use of the Three Tenses of Verbs


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Hi friends,
White writing English, the greatest problem we face is of the proper use of tenses. So, let us discuss about it and see how and where the different tenses are used.

The tense of a verb shows the time when an action or event takes place. We can divide the time period into three main tenses:
1. The Present Tense
2. The Past Tense
3. The Future Tense

Just have a look at the following sentences:

1. We play cricket. 4. She is happy.
2. We played cricket. 5. She was happy.
3. We shall play cricket. 6. She will be happy.

When a verb denotes an action that takes place in the present, the verb is said to be in the present tense/tenses. (Sentence 1 and 4 are in the present tense)
When a verb denotes an action taken place in the past, the verb is said to be in the past tense/tenses. (Sentence 2 and 5 are in the past tense)
When a verb denotes an action that would take place in the future, the verb is said to be in the future tense/tenses. (Sentence 3 and 6 are in the future tense)
Each of the above main tenses can be sub-divided into the following four heads as under:

Present Tense
1. Present Indefinite Tense
2. Present Continuous Tense
3. Present Perfect Tense
4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Tense
1. Past Indefinite Tense
2. Past Continuous Tense
3. Past Perfect Tense
4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Future Tense
1. Future Indefinite Tense
2. Future Continuous Tense
3. Future Perfect Tense
4. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

The above three main tenses and their parts are used for making sentences in the three main types of sentences i.e. Affirmative Sentence, Negative Sentence and Interrogative Sentence.

Remember; in the above three types of sentences, the verb is governed by the subject. (That is changes according to the person and number of the subject)

Now let us study the different parts one by one. However, for better understanding, we will discuss them in twelve groups taking all the three types of sentences at a time. No doubt, it would be a lengthy procedure but I am sure, if anybody takes a little pain to understand the different formations, he/she would never face any problem is writing English in a proper way:

Present Indefinite (Simple Present Tense)

Present Indefinite Tense is used:

1.To express universal or general truths (i.e. things that always happen). In such cases, a universal truth or general truth is expressed and no time is indicated:

The earth moves round the sun.
The sun rises in the east.

2.To express habitual facts or repeated actions.

We take tea in the morning.
The gardener waters the plants.

3. To express something that remains unchanged for a long time:

She lives in a village.
Rajan works hard to earn his livelihood.

4. To make a general Statement:

The children play in the park.
We go for a walk every morning.

5. In Proverbs;

All that glitters is not gold.
A bad workman quarrels with his tools.

How to Form Sentences in Present Indefinite Tense

Affirmative Sentence

Pattern: Subject + first form of the verb/first form + s/es + object.

Examples:

1. I go to school. 2. We go to school.
3. You go to school. 4. He goes to school.
5. She goes to school 6. They go to school.
7. Razia goes to school. 8. Aman goes to school.
9. The children go to school. 10. The boys go to school.

Remember: 1. For pronouns I, we, you and they, the first form of the verb is used.
2. For pronouns he, she and it,‘s’/’es’ is added to the first form of the verb.
3. For any name (Proper Noun), ‘s’/’es’ is added to the first form of the verb.
4. For plural subjects also the first form of the verb is used.

Negative Sentence

Pattern: Subject + first form of the verb + do not/does not + object.

Examples:

1. I do not go to school. 2. We do not go to school.
3. You do not to school. 4. He does not go to school.
5. She does not go to school 6. They do not go to school.
7. Razia does not go to school. 8. Aman does not go to school.
9. The children do not go to school. 10. The boys do not go to school.

Remember: A Negative Sentence always needs a helping verb.

1. For pronouns I, we, you and they, do not is used.
2. For pronouns he, she and it, does not is used.
3. For any names, does not is used.
4. The main verb always remains in the first form.
5. A Full Stop (.) is used at the end of the sentence.


Interrogative Sentence

Pattern: Do /does + subject + first form of the verb + object.

Examples:

1. Do I go to school? 2. Do we go to school?
3. Do you go to school? 4. Does he go to school?
5. Does she go to school? 6. Do they do go to school?
7. Does Razia go to school? 8. Does Aman go to school?
9. Do the children go to school? 10. Do the boys go to school?

Remember: Like Negative Sentence, an Interrogative Sentence also needs a helping verb.

1. For pronouns I, we, you and they, do is used before the subject.
2. For pronouns he, she and it, does is used before the subject
3. For any names, does is used before the subject.
4. The main verb always remains in the first form.
5. A Question Mark (?) is used at the end of the sentence.



PS: If any member has any doubts or questions regarding the types mentioned above, he/she can contact me through my profile and I shall be glad to help him in every possible way.


Sample Usage

As given above against each section.


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