Things can happen now (at the moment), in the future (near or far) or in the past (finished or unfinished). The tenses function is to show the time of an action or state of being as shown by a verb. The verb ending is changed (conjugated) to show what time it is referring to.
Time can be split into three periods.
The Present (what you are doing), The Past (what you did) and The Future (what you are going to do, or hope / plan to do). In addition to telling the action or state of being in the sentence, the verb tenses function as indicator of the time the action or “being” took place.
By learning about the different tenses in the English language, your speaking and writing skills will get enhanced.
- Simple present tense: tells what is happening now.
- Simple past tense: tells what happened before now.
- Simple future: talks about what has not happened yet.
- Present perfect tense: expresses an action or state of being in the present that has some connection with the past.
- Past perfect tense: places an event before another event in the past!
- Future perfect tense: talks about something that has not happened yet in relation to another event in the future.
The four past tenses are:
- the past simple (“I went”)
- the past progressive (“I was going”)
- the past perfect (“I had gone”)
- the past perfect progressive (“I had been going”)
The four present tenses are:
- the present simple (“I go”)
- the present progressive (“I am going”)
- the present perfect (“I have gone”)
- the present perfect progressive (“I have been going”)
The four future tenses are:
- the future simple (“I will go”)
- the future progressive (“I will be going”)
- the future perfect (“I will have gone”)
- the future perfect progressive (“I will have been going”)