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TENSES

Betty Schrampfer Azar

He was still asleep. and probably will continue.OVERVIEW OF VERB TENSES 1-1 THE SIMPLE TENSES TENSE SIMPLE PRESENT EXAMPLES (a) It snows in Alaska. I arrived at 11. SIMPLE PAST (c) It snowed yesterday.00 tonight. 1-2 THE PROGRESSIVE TENSES Form : be + -ing (present participle) Meaning : The progressive tenses *give the idea that an action is in progress during a particular time. FUTURE PROGRESSIVE (c) Tom will be sleeping when we arrive. Tom went to sleep at 10. the simple present expresses events or situations that exist always. At one particular time in the past.00 tomorrow night. It continued after I arrived. PAST PROGRESSIVE (b) Tom was sleeping when I arrived. Tom is going to watch television tonight.00.00. (d) Tom watched television yesterday. The tenses say that an action begins before. TENSE EXAMPLES MEANING PRESENT (a) Tom is sleeping right now. and he is still asleep. . this happened. (f) Tom will watch television tonight. is in progress during. and continues after another time or action. it will happen. The action of sleeping will begin before we arrive. His sleep began before and was in progress at a particular time in the past. SIMPLE FUTURE (e) It will snow tomorrow. is in progress at the present time. Tom will go to sleep at 10. It is going to snow tomorrow. usually. It is now 11. Tom went to sleep at PROGRESSIVE 10. have exist in the past. Probably his sleep continue. It began and ended in the past. they are exist now.00 last night. MEANING In general. habitually. and probably will exist in the future. (b) Tom watches television everyday. His sleep began in the past. At one particular time in the future. and it will be in progress at a particular time in the future.

Later his friend will arrived. PAST PERFECT PROGRESSIVE (b) Tom had been studying for two hours before his frien came. Tom finished eating sometime before now. . PROGRESSIVE two hours. FUTURE PERFECT (c) Tom will already have eaten when his friend arrives. up to. Later his friend arrived. FUTURE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE (c) Tom will have been studying for two hours by the time his friend arrives. until another time or event. Tom’s eating will completely finished before another time in the future. TENSE EXAMPLES MEANING PRESENT PERFECT (a) Tom has already eaten.1-3 THE PERFECT TENSES Form : have + past participle Meaning : The perfect tense all give the idea that one thing happens before another time or event. When? Before another time in the future. Tom’s eating was completely finished before another time in the past. How long? For two hours. The tenses are used to express the duration of the first event. Event in progress: studying. 1-4 THE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE TENSES Form : have + been + -ing (present participle) Meaning : The perfect progressive tenses give the idea that one event is in progress immediately before. up to now. The exact time is not important. When? Before now. First Tom finished eating. TENSE EXAMPLES MEANING PRESENT PERFECT (a) Tom has been studying for Event in progress: studying. Event in progress: studying. How long? For two hours. PAST PERFECT (b) Tom had already eaten when his friend arrived. How long? For two hours. When? Before another event in the past. First Tom will finish eating.

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(a) I walked to school yesterday. (e) When Mrs. the action in the when clause happens firts. (d) Rita stood under a tree when it began to rain. (c) Anna will not be here tomorrow. In (d): 1st: The rain began. If a sentence contains when and has the simple past in both clauses. but now he lives in Rome. the coffee splled on my lap. (e) I get up at seven every morning. (c) I bought a new car three days ago. . and will be true in the future. 2nd: She stood under a tree. (b) The average person breathes 21. (d) Anna won’t be here tomorrow. she got up to investigate.* In speech. (f) When I dropped my cup. It expresses general statements of fact and timeless truths.600 times a day. The simple past indicates that and activity or situation began and ended at a particular time in the past. (b) Jack is going to finish his work tomorrow. 2-2 SIMPLE PAST 2-3 SIMPLE FUTURE (a) Jack will finish his work tomorrow. is true in the present. (d) I study for two hours every night. The simple present says that something was true in the past.SIMPLE TENSES 2-1 SIMPLE PRESENT (a) Water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. (f) He always eats sandwich for lunch. going to is often pronounce “gonna. Chu heard a strange noise.” In (d): The contracted form of will + not is won’t. (b) John lived in Paris for ten years. The simple present is used to express habitual or everyday activities. Will and be going to is used to express future time. (c) The world is round.

3-2 PAST PROGRESSIVE (a) I was walking down the street when it began to rain.PROGRESSIVE 3-1 PRESENT PROGRESSIVE (a) John is sleeping right now. is continuing at present. and probably continued. In (a): 1st: I was walking down the street. (f) Susan is writing another book this year. The present progressive expresses an activity that in progress at the moment of speaking. Both action occured at the same time. it began to rain. this month. (d) At eight o’clock last night. my roomate was having a party in other room. (b) While I was walking down the street. (d) I am taking five course this semester. Sometimes the past progressive is used in both parts of a sentence when two actions are in progress simultaneously. . (c) Rita was standing under a tree when it begabn to rain. (b) I need an umbrella because it is raining. It is a temporary activity that began in the past. and will probably end at some pont in the future. but it does not mean at the moment of speaking she is sitting at her desk with pen in hand. but one action began earlier and was in progress when the other action occured. was in progress at that time. Note (f): The sentence means that writing a book is a general activity Susan is engaged in at present. Often the activity is of a general nature: something generally in progress this week. this year. In (d): My studying began before 8:00. (c) The students are sitting at their desk right now. 2nd: It began to rain. (f) While I was studying in one room of our apartment. I was attending school. (e) John is trying to improve his work habits. I was studying. (e) Last year at this time.

I will be sitting in class.3-3 FUTURE PROGRESSIVE (a) I will begin to study at seven. She will come soon. (e) Don’t get impatient. She will be coming soon. Sometimes there is little or no difference between the future progressive and the simple future. (d) Don’t get impatient. I am going to be studying at the library. I will be studying when you come. (b) Right now I am sitting in class. (c) Don’t call me at nine because I won’t be home. Yiu will come at eight. as in (d) and (e). . The future progressive expresses an activity that will be in progress at a time in the future. At this same time tomorrow. The progressive form of be going to: be going to + be + -ing. especially when the future event will occur at an indifinate time in the future.

(i) I have written my wife a letter every other day for the last two weeks.PERFECT 4-1 PRESENT PERFECT (a) They have moved into a new apartment. Jack has been watching TV since seven o’clock. He has just heard some bad news. The exact time is happened is not important. For + a duration of time (p) I have known him for many years. and just are frequently used with the present perfect. Notice in the examples: the adverbs ever. (k) I have flown on an airplane many times. when used with o’clock. (f) Ann started a letter to her parents last week. yet. (e) Jack hasn’t seen it yet. already. The present perfect also expresses the repetition of an activity before noun. between since and for: (o) I have liked cowboy movies Since + a particular time ever since I was a child. *The verbs used in the present perfect to express a situation that began in the past and still exists are typically verbs with a stative meaning (see Chart 6-1). . (d) I have already seen that movie. still. The exact time of each repetition is not important. The present perfect progressive. (h) We have had four tests so far this semester. (j) I have met many people since I came here in June. rather than the present perfect. Notice in (h): so far is frequently used with the present perfect. (g) Alex feels bad. If there is a spesific mention of time. notice the differene shoes for three years.* (n) I have had this same pair of In the examples. but she still hasn’t finished it. at an unspesific time in the past. The present perfect expresses the idea that something happened (or never happened) before noun. to the present. (b) Have you ever visited Mexico? (c) I have never seen snow. the simple past is used: They moved into a new apartment last month. is used with action verbs to express an activity that began in the past and continues to the present (see Chart 5-1): I have been sitting at my desk for an hour. never. also expresses a situation (m) We have been here for two that began in the past and continues weeks. (l) I have been here since seven The present perfect. for or since.

I went to bed. (d) Sam had left before Ann got there. as in (e) and (g). 4-3 FUTURE PERFECT ) I will graduated in June. (Note: by the time introduces a time clause. Note: (d) and (e) have the same meaning. (c) Sam had already left when Ann got there.4-2 PAST PERFECT (a) Sam had already gone by the time Ann got there. By the time I see you. I will see you on July. (b) The thief simply walked in. (f) and (g) have the same meaning. the past perfect is often not necessary because the time relationship is already clear. ) I will have finished my homework by the time I go out on a date tonight. . (g) After the guests left. In (c): First : Sam left Second: Ann got there If either before and after is used in the sentence. The past perfect expresses an activity that was completed before another activity or time in the past. (e) Sam left before Ann got there. Someone had forgotten to lock the door. I went to bed. (f) After the guests had left. I will have graduated. The future perfect expresses an activity that will be completed by another time or event in the future. The simple past may be used. the simple present is used in a time clause).

it is used with the words. Her eyes were red because The present perfect progressive emphasizes the duration of an activity that was in progress before another activity or time in the past. such as for. (f) INCORRECT: I have been knowing Alex since he was a child. (j) I have lived here since 1995. (c) When Judy got home. He has been working at the same store for ten years. 5-2 PAST PERFECT PROGRESSIVE (a) The police had been looking for the criminal for two years before they caught him. (h) All of students have been studying hard. This tense also may express an activity in progress close in time to another activity or time in the past. Final exams starts next week. (a) I have been sitting here since seven o’clock. all week. . her hair was still wet because she had been swimming. (i) My back hurts. (k) He has worked at the same store for ten years. all morning. I have been living here since 1995. lately. (g) I have been thinking about changing my major. (c) You have been studying for five straight hours. When the tense has this meaning. When the tense is used without any spesific mention of time. Why don’t you take a break? (d) It has been raining all day. It is still raining right now. so I have been sleeping on the floor lately. This tense is used to indicate the duration of an activity that began in the past and continues to the present. (b) Eric finally came at six o’clock. Reminder: verbs with stative meanings are not used in the progressive. With certain verbs (most notably live. all day. (see Chart 6-1) The present perfect. it expresses a general activity in progress recently. (d) I went to Jane’s house after the funeral. (e) I have known Alex since he was a child. is used with stative verbs to describe the duration of a state (rather than an activity) that began in the past and continues to the present. since. (b) I have been sitting here for two hours. teach). The bed is too soft. there is little or no difference in meaning between the two tenses when since and for is used. I had been waiting for him since fourthirty. work.PERFECT PROGRESSIVE 5-1 PRESENT PERFECT PROGRESSIVE Right now I am sitting at my desk. NOT the present perfect progressive.

Also. as in (b) and (c). Sometimes the future perfect and future perfect progressive have the same meaning. (c) When Professor John retires next month. At midnight I will be sleeping. notice that the activity expresses by either of these two tenses may begin in the past. he will have taught for 45 years.M.she had been crying. Ed will get home at midnight. I will have been sleeping for two hours by the time Ed gets home. he will have been teaching for 45 years. (b) When Professor John retires next month. The future perfect progressive emphasizes the duration of an activity that will be in progress before another time or event in the future. . 5-3 FUTURE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE (a) I will go to bed at ten P.

used in progressive tenses. (1) MENTAL STATE know believe imagine* want* realize feel doubt* need understand suppose remember* desire recognize think* forget* mean* (2) EMOTIONAL STATE love hate mind astonish like dislike care amaze appreciate surprise please envy prefer (3) POSSESION posses have own belong (4) SENSE PERCEPTIONS taste* hear see* smell feel (5) OTHER EXISTING STATES seem cost* be* consists of look* owe exist contain appear* weigh* matter include* sound equal resemble look like . In (a): tastes and like have stative meaning. A verb such as like has a stative meaning. COMMON VERBS THAT HAVE STATIVE MEANING: Note: Verbs with an asterisk: (*) are like the verb taste: they can have both stative and progressive in meanings and uses. It is rarely. ) INCORRECT: This food is testing good. In (e): It is incorrect to say He doesn’t liking it. they are usually niu used in progressive tenses. I like it very much. ) The chef is in the kitchen. if ever. He is testing the sauce. ) He doesn’t like it. In (d): tastes describes the person’s awareness of the quality of the food (stative). Some English verbs have stative meaning. When verbs have stative meaning. I am liking it very much. Each describes a state that exist. ) It tastes too salty. In (c): tasting describes the action of the chef putting something in his mouth and actively tasting its flavor (progressive). A verb such as taste has a stative meaning. They describe states: conditions or situations that exist. but also a progressive meaning.ADDITIONAL LESSON MATERIAL 6-1 STATIVE VERBS ) Yum! This food tastes good.