Tense in English | Important uses of 3 tenses

Tense in English | Important uses of 3 tenses

Tense is the most important part of English Language that everyone must know about it. Most of the persons speak fluent English but they do not know about tense. Everyone should have knowledge of Tense in English as it is an integral part of English Language. Tenses show us whether an action is going on in current period of time, or an action has been done before and, whether the action will be done after some times. But, before all these points, you must have to know about what is Tense? Let’s learn about Tense in English.

What is Tense in English

Tense is a form of verb. It tells us about time. It expresses time reference with reference to the moment of speaking. It shows whether the action had been done in past,  it is happening right now or it will occur in near period of time.

Definition of Tense in English

There are many different languages worldwide that indicates when an event or action occurred or when a state or process holds, in English this phenomenon is called Tense. Tense refers to time which is described by a verb.

Types of Tenses in English

In English Grammar, tense in divided into three parts.
  • Present Tense
  • Past Tense
  • Future Tense
Here is the brief explanation of each tense
Present Tense: Present Tense shows an action which takes place right now.

E.g.– She works hard to earn money.

I daily learn something new.

Rohan often plays badminton.

There are four kinds of Present tense in English. These are as follows-
  1. Simple Present Tense or Present Indefinite Tense
  2. Present Continuous Tense
  3. Present Perfect Tense
  4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense
♦ Past Tense: Past Tense shows an action that had been occurred before sometimes ago.

E.g.– He wrote a novel.

Rohini went to hospital.

She changed her job.

There are four kinds of Past Tense in English. These are as follows-
  1. Simple Past or Past Indefinite Tense
  2. Past Continuous Tense
  3. Past Perfect Tense
  4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense
♦ Future Tense: It shows an action that will be taking place after sometimes.

E.g.- You will come tomorrow.

Sam will practice well.

We shall try to become successful.

There are four kinds of Future Tense in English. These are as follows-
  1. Simple Future or Future Indefinite Tense
  2. Future Continuous Tense
  3. Future Perfect Tense
  4. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

How many tenses are in English Language

In English Language, there are total 12 tenses. These are as follows-
  1. Simple Present Tense or Present Indefinite Tense
  2. Present Continuous Tense
  3. Present Perfect Tense
  4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense
  5. Simple Past Tense or Past Indefinite Tense
  6. Past Continuous Tense
  7. Past Perfect Tense
  8. Past Perfect Continuous Tense
  9. Simple Future Tense or Future Indefinite Tense
  10. Future Continuous Tense
  11. Future Perfect Tense
  12. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

3 types of Tense in English

Uses of twelve tenses in English.
Present Tense
Simple Present Tense or Present Indefinite Tense
It expresses what is actually taking place at the time of speaking.
  1.  How splendid the view is!
  2. How beautiful she looks!

It expresses habitual action.

[ Note– Habitual actions mean the action which is in habit.]
  1.  God protects us all from evil.
  2. He always runs 5 km in the morning.

It donates a future action that is already planned.

  1.  She leaves for New York next week.
  2. John goes to post-office tomorrow.
Present Indefinite Tense in English makes a narrative vivid. This Tense is also called the historic present and is used instead of Simple Past Tense.
  1.  After hearing about his defeat the king hurries to his capital and plans to escape with his family.
We use Present Indefinite Tense in English to introduce a quotation especially with the verb ‘say’.
  1.  The man says, ” Work hard.”
  2. The recent college notice says, “Admissions are closed for this session.”
In conditional ( if ) clauses and time clauses.
  1.  If he practices he will win the competition.
  2. When she reaches we shall give him good news.
In running commentaries, stage directions, itineraries and in describing the process of an experiment or a recipe, we use Simple Present Tense in English.
  1.  Aman passes the ball to Raman.
  2. Add two cups of tomoto soup while cooking red pasta.
Present Continuous Tense
This Tense is used to express an action that is going on at the time of speaking.
  1.  The little boy is sleeping on the bed.
  2. Mohan is drinking tea.
To show an action happening about this time, but not necessarily at the time of speaking.
  1.  We are doing dance practice in school.
  2. The boys are performing a skit.
Present Continuous Tense in English is  used to describe an action which is definitely going to take place in the near future.
  1.   Sam is moving to Nigeria tomorrow.
  2. The government is going to held a meeting next month.
Present Continuous Tense in English is used to denote repeated action. It is used with always.
  1.  He is always listening songs.
  2. Some girls are always cooking delicious food.
Note- Some verbs are not usually used in Present Continuous Tense because they do not indicate deliberate actions. They are verbs of the senses, verbs expressing feelings and emotions, verbs of mental activity and verbs of possession.
These verbs are- appear, appreciate, believe, belong, consist, desire, detest, expect, feel, hate, love, like, mind, owe, own, see, smell, seem, think, want, wish.
When these verbs are used in continuous Tense, they have a different meaning.
  1. The caretaker is minding the baby. (Here, ‘minding of’ means ‘looking after’.)
  2. Are you liking the picture? (Here, ‘liking’ means enjoying.)
Present Perfect Tense
We use Present Perfect Tense in English in order to show an action that has just been completed. This Tense is often used with adverbs like just, already, lately, recently, yet etc.
  1. They have just finished their project work.
  2. Alex has just gone now.
Present Perfect Continuous Tense
This Tense is used to express an action that began in the past and is continuing at the time of speaking.
  1. I have been learning Spanish since 2018.
  2. He has been talking to you for one hour.
Past Tense
Simple Past Tense or Past Indefinite Tense
It is used to express an action that was completed in the past at a definite time.
  1.  She visited Hyderabad last week.
  2. Maria sang a lovely song yesterday.
To express an action that clearly took place at a definite time even though the time is not mentioned.
  1. The train arrived five hours late at the station.
  2. I prayed in the temple.
To express habitual action in the past.
  1.  When Monish was at school, he stood at first position.
  2. While in Ahmadabad she practised cricket match.
We use Simple Past Tense in English to denote an action which is actually going on at the time started.
  1.  While I worked he slept.
  2. While he moved she became emotional.
In conditional clauses and time clauses.
  1.  If I had a book I would lend it to needy.
  2. When I went to London I visited almost every place.
Past Continuous Tense
Past Continuous Tense in English shows an action that was going on for some time in the past.
  1. Anand was talking to someone when his mother called him.
  2. He was watching a movie; so I did not bother him.
It is used for repeated action in the past.
  1.  Maria was always attending class late.
  2. The theif was always stealing things.
Past Perfect Tense
It is used to denote an action that was completed before another action began.
  1. After the teacher had completed the lesson, he asked some questions.
  2. When Sohan reached at cinema hall, the film had already begun.
We use Past Perfect Tense in English when there are two past actions in the sentence, the action that was completed earlier is put in the past perfect tense and the other action is put in the simple past tense.
  1.  No sooner had the teacher entered the class, than the student asked their queries.
  2. No sooner the head of institution had reached in the conference hall, than the other members greeted him.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense
Past Perfect Continuous Tense in English shows an action that was going on before another action began. It emphasizes the duration of the action described.
  1.   He had been working in college, before he went to Germany.
  2. When I went to her, she had been out of her house.
Future Tense
Simple Future Tense or Future Indefinite Tense
Future Indefinite Tense in English is used to express an action which will take place in the future.
  1. Mona will play badminton tomorrow.
  2. He will reach there at 5:45 p.m.
Future Continuous Tense
Future Continuous Tense in English is used to show an action that will be going in the future.
  1. Tomorrow they will be going to the picnic.
  2. Johnny will be attending meeting next August.
Future Perfect Tense
It is used to show an action that will be completed before a certain time in future.
  1. I shall have done my work before sunset.
  2. Elly will have completed her homework by afternoon.
Future Perfect Continuous Tense
Future Perfect Continuous Tense in English shows an action that will begin in the future but may continue for some time.
  1.  He will have been struggling hard to earn his livelihood by the time, his father retire.
  2. The country will have been suffering before all the selfish leaders disappear.
Except these kinds of tense, there is one more Tense which has become so popular nowadays especially in speaking English.
Let’s learn also about that kind of tense.
Coloured future or ‘going to’ form of the future
It is a special form of the future and it is often in use in modern English. It is called the coloured future. It expresses the intention to perform a certain action in the future. It usually expresses the idea that the action has already been planned and will most probably take place.
  1.  She is going to attend a seminar day after tomorrow.
  2. They are going to enjoy the vacation.
I hope all above kinds of tenses are understandable.
Now it’s time to do a practice exercise.
Let’s do it and know your understanding.
QuestionFind out kinds of Tense (Present/Past/Future)  in the following sentences.
1. They will be learning more about Tense.
2. Are you reading a book right now?
3- She has just ignored all the negativity around her.
4. He had just qualified his test.
5. You will speak softly from tomorrow.
6. Raman had been leaving the meeting by 10 min.
7. We shall help you with all our might.
8. They will have done their work.
9. It was raining heavily.
10. You trusted him blindly.
Have you attempted all ten questions?
Very well !
Now it’s time to do self-assessment.
Now match your answers properly.
Answers of above 10 questions.
1. Future Tense
2. Present Tense
3. Present Tense
4. Past Tense
5. Future Tense
6. Past Tense
7. Future Tense
8. Future Tense
9. Past Tense
10. Past Tense
I hope you have attempted all questions correctly.
Well done. 👍
If you have any query related to Tense in English, feel free to ask in comment section.
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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. AK

    Nicely explained
    Happy to get entire tense at one place.

      1. Ruchi

        Amazingly explained.

  2. Ashish

    So grateful explained, a helpful post…

  3. Ajay Singh

    so nice to understand the tense first time 😀

  4. Krazy

    According to me, understanding tense is the most important step in learning English. And u have really done justice to this topic by good explanation 👍👏

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