Definition: Tense is an indicator which tells us about time of an action and is an essential part of sentence learning [The word tense comes from the Latin tempus, "time"].
The concept of tense in English is a method that we use to refer to times. As we know that time may be divided in three brackets: past – before now, present – now, or any time that includes now and future – after now. Read the following sentences:
In sentence 1, the Verb write refer to present time
In sentence 2, the Verb wrote refers to past time
In sentence 3, the Verb shall write refers to future time
Thus a Verb that refers to present time is said to be in the Present Tense; as I write; a Verb that refers to past time is said to be in the Past Tense; as I wrote and likewise a Verb that refers to future time is said to be in the Future Tense as, I shall write.
Tenses have certain rules, according to which a sentence is made. We will learn these rules next.
There are three main tenses:
Each of Present, Past and Future Tense is further divided in four types depending upon nature of action as below:
In this way, English tenses are of 12 types. Learn all these tenses here with examples.
Below is list of all English tenses including the structure and explanation of usage of each tense:
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