English Grammar Tense Notes and Questions

Introduction

Definition: Tense is the form of a verb, which shows the time of action and its degree of completeness. Tense gives us the knowledge of the time when an action is taking place.
Example
 Delhi attracts a large number of migrants. (Present Tense)
 I thought the best way is to put an end to any controversy. (Past Tense)
 Mr Ayush will pass the buck for the failures of his own.
(Future Tense)

Tense is divided into three categories. They are the following:
(i) Present Tense
(ii) Past Tense
(iii) Future Tense
Present Tense expresses actions in the present time; Past Tense expresses actions in the past time; and Future Tense expresses actions in the future time.

Present Tense
It expresses an action or event that takes place at present. Present Tense is divided into four categories. They are the following:
(i) Simple Present or Present Indefinite
(ii) Present Continuous or Present Progressive
(iii) Present Perfect
(iv) Present Perfect Continuous

Simple Present or Present Indefinite
This tense (‘s used t-o express the habitual action which is truths, planned activities, quotations and to put questions. This tense shows an action done in a general way in the present time.

Example
 Smith speaks English fluently.
 Jackson recognizes me very well.
 They know well about this matter.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘speaks’, ‘recognizes’ and ‘know’ show an action done in general way in present time. They do not say whether the action is complete or incomplete. These verbs are in Present Indefinite Tense.

Points to keep in mind:

 Present Indefinite Tense is used to show a habitual action.
Example: Michael goes to college every day.

 Present Indefinite Tense is used to express a universal truth.
Example: The earth moves round the sun.

 Positive sentences do not use do or does.
You make a point.

 For the 3rd person singular (he, she, it or the name of any person), add s/es to the main verb
My mother encourages me to take part in games.

Present Continuous Tense
The Present Continuous Tense is used to express an action or event that is taking place. This tense shows an action which is going on (or continuing) at the time of speaking.
 Vandana is taking yoga classes right now.
 India is developing day by day.
 The world is criticizing the terrorism.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘is taking’, ‘is developing’ and’ is criticizing’ show an action that is going on or continuing at the time of speaking (in present time). Here the action is incomplete. These verbs are in Present Continuous Tense.

Points to keep in mind:
 Present Continuous Tense is used to show a temporary action.
Example: We are talking about international issues.
 Present Continuous Tense is used to show an action expected to take places in future.
Example: My brother is going home tomorrow.
 Present Continuous Tense is used to talk about the activities happening now.
Example: My brother is reading a book.
 Present Continuous Tense is used to talk about activities happening around now, and not necessarily this very moment.
Example: He is working hard for his exam.

Present Perfect Tense
Present Perfect Tense is used to express the actions just completed, put questions and speak about past actions whose time is not specific. Present Perfect Tense shows an action started in the past and completed at the time of speaking (in present time).

Example
 She has learnt the lesson.
 Smith has done this work.
 They have reviewed the situation.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘has learnt’, ‘has done’ and ‘have reviewed’ show an action started in the past and completed at the time of speaking (in present time). These verbs are in Present Perfect Tense.

Points to keep in mind:
 Present Perfect Tense is used to express an action that has just been completed.
Example: Kunal has opened the room.
 Present Perfect Tense is used to express past actions whose time is not given.
Example: We have painted the room.
 Present Perfect Tense is used to describe experience.
Example: I have been to your place twice.
 Present Perfect Tense is used to talk about change that has happened over a Period of time

Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Present Perfect Continuous Tense shows an action that started at some time in the past and is continuing in the present time.

Example: 
 Michael has been reading a book for two hours.
 Maickel has been sleeping since 2 PM.
 They have been working since Monday.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘has been reading’, ‘has been sleeping ‘and ‘have been working’ show an action started at some time in the past and continuing in the present time. These verbs are in Present Perfect Continuous

Tense.
Points to keep in mind:
 In Present Perfect Continuous Tense ‘for’ is used to suggest period of time and ‘since’ to show point of time.
 Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used to show the continuity of an action which began in the past and still going on.
Example: Peasants have been ploughing the field for five hours. We have been discussing this matter since 27 July.

Past Tense
When a verb indicates a completed action. It is known as Past Tense.

Example: 
 Michael played cricket.
 Michael was playing cricket.
 Michael had played cricket.
 Michael had been playing cricket.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘played’, ‘was playing’, ‘had played’ and ‘had been playing’ show an action of past time. These verbs are said to be in the Past Tense.
Past Tense shows an action done in the past time.

Past Indefinite Tense
Past Indefinite Tense is used to express past habits, completed actions and put questions. It also shows an action done in general way in the past time.

Example: 
 Eight defence personnel, including three crew members, were injured when an IAF helicopter crashed.
 The Mi-26 chopper carrying defence personnel took off from the technical Airport at Satwari
 The defense lawyer argued that the judgment violated the fundamental principles.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘were injured’, ‘took off’ and ‘argued’ show an action completed in the past time. These verbs are in Past Indefinite Tense.

Points to keep in mind
 Past Indefinite Tense is used to show an action completed in the past.
Example: Maria left the town before the scheduled departure.

 Past Indefinite Tense is used to show a habitual action in the past.
Example: I used to play chess with my friends during leisure time.

Past Continuous Tense
The Past Continuous Tense is used to express the continuity of some past actions and to put questions. This tense shows an action going on at some time in the past and not completed.
 Prakash and his friends were celebrating their victory with great pomp and show.
 Rita was watching the video with great concentration.
 They were discussing about this matter.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘was celebrating’, ‘was watching’ and ‘were discussing’ show an action going on at some time in the past. Here the action is incomplete. The time of action may or may not be indicated. These verbs are in Past Continuous Tense.

Points to keep in mind
 Past Continuous Tense is used to show an action started and continued in the past time.
Example: She was watching the television when I came.

 Past Continuous Tense is used to show a persistent habit in the past. –
Example: He was playing cricket.

Past Perfect Tense
The Past Perfect Tense is used to express two earlier actions, completion of past actions and to put questions. It shows an action which had been completed before another action took place.

Example: 
 Vinoy had taken his meal before I arrived.
 Rajesh had gone to college before I reached
They had completed their job before you came.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘had taken’, ‘had gone’ and ‘had completed’ show that the action had been completed before another action took place. Here the earlier action takes Past Perfect Tense. These verbs are in Past Perfect Tense.

Points to keep in mind
Past Perfect Tense is used to show an action completed before another action took place.
Example: The college had closed before the professor came.

Past Perfect Tense is used to describe an action completed before a certain moment in the past.
Example: Deepika met Prakash in Mumbai in 2010. She had last seen him five years ago.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense
Past Perfect Continuous Tense shows an action starting before a certain point in the past and continuing up to that time.
They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.
Michael had been working at that company for three years when it went out of business.
James had been teaching in the university for more than a year before he left for India.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘had been talking’, ‘had been working’ and ‘had been teaching’ show an action that began before a certain point or period in the past and continuing up to that time. These verbs are in Past Perfect Continuous Tense.

Points to keep in mind
Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to show that the action was continuous and still going on at a point or period of time in the past.

Example: Raj had already been teaching in this college when he applied for another job.

Future Tense
In Future Tense, a verb indicates that an action will take place in future.
 Robert will go to London tomorrow.
 Robert will be going to London tomorrow.
 Robert will have gone to London tomorrow.
 Robert will have been going to London tomorrow.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘will go’, ‘will be going’, ‘will have gone’ and ‘will have been going’ show an action that will happen in future. These verbs are said to be in the Future Tense. Future Tense shows an action that will happen in future (coming) time.

Future Indefinite Tense
The Future Indefinite Tense is used to express a supposed action, determination and to put questions. This tense shows an action to be done in general way in the future time.

Example
A computer science professor of the University of Michigan will visit India.
The group will say the Indian government can simply ignore their message.
They will celebrate festival in the next month.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘will visit’, ‘will say’ and ‘will celebrate’ show an action to be done in the future time. These verbs are in Future Indefinite Tense.

Points to keep in mind
Future Indefinite Tense is used to show a future event.
Example: Aryan will play in the room.
Future Indefinite Tense is used when we plan to do something at the time of speaking.
Example: It is hot. I will drink cold water.

Future Continuous Tense
The Future Continuous Tense is used to indicate the continuity of a supposed action, possible actions or to put questions. This tense shows an action going on at some time in the future.

Example
James will be going to Paris tomorrow.
Indian Prime Minister will be arriving in Washington tomorrow.
You will be waiting for her when her plane arrives tonight.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘will be going’, ‘will be arriving’ and ‘will be waiting’ show an action going on at some time in the future. These verbs are in Future Continuous Tense.

Points to keep in mind
Future Continuous Tense is used to show an action in progress at some time in future.
Example: We think, she will be playing when we start.
Future Continuous Tense is used to show some future plan.
Example: Alberto will be visiting the Taj Mahal for a week.

Future Perfect Tense
The Future Perfect Tense is used to indicate the completion of a supposed action or an action that started earlier but still continues. This tense shows an action to be completed before another action will take place in future time.

Example
Anshu will have bought a bike before he gets a job.
You will have improved your English by the time you come back from the U.S.
They will have completed the project before the deadline.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘will have bought’, ‘will have perfected’ and ‘will have completed’ show an action which will be completed by a certain time in future. Here the earlier future action takes Future Perfect Tense and the subsequent action takes in simple present tense. These verbs are in Future perfect Tense.

Points to keep in minds
Future Perfect Tense is used to show the completion of an action by a Certain future time.
Example: I shall have finished my lunch by 7 a.m.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense
Future perfect Continuous Tense shows an action in progress for a period of time in the future.

Example
Dr. Reddy will have been teaching for 20 years next month.
They will have been talking for over an hour by the time their boss arrives.
Mr. Sen will have been teaching at the university for more than a year by the time he leaves for Asia.
In the above given sentences, the verbs ‘will have been teaching’, ‘will have been talking’ and ‘will have been teaching’ show an action in progress over a period of time in the future. These verbs are in Future Perfect Continuous Tense,

Points to keep in mind
Future Perfect Continuous Tense is used to show an action which will be in progress over a period of time which will end in future time.
Example: You will have been lying sick for a year by next month.

Fill in the blanks with suitable forms of verbs given in the brackets.

Snow __ (fall) on the mountains.
(Present Indefinite tense)
Answer:
Snow falls on the mountains.

She _ (speak) the truth.
(Present Continuous Tense)
Answer:
She is speaking the truth.

He __ (visit) this place twice.
(Present Perfect Tense)
Answer
: He has visited this place twice.

The boys _ (play) cricket in the park for over an hour.
(Present Perfect Continuous Tense)
Answer:
The boys have been playing cricket in the park for over an hour.

Fill in the blanks with suitable forms of verbs given in the brackets.

Vivek ________ (take) his meal now.
(A) Has
(B) Took
(C) Is taking
(D) Had
(E) None of these

Answer

C

Explanation: Vivek is taking his meal now

When I called him he ____________ (get) late for his office.
(A) Is getting
(B) Was getting
(C) Has get
(D) Gets
(E) None of these

Answer

B

Explanation: When I called him he was getting latefor his offic

Fill in the blanks with the verbs given in the brackets.

Mike __ (teach) at the university for more than a year before he left for London.
(A) Had been teaching
(B) Has been teaching
(C) Teaches
(D) Is teaching
(E) Was teaching

Answer

A

Jackson ____ (work) in this company for three years.
(A) Is working
(B) Has been working
(C) Was working
(D) Has worked
(E) Had worked

Answer

B

The whole class __________ (make) noise when the teacher arrived.
(A) Was making
(B) Is making
(C) Makes
(D) Has made
(E) Has been making

Answer

A

The President Obama _____________ (leave for) Russia tomorrow.
(A) Left for
(B) Will leave for
(C) Was leaving for
(D) Has been leaving for
(E) Has left for

Answer

B

She _________ (visit) her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.
(A) Has visited
(B) Was visiting
(C) Had visited
(D) Is visiting
(E) Visits

Answer

C

Man _____________ (reach) on the Moon.
(A) Reached
(B) Has reached
(C) Is reaching
(D) Was reaching

Answer

B

He ____________ (leave) his house when the police entered his house.
(A) Is leaving
(B) Has left
(C) Had left
(D) All of these
(E) None of these

Answer

C

My uncle ___________ (teach) me tomorrow at this time.
(A) Teach
(B) Will have taught
(C) Teaching
(D) Was teaching
(E) Is teaching

Answer

B

I ____________ (wait) at the station at this lesion time next week
(A) Wait
(B) Is waiting
(C) Will have waited
(D) Was waiting
(E) Has waited

Answer

C

Smith ________ (not learn) his lesson till yesterday.
(A) Is not learnin
(B) Has not learnt
(C) Not learns
(D) Has not been learning
(E) Had not learnt

Answer

E

Explanation for selected Questions

1. Mike had been teaching at the university for more than a year before he left for London.

2. Jackson has been working in this company for three y

3. The whole class was making noise when the teacher arriv

4. The President Obama will leave for Russia tomorro

5. She had visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.

6. Man has reached on the moon.

7. ‘He had left his house when the police entered his hou

8. My uncle will have taught me tomorrow at this tim

9. I will have waited at the station at this time next wee

10. Smith had not learnt his lesson till yesterday.