What is a Tense?
The Tense is a form of the verb showing the time of the happening of an action denoted by it and its state.
USES OF DIFFERENT TENSES
THE PRESENT TENSE
A] 1.ThePresent Indefinite Tense/Simple Present Tense: This is used in the following ways.
i]To express a present action — I know Steve fiyepateiMujoh.
ii] To express a habitual action. A habitual action is what a person does regularly. e.g. I pray every day. He eats rice twice in a year.
iii] To express a general truth—The sun rises in the east and set in the west.
iv]To describe past event with vividness[ it is called Historical Present] e.g. Defeated in the battle, the Emperor now turn towards his capital.
v] To express a future action: He comes tomorrow. The teachers arrive next week.
vi] To quote from existing works of authors/writers: The principal says, “The use of force is a temporary measure”
- The Present Continuous Tense: It is used to describe an action as going on at the time
of speaking : I am going home. We are reading in the library.
- The Present Perfect Tense: This is used to:
a] express an action just completed: I have seen the car. We have come.
b] express a past action, the result of which still continues: I have been around for some days. We have been here for a week. I have known him for a long time.
4.The Present Perfect Continuous Tense: It is used to state an action that begun in past time but continuing up to the present. It involves the use has/have+been+ -ing e.g. Iyanu has been sleeping since morning. Abiola andGbebemi have been going to school.
THE PAST TENSE
B] 1. The Past Indefinite Tense/Simple Past Tense: This is used to express-
a] an action that happened in the past: I ate bread yesterday. He went home.
b] a habitual action in the past: She walked twenty miles a day. I played football every Saturday when I was young.
- The Past Continuous Tense: It is used to express an action actually going on at some definite past time. The verb involves must be in –ING form e.g. We were reading when he called us. The players were sleeping when the ball hit the net.
- The Past Perfect Tense: It is used to express an action that happened sometimes in the past before another action had begun. The verb expressing the subsequent action is put into the Simple Past Tense. It involves the use of had + past participle e.g.
The train had left before I reached the station.
NOTE** It should be carefully remembered that the past perfect tense is used only to show the priority of one past event to another. Where no such priority of one event to another is implied, the Past Simple Tense should be used.
- The Past Perfect Continuous Tense: This is used to state an action that was finished at some definite past time but had been going on at the time of reference. It involves the use of had + been + -ing.e.gAgwu had been reading novels. Bolaji had been studying law since last year.
THE FUTURE TENSE
C] 1. The future Indefinite Tense/Simple Future Tense:It is used for simple prediction or for an action to be done at some future time. e.g I shall meet you. We shall visit your house.
- The Future Continuous Tense: This is used to describe an action as going on at some future time. It involves the use of –ING forms of verbs. E.g. I shall be going to Ondo by this time tomorrow. You will be sleeping by that time.
- The Future Perfect Tense: It is used to express an action that is to be finished in future time. E.g. We shall have finished our work by this time tomorrow.
NOTE** When there are two future actions, that which will happen first is expressed in the Future Perfect Tense. E.g. Gabriel Imo will have eaten his meal before he will start. I shall have reached home before you get up.
- The Future Perfect Continuous Tense: It is used to denote an action which is considered as already finished at some definite time in the future, but which will be in progress until then. E.g. Gbebemi shall have been going to school by this time tomorrow.
NOTE**Auxiliary verbs are always used to express future tense. Under Simple Future Tense, “Will” and Shall”, simple verbs and adverbs of time are used. Learners should understand this logic:
I will/shall go home.
We will/shall go home.
They will go home.
You will go home.
He will go home.
She will go home.
It will go home.