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  • Last Update:
  • 01 Aug, 2018.

    12 Tenses in English with Tamil Meaning Click Here

    Tenses Table in English

    Tenses of the Verb

    The tense of a verb shows the time of an action or event.

    Kinds of Tenses

    Present Simple
    take / takes; read / reads

    The simple present tense is used in the following contexts.

    To express a general truth

    • Birds fly
    • Animals run.
    • Trains go very slowly uphill.

    To express some habitual actions

    • My father goes for a walk in the evening.
    • I get up at six o’clock every day.

    To denote a universal truth

    • Honesty tastes sweet.
    • The sun rises in the east.

    Note: When the subject is third person singular we add ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the main verb for simple present tense.
    • I (we/you/they) walk quickly.
    • He (she/it) walks quickly.

    Keywords: generally, usually, often, hardly, rarely, every day.

    Past Simple
    took / ate

    We use the past simple to refer to actions, throughts or feelings finished before the time of speaking.

    • I saw a thrilling football match yesterday.
    • My uncle came here last Monday.

    Future Simple
    will take / shall talke / will see / shall see

    It is used to express a simple future action.

    • I shall see you tonight.
    • The flight will take two hours.

    Keywords : tomorrow, next week, next month.

    Present Continuous
    is / am / are verb+ing

    I am eating. She (he/it) is eating. You (we/they) are eating.

    1.The present continuous tense is used to denote an action which is going on at the time of speaking.

    • She is writing a letter now.
    • Please don’t shout. The baby is sleeping.

    2.It is also used to denote a future action.

    • The Governor is leaving for the States on Sunday.
    • Are you playing for the Free Birds this year?

    Keywords : now, at present.

    Past Continuous
    was / were verb+ing

    • I (she / he / it) was running fast.
    • They (you / we) were running fast.

    The past continuous is used to indicate an action going on at some past time.

    • They wre working in the field when the lightning struck.
    • Rosy fell down while she was climbing the stairs.


    Future Continuous
    will be verb+ing / shall be verb+ing

    The future continuous is used to denote an action which will be going on at some future period.

    • She will be lecturing at the college auditorium tomorrow.
    • By this time tomorrow we shall be writing the English test.


    Present Perfect
    have + past participle / has + past participle

    • I (we / you / they) have finished the work.
    • He (she / it) has finished the work.

    The present perfect tense is used to indicate an action just completed and the consequence of which are still present.

    • I have already seen this film. I have been to Ceylon.

      Keywords : just, yet, already, so far.

    Past Perfect
    had + past participle

    1. It is used to describe a time before the past time being discussed.

    • I had spoken to the Secretary before the meeting began.


    2. When two past actions happened, the action that took place first is denoted by past perfect.

    • The thief had escaped before the police came.
    • When we reached the airport the plane had alrady left.

    Future Perfect
    will have + past participle / shall have + past participle

    The furure perfect denotes that a certain action will have been completed at some future period.

    • They will have finished the work before sunset.
    • I shall have completed all the assignments by the end of this month.

    Present Perfect Continuous
    have been verb +ing / has been verb+ing

    The present perfect continuous tense expresses an action that began sometime ago and is still going on without break and is not yet completed.

    • She has been writing means ‘She was writing before and she is writing still’.
    • I have been working here since 1988.

      Keywords : since, for.

    Past Perfect Continuous
    The past perfect continuous tense is used to express an action that had been going on for sometime previous to the point of time mentioned.

    • Mr Joe had been working in a school before he came to this college.

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