Time and Tense

 

Table of Contents

Distinction Between Time and Tense

 

In order to understand this chapter, it is necessary first to understand the meanings of Time and Tense and the distinction between the two. Time is used in the ordinary sense as we know it in life. Time has three dimensions—the Present Time, the Past Time, and the Future Time. But Tense is a grammatical term, showing the grammatical forms of the Verb. Thus Time points to the meaning of the Verb, and Tense to the form of the Verb.

 

There are three broad divisions of Tense—the Present Tense, the Past Tense, and the Future Tense. Each Tense is further divided into four sub-divisions—

  1. Simple,
  2. Continuous (Progressive),
  3. Perfect,
  4. Perfect Continuous.

 

In this way Time has three divisions, while Tense has twelve divisions. It may further be pointed out that One Tense may show more than one dimension of Time.

 

For example, Simple Present Tense may show Present Time, Past Time and Future Time. Likewise, Simple Past Tense can also show Present Time, Past Time and Future Time.

 

For example, see the following Question and its Answer :

 

  1. How does Ram earn his living ?

Ans. He runs a shop.

 

The above Answer is in Simple Present Tense, but in its sense it shows Past, Present and Future Time, because he had the shop in the past; he has it in the present, and he will keep it in future too. In other words this sentence is in Simple Present Tense but in Past, Present, and Future Time.

 

Now see this sentence— “I go to Bombay tomorrow morning.”

 

This sentence is in Simple Present Tense, but in sense it shows Future Time.

 

Now see the following sentences written in Simple Past Tense. All these sentences are in Past Tense, but in sense the first sentence is in Past Time, the second in Present Time, the third in Future Time. As—

  1. I sent a message to my brother yesterday. (Past Tense and Past time)
  2. If I sent a message to my brother just now, he would receive it tomorrow. (Past Tense and Present time)
  3. If I sent a message to my brother tomorrow, he would receive it on Sunday morning. (Past Tense and Future time)

 

Therefore a student must clearly understand the distinction between Present Tense and Present Time, Past Tense and Past Time, and Future Tense and Future Time.

 

Let us now study in detail the Tenses and Time Sense.

Three Forms of Verbs

 

Present, Past and Past Participle Forms of Some Difficult Verbs Each Verb has Three Forms :

 

I Form or Present Tense.

 

II Form or Past Tense.

 

III Form or Past Participle.

 

Since no sentence can be formed without using a Verb in a certain form, we give below a list of the I, II, and III Forms of some typical Verbs in the use of which an error is often committed : Group I I Form II Form III Form

 

Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle Arise arose arisen Bear bore born Bear bore borne Beat beat beaten Beget begot begot   I Form II Form III Form Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle Bid bade bidden Bite bit bitten Bind bound bound Blow blew blown Break broke broken Burn burnt burnt Chide chid chid Choose chose chosen Creep crept crept Deal dealt dealt Dwell dwelt dwelt Draw drew drawn Drink drank drunk Drive drove driven Eat ate eaten Fall fell fallen Feel felt felt Fly flew flown Forbear for bore forborne Forget forgot forgotten Forsake forsook forsaken Freeze froze frozen Get got got Give gave given Go went gone Grow grew grown Hang hanged hanged Hide hid hidden Kneel knelt knelt Know knew known Laugh laughed laughed Lie lay lain Mean meant meant Ride rode ridden Rise rose risen See saw seen Shake shook shaken Show showed shown Shrink shrank shrunk Sink sank sunk Sow sowed sown Slay slew slain Sleep slept slept

 

I Form II Form III Form Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle Slide slid slid Smell smelt smelt Smite smote smitten Speak spoke spoken Spoil spoilt spoilt Steal stole stolen Stride strode stridden Strike struck struck Strive strove striven Swear swore sworn Sweep swept swept Take took taken Teach taught taught Tear tore torn Throw threw thrown Tread trod trodden Wear wore worn Weave wove woven Weep wept wept Write wrote written Group II Abide abode abode Awake awoke awoke Build built built Become became become Begin began begun Behold beheld beheld Bend bent bent Cling clung clung Come came come Dig dug dug Feed fed fed Fight fought fought Find found found Fling flung flung Grind ground ground Hold held held Lend lent lent Lead led led Ring rang rung Run ran run Read read read

 

I Form II Form III Form Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle Shine shone shone Sing sang sung Spin spun spun Spring sprang sprung Stand stood stood Stick stuck stuck Sting stung stung String strung strung Swim swam swam Win won won Wind wound wound Wring wrung wrung Group III The following Verbs remain the same in all the three forms : Bet bet bet Burst burst burst Cast cast cast Cut cut cut Cost cost cost Hit hit hit Hurt hurt hurt Let let let Put put put Read Read Read Rid rid rid Set set set Shed shed shed shut shut shut Split split split Spread spread spread Thrust thrust thrust

 

Structure of Sentences According to Tenses

As we have said above, there are Three Tenses, and each tense is further divisible into four sub-divisions. Thus there are in all twelve divisions, and each division has its own grammatical structure. We are giving below examples of all these twelve structures along with their Rules.

 

Note—In the Rules given below, V1 stands for the First Form (Present Tense) of the Verb, V2 for the Second Form (Past Tense) and V3 for the Third Form (Past Participle) of the Verb.

1. PRESENT TENSE

Read the following sentences carefully—

 

  1. PRESENT INDEFINITE TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I read my book. He loves his school. You help the poor. They love their country.

 

(ii) Negative Sentences— I do not read my book. He does not love his school. You do not help the poor. They do not love their country.

 

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Do I read my book ? Does he love his school ? Do you help the poor ? Where does he go ?

 

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Do I not read my book ? Does he not love his school ? Do you not help the poor ? Where does he not go ? Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative sentences I, We, You, They and Plural Nouns take the verb in the First Form. But He, She, It and Singular Nouns take the Verb in the First Form with s / es. [See (i)] Structure : I / We / You / They / Plural Nouns + V1 He / She / It / Singular Nouns + V1 + s / es

 

Rule 2—In Negative sentences I, We, You, They, and Plural Nouns take donot + Verb in the First Form. But He, She, It and Singular Nouns take does not + Verb in the First Form. [See (ii)] Structure : I / We / You /They/Plural Nouns + do not + V1 He / She / It / Singular Nouns + does not + V1

 

Rule 3—Interrogative Sentences have two structures :

 

(i) Those that begin with Do Verb (do, does, did). After the Do Verb comes the subject and thereafter Verb in the First Form.

(ii) Those that begin with Interrogative Adverb (What, Where, Why, When, Who, etc.). After the Adverb there follows the same structure as given above. [See (iii)] Structure :

(i) Do Verb + Subject + V1

(ii) Adverb + Do Verb + Subject + V1

 

Rule 4—In the Interrogative Negative Sentences both the structures are the same as under Rule 3 above except that in them not is added after the subject. [See (iv)]

 

  1. PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I am reading my book. He is going to school. They are playing football. You are going. (ii) Negative Sentences— I am not reading my book. He is not going to school. You are not going.

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Am I reading my book ? Is he going to school ? Are you going ? Where are you going ?

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Am I not reading my book ? Is he not going to school ? Are you not going ? Where are you not going ? Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative Sentences I takes am + V1x ‘ing’, You, We, They and Plural Nouns take are + V1x ‘ing’, and He, She, It and Singular Nouns take is + V1x ‘ing’. [See (i)]

 

Structure : I + am + V1x ‘ing’ We/You/They/Plural Nouns + are + V1x ‘ing’ He / She / It / Singular Nouns + is + V1x ‘ing’

 

Rule 2—In Negative Sentences not is added after is, am, are in the above noted structures. [See (ii)]

 

Structure : I + am + not + V1x ‘ing’ We / You / They / Plural Nouns + are + not + V1x ‘ing’ He / She / It / Singular Nouns + is + not + V1x ‘ing’

 

Rule 3—Interrogative sentences begin with the Auxiliary Verb Is / Am / Are. Adverbial Interrogatives are used even before the Auxiliaries. [See (iii)]

 

Structure : Am + I + V1x ‘ing’ Are + We / You / They + V1x ‘ing’ Is + he / she / it + V1x ‘ing’

 

Rule 4—Interrogative Negative Sentences follow the same structures as given under Rule 3 above except that not is used before the Principal Verb. [See iv]

 

Structure : Am + I + not + V1x ‘ing’ Are + We / You / They + not + V1x ‘ing’ Is + he / she / it + not + V1x ‘ing’ 3.

 

PRESENT PERFECT TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I have read my book. You have finished your work. He has gone to Calcutta. They have left Agra.

 

(ii) Negative Sentences— I have not read my book. You have not finished your work. He has not gone to Calcutta. They have not left Agra.

 

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative—

Have I read my book ? Have you finished your work ? Has he gone to Calcutta ? Have they left Agra ? Where have they gone ?

 

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Have I not read my book ? Have you not finished your work ? Has he not gone to Calcutta ? Have they not left Agra ? What have they not done ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative sentences I, We, You, They, and Plural Nouns take have + third form of the Verb. He, She, It and Singular Nouns take has + third form of the Verb. [See (i)]

 

Structure : I / We / You / They + have + V3 He / She / it + has + V3

 

Rule 2—In Negative sentences we use not after has or have in the above structures. [See (ii)]

 

Structure : I / We / You / They + have + not + V3 He / She / it + has + not + V3

 

Rule 3—Interrogative sentences begin with the Auxiliary Have or Ha s, after which comes the Subject and then Verb in the Third Form. Interrogative Adverbs, if any, are used even before Have or Has. [See (iii)]

 

Structure : Have / Has + Subject + V3 Interrogative Adverb + have/has+Subject + V3

 

Rule 4—In Interrogative Negative sentences not is used before the Verb. [See (iv)]

 

Structure : Have / Has + Subject + not + V3 Interrogative Adverb + have / has + Subject + not + V3 4. PRESENT

 

PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I have been working for four hours. He has been sleeping since 6 O’clock. You have been living here since July.

 

(ii) Negative Sentences— I have not been working for four hours. He has not been sleeping since 6 O’clock. You have not been living here since July.

 

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Have I been working for four hours ? Has he been sleeping since 6 O’clock ? Why has the child been weeping for two hours ?

 

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Have I not been working for four hours ? Has he not been sleeping since 6 O’ clock? Why have you not been reading since the morning ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—Perfect Continuous Tense expresses period of time. If the period of time is definite (i.e. the starting point of time is known), we use since, as since July, since 4 O’clock, since Monday, since 1964, etc. But if the period of time is not definite (i.e. the starting point of time is not known), we use for, as for some time, for five hours, for fifteen years, etc.

 

Rule 2—In Affirmative Sentences I, We, You, They, and Plural Nouns take have been followed by the Verb in the First Form X ‘ing’. He, She, It and Singular Nouns take has been followed by the Verb in the First Form X ‘ing’. [See (i)] Structure : Subject + have/has been + V1x ‘ing’ + Time

 

Rule 3—In Negative Sentences we use not after have or has in the above structure. [See (ii)]

 

Structure : Subject + have not been / has not been + V1x ‘ing’ + Time

 

Rule 4—In Interrogative Sentences we use Have / Has at the beginning of the Sentence, followed by the Subject and then comes been and then Verb in the First Form X ‘ing’, and then Time. [See (iii)]

 

Structure : Have / Has + Subject + been + V1x ‘ing’ + Time

 

Rule 5—In Interrogative Negative sentences we use not before been. [See (iv)]

 

Structure : Have / Has + Subject + not + been + V1x ‘ing’ + Time.

    2.PAST TENSE

Read the following sentences carefully—

 

     1.PAST INDEFINITE TENSE

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I helped my friend. You loved your school. He wrote a book.

(ii) Negative Sentences— I did not help my friend. You did not love your school. He did not write a book.

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Did I help my friend ? Did you love your school ? Did you write a book ? Where did you go ?

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Did I not help my friend ? Did you not love your school ? Where did you not go ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative Sentences we use the Second Form of the Verb with every Subject of any Person or any Number. [See (i)]

 

Structure : Subject + V2

 

Rule 2—In Negative sentences we use did not followed by the Verb in the First Form with every Subject. [See (ii)] Structure : Subject + did not + V1

 

Rule 3—In Interrogative Sentences we begin the sentence with Did, and then use the Subject and after that Verb in the First Form. [See (iii)] Structure : Did + Subject + V1

 

Rule 4—In Interrogative Negative sentences not is used before the main verb. [See (iv)]

 

Structure : Did + Subject + not + V1 6.

 

PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I was reading my book. He was going to school. They were playing football. You were going.

(ii) Negative Sentences— I was not reading my book. He was not going to school. You were not going.

 

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Was I reading my book ? Was he going to school ? Were you going ? Where were you going ?

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Was I not reading my book ? Was he not going to school ? Were you not going ? Where were you not going ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative sentences I, He, She, It and Singular Nouns take was + V1x ‘ing’. You, We, They and Plural Nouns take were + V1x ‘ing’. [See (i)]

 

Structure : I/He/She/It/Singular Noun + was + V1x ‘ing’ You/We/They/Plural Nouns+were + V1x ‘ing’

 

Rule 2—In Negative Sentences not is used after was or were. [See (ii)]

 

Rule 3—In Interrogative sentences the Auxiliary Verb was or is used at the beginning of the sentence. Interrogative Adverb, if required, is used even before was or were Were . [See (iii)] Structure : Was / Were + Subject + V1x ‘ing’. Interrogative Adverb + was / were + Subject + Subject + was / were + not + V V1x ‘ing’.

 

Rule 4—In Interrogative Negative Sentences not is used before the main verb. [See (iv)]

 

Structure : Was / Were + Subject + not + V1x ‘ing’ Structure : 1x ‘ing’

 

  1. PAST PERFECT TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences—

He had left India before independence.

He had already gone. I had taken my dinner before sunset.

He had gone before you reached there.

The patient had died before the doctor reached.

Mohan came after Ram had left.

 

(ii) Negative Sentences—

I did not take my dinner after the sun had set.

He had not gone before you reached there.

The patient had not died before the doctor reached.

 

(iii) Interrogative Sentences :

Affirmative—

Did I take my dinner after the sun had set ?

Had he gone before you reached there ?

Had the patient died before the doctor reached ?

Why had you gone before he came ?

 

(iv) Interrogative Sentences :

Negative— Had I not taken my dinner before the sun set ?

Had he not gone before you reached there ?

Had the patient not died before the doctor reached ?

Why had you not gone before he came ?

 

Rules

Rule 1—In sentences of Past Perfect Tense there is usually an expression of Time, a s before, after, already, long ago, etc. The verb used is in the form of had + verb in the Third Form with every subject of any Person or Number. [See (i)]

 

Structure : Subject + had + V3

 

Rule 2—Past Perfect Tense is usually used in Complex sentences. The Subordi-nate clause i s connected with the Principal clause with before or after.

 

Rule 3—In sentences in which before is used, the Principal clause requires the verb as had + V3 (Past Perfect) and the Subordinate clause requires only V2 (Past Indefinite Tense). [See (i & ii)]

 

Structure : Subject + had + V3 (Principal Clause) + before + Subject + V2 (Sub. ord. Clause)

 

Rule 4—In sentences in which after is used, the Principal clause requires only Past Indefinite Verb (V2) and Subordinate Clause Past Perfect Verb (had + V3). [See (ii)]

 

Structure : Subject + V2 (Principal Clause) + after+ Subject + had + V3 (Subordinate Clause)

 

Rule 5—In Negative sentences formed under Rule 1 above not is used after had; in sentences formed under Rule 3 above not is used in the Principal Clause after had ; and in sentences formed under Rule 4 above, the Past Indefinite Verb (V2) in the Principal Clause is converted into did not + V1. [See (ii)]

 

Structure : (1) Subject + had + not + V3 (3) Subject + had + not + V3 + before + Subject + V2 (4) Subject + did not + V1 + after + Subject + had + V3

 

Rule 6—In Interrogative sentences formed under Rules (1) and (3) above, had is shifted to the beginning of the sentence (keeping the remaining structure unchanged). In sentences formed under Rule (4) above, Sub-ject + V2 are converted into Did + Subject + V1. [See (iii)]

 

Structure : (1) Had + Subject + V3 (3) Had + Subject + V3 + before + Subject + V2 (4) Did + Subject + V1 + after + Subject + had + V3

 

Rule 7—In Interrogative Negative sentences not is used before the main Verb in each form. [See (iv)] Structure : (1) Had + Subject + not + V3 (3) Had + Subject + not + V3 + before + Subject + V2 (4) Did + Subject + not + V1 + after + Subject + had + V3

 

  1. PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I had been working for four hours. He had been sleeping since 6 O’clock. We had been living in Delhi since 1950.

 

(ii) Negative Sentences— I had not been working for four hours. He had not been sleeping since 6 O’clock. We had not been living in Delhi since 1960.

 

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Had he been working for four hours ? Had he been sleeping since 6 O’clock ? Had we been living in Delhi since 1980? Why had the child been weeping for two hours ?

 

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Had I not been working for four hours ? Had he not been sleeping since 6 O’clock ? Had we not been living in Delhi since 1980 ? Why had you not been reading since the morning ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—Sentences of Past Perfect Continuous Tense also carry the sense of Time. For definite starting point of time we use since, and for indefinite point of time we use for (as under Past Perfect Tense above).

 

Rule 2—In Affirmative Sentences we use the Verb in the form of had been + Verb in the First Form x ‘ing’ with every subject of any Person or any number. [See (i)]

 

Structure : Subject + had been + V1x ‘ing’ + Time phrase

 

Rule 3—In Negative Sentences we use not between had and been. [See (ii)] Structure : Subject + had not been + V1x ‘ing’ + Time

 

Rule 4—In Interrogative sentences we begin the sentence with Had, or with Interrogative Adverb used even before Had. [See (iii)] Structure : Had + Subject + been + V1x ‘ing’ + Time phrase Interrogative Adverb + Had + Subject + been x ‘ing’ + Time

 

Rule 5—In Interrogative Negative sentences we use not before been in the structure under Rule 4 above. [See (iv)] Structure : Had + Subject + not + been + V1x ‘ing’ +

 

  1. FUTURE TENSE

 

Read the following sentences carefully—

 

  1. FUTURE INDEFINITE TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences—

I shall help you.

He will come today.

You will do your work.

They will go to Kanpur.

 

(ii) Negative Sentences—

I shall not help you.

He will not come today.

You will not do your work.

They will not go to Kanpur.

 

(iii) Interrogative Sentences :

Affirmative— Shall I help you ?

Will he come today ?

Will you do your work ?

Will they go to Kanpur ?

Where will they go ?

 

(iv) Interrogative Sentences :

Negative— Shall I not help you ?

Will he not come today ?

Will you not do your work ?

Will they not go to Kanpur ?

Where will they not go ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative sentences I and We take shall followed by Verb in the First Form, and He, You, They and every Noun take will followed by Verb in the first Form. [See (i)]

 

Structure : I / We + Shall + V1 He / You / They / any Noun + will + V1

 

Rule 2—In Negative sentences we use not after shall or will in the structure under Rule 1 above. [See (ii)]

 

Structure : I / We + shall + not + V1 He / You / They / any Noun + will + not + V1

 

Rule 3—In Interrogative sentences we begin the sentence with shall or will, or with Interrogative Adverb used even before Shall / Will. [See (iii)]

 

Structure : Shall / will + Subject + V1 Interrogative Adverb+shall/will + Subject+V1

 

In Interrogative Negative sentences we use not before the main verb in the structure under Rule 3 above. [See (iv)]

 

Structure : Interrogative Adverb / shall / will + Subject + not + V1

 

Rule 5—Sometimes for the sake of emphasis we use will with I / We, and shall with He / You / They / any Noun. 10.

 

FUTURE CONTINUOUS TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I shall be helping you. You will be going to Kanpur. He will be coming today.

(ii) Negative Sentences— I shall not be helping you. You will not be going to Kanpur. He will not be coming today. (iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Shall I be helping you ? Will you be going to Kanpur ? Will he be coming today ? Where will you be going ?

 

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative Shall I not be helping you ? Will you not be going to Kanpur ? Will he not be coming today ? Where will you not be going ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative sentences I / We take shall be followed by Verb in the First Form X ‘ing’, and You / He / They / any Noun take will be followed by Verb in the First Form X ‘ing’. [See (i)] Rule 4— Structure : I / We + shall be + V1x ‘ing’. You/He/They/any Noun + will be + V1x ‘ing’.

 

Rule 2—In Negative sentences we use not after shall / will. [See (ii)] Structure : I / We + shall + not + be + V1 x ‘ing’. You / He / They / any Noun + will + not + be + V1 x ‘ing’.

 

Rule 3—In Interrogative sentences we use Shall / Will at the beginning of the sentence or Interrogative Adverb even before shall / will. [See (iii)] Structure : Interrogative Adverb / Shall / Will + subject + be + V1x ‘ing’.

 

Rule 4—In Interrogative Negative sentences we use not before be in the structure under Rule 3 above. [See (iv)] Structure : Shall / Will + Subject + not + be + V1x ‘ing’

 

Rule 5—For emphasis we use will with I / We and shall with You / He / They / every Noun. 11.

 

FUTURE PERFECT TENSE

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I shall have finished my work. You will have gone before he comes. He will have reached the station before the train leaves.

(ii) Negative Sentences— I shall not have finished my work. You will not have gone before he comes. He will not have reached the station before the train leaves.

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Shall I have finished my work ? Will you have gone before he comes ? Will he have reached the station before the train leaves ? Why will he have gone before you reach?

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Shall I not have finished my work ? Will you not have gone before he comes? Will he not have reached the station before the train leaves ? Why will he not have gone before you reach ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—In Affirmative sentences I / We take shall have, and You / He / They / every Noun take will have, followed by the verb in the Third Form. [See (i)] I / We + shall have + V3 You / He / They / Noun + will have + V3

 

Rule 2—In Negative sentences we use not after shall / will. [See (ii)] Structure : Subject + shall not have / will not have + V3

 

Rule 3—The Interrogative sentence begins with Will or Shall. Interrogative Adverb, if any, is used even before will / shall. [See (iii)] Structure : Shall / Will + Subject + have + V3

 

Rule 4—Interrogative Negative sentences take not before have. [See (iv)] Structure : Shall / Will + Subject + not have + V3

 

  1. FUTURE PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE

 

(i) Affirmative Sentences— I shall have been reading for four hours. He will have been living in Delhi since 1980. You will have been waiting for him for two hours.

 

(ii) Negative Sentences— I shall not have been reading for four hours. Structure : He will not have been living in Delhi since 1980. You will not have been waiting for him for two hours.

(iii) Interrogative Sentences : Affirmative— Shall I have been reading for four hours? Will he have been living in Delhi since 1980 ? Why will he have been waking for four hours ?

(iv) Interrogative Sentences : Negative— Shall I not have been reading for four hours ? Will he not have been living in Delhi since 1980 ? Why will he not have been waiting for us since morning ?

 

Rules

 

Rule 1—These sentences always use some phrase of Time. For a definite starting point of time we use since, and for an indefinite starting point we use for.

 

Rule 2—In Affirmative sentences I / We take shall have been, and You / He / They / any Noun take will have been, followed by Verb in the First Form x ‘ing’. [See (i)]

 

Structure : I / We + shall have been + V1x ‘ing’ You / He / They / any Noun + will have been + V1x ‘ing’.

 

Rule 3—In Negative sentences not is used after shall / will. [See (ii)] Structure : Subject + shall not have been / will not have been + V1 + ‘ing’

 

Rule 4—Interrogative sentences begin with shall / will, or with Interrogative Adverb, if required, even before shall / will. [See (iii)]

 

Structure : Shall / Will + Subject + have been + V1x ‘ing’ Interrogative Adverb + shall / will + Subject + have been + V1x ‘ing’

 

Rule 5—In Interrogative Negative sentences we use not before have in the structure under Rule 4 above. [See (iv)] Structure : Shall / Will + Subject + not + have been + V1x ‘ing’.

 

Uses of the Tenses

(i) Simple Present Tense The Simple Present Tense is used in the following situations—

  1.To express some universal Truth or Principle.

These sentences carry the sense of Past, Present and Future Time.

As—

  • The sun rises in the east.
  • The earth moves round the sun.
  • The moon appears in the night.
  • The rose smells sweet.
  • Water freezes at – 4°C.

 

 

2.To express some Permanent Activity or Nature.

They indicate Past, Present and Future Time.

As—

 

  • Birds lay their eggs in their nests.
  • Fish live in water.
  • She is always cheerful.
  • I regularly go for a walk.

 

 

 

  1. To express some habitual action or some repeated action. As—

 

 

  • I love children.
  • She uses heavy cosmetics.
  • He reads till late in the night.
  • He does not talk much.

 

  4.To express some Programme, Function or Decision fixed for Future.

It indicates Future Time. As—

 

  • Our examinations begin tomorrow.
  • We play a friendly match next Sunday.
  • I go to Bombay tomorrow morning.
  • Deepawali falls next month.

 

 

  1. To express some historical truth, vivid description, live commentary or broadcasting. As—

 

1.Now Shivaji escapes from the Fort of Agra.

2.India gets Independence on the 15th of August, 1947.

3.In the course of the exciting car rally a car falls into the valley.

4.Now Kapil Deo strikes a sixer.

5.The Prime Minister hoists the national flag.

 

 

  1. Clauses of time or condition are also expressed in Simple Present Tense. As—

 

  • If you work hard, you will pass.
  • You will be appointed if you apply.
  • Please wait until I come.
  • The train will leave before you reach.

 

  1. The following Verbs are mostly used in the Simple Present Tense. They should not be used in Present Continuous Tense.

 

These Verbs are :

 

  1. Verbs of perception ………. see, hear, smell, notice, recognize.

 

  1. Verbs of appearing ………. appear, look, seem.

 

  1. Verbs of emotion ……….. want, wish, desire, feel, like, love, hate, hope, refuse, prefer.

 

  1. Verbs of thinking ………. think, suppose, believe, agree, consider, trust, remember, forget, know, understand, imagine, mean, mind.

 

  1. Verbs of “having” ………. have, own, possess, belong to, contain, consist of, be (in the active voice)

 

 

 

 

 (ii) Present Continuous Tense

Present Continuous Tense is used in the following situations—

 

       1.To express an action going on at the time of speaking. As—

 

  1. He is reading his book.
  2. The baby is sleeping.
  3. The teacher is teaching.
  4. The birds are flying.

 

 

  1. To indicate a certain programme or a decision scheduled to take place in near future. It carries the sense of Future Time. As—

 

  1. We are playing a match tomorrow.
  2. I am leaving for Calcutta this evening.
  3. My father is coming today.
  4. I am going to the cinema tonight.

 

  1. To express some possibility or determination. As—

 

  1. I am going to buy a car.
  2. She is going to give a performance.
  3. He is going to boat in the lake.
  4. You are going to lose in this bargain.

 

(iii) Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Tense is used in the following situations—

 

  1. To indicate an action that has just been completed and has, therefore, ceased to have its connection with the present time. As—

 

  1. He has just closed the shop.
  2. I have just come from Delhi.
  3. You have finished your work.
  4. She has gone with her father.

 

  1. It is also used to indicate an action that started some time in the past and continuing up to the present moment. As—

 

  1. I have lived in Bombay for five years.
  2. She has been ill since last week.
  3. I have not met him for a long time.
  4. They have not come here for many months.

 

  1. To indicate past actions of which time is not given and not definite. As—

 

1.He has never come here.

2.He has been a famous actor.

3.I have read Shakespeare.

4.He has been to America.

 

 

  1. The following Adverbs or Adverbial phrases can be used with the Present Perfect Tense—just, ever, never, often, so far, till now, already, for, since, today, this morning, this week, etc. As—

 

  1. He has never come till now.
  2. I have just arrived.
  3. He has not seen me so far.

 

 

5.Adverbs or Adverbial phrases of Past time (yesterday, last year, some time ago, etc.) cannot be used with the Present Perfect Tense.

The following sentences are wrong :

 

 

  1. He has come yesterday.
  2. He has passed M. A. last year.

 

Such sentences should be written in Simple Past Tense. As—

  1. He came yesterday.
  2. He passed M. A. last year.

 

 

 

 

(iv) Present Perfect Continuous Tense

 

The Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express the actions that began some time in the past and are still continuing. As—

 

 

 

  1. He has been studying since 6 O’clock.
  2. It has been raining since morning.
  3. He has been working in this factory for many years.
  4. I have been living in this house since 1990.

 

 

 

(v) Simple Past Tense

Simple Past Tense is used in the following cases—

 

  1. To express actions that ended in the past, and carry the sense of Past Time. As—

 

 

 

  • I wrote a letter yesterday
  • She came to me this morning.
  • I studied in this college.
  • I met him in the market.

 

 

  1. This tense also expresses past habits or style of working. As—

 

 

  • He used to wear white trousers.

  • He never went to bed before midnight.

  • He never told a lie.

  • He often came on foot.

     

     

     

Note—In such sentences Adverbs of Frequency are often used.

 

 

(vi) Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense is used in the following cases—

 

 

The Past Continuous Tense indicates an action going on till some time in the past.

These sentences may or may not use some phrase of time. As—

 

 

  1. We were watching the T.V. this evening.
  2. They were playing football.
  3. I was teaching them Shakespeare.
  4. I was sleeping at that time.

 

 

This Tense also expresses some persistent habits in the past.

Adverbs of Frequency (always, often, continually, etc.) are often used with this Tense. As—

 

 

  1. He was often grumbling.
  2. He was always complaining.
  3. She was continually harassing her husband.

 

 

 (vii) Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Tense is used in the following situations—

 

 

 

  1. To express an action already completed before a certain point of time in the past. As—

 

  1. He had built his house before 1980.
  2. He had resigned from his post before joining here.
  3. Cholera had broken out in Africa fifteen years earlier also.
  4. He had already decided to settle down in America.

 

  1. If reference is to two activities completed in the past, one activity having been completed earlier than the other, the one completed earlier will require Past Perfect Tense, and the later one Simple Past Tense. As—

 

 

  1. The doctor arrived after the patient had died.
  2. The patient had died before the doctor arrived.
  3. He reached the station after the train had left.
  4. He had gone to bed before you reached there.

 

 

 

Note—(i) The Conjunctions used to connect the Principal and Sub-ordinate clauses in such sentences are before or after. (ii) If two actions are completed almost at the same time in the past, the Simple Past Tense is used for both. As—

 

 

  1. He closed the door and went to bed.
  2. The servant came and gave me a glass of water.

 

 

 

(viii) Past Perfect Continuous Tense The Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used to express an action started before a certain point of time in the past and continuing to the present moment. As—

 

 

 

  • It had been raining for two hours.
  • He had been teaching at this school for ten years.
  • He had been playing cricket in England for five years.
  • I had been practising law for a number of years.

 

 

(ix) Simple Future Tense

Simple Future Tense is used to convey the following sense—

 

  1. To indicate an action scheduled to take place in future. As—

 

 

  • I shall go to office tomorrow.
  • We shall have holiday tomorrow.
  • He will come on Monday.
  • You will get your chance next time.

 

 

Note—To express strong will, determination, warning or order / command, I / We take will + Verb, and You / He / They take shall + Verb. As—

 

 

  • I will not act against my conscience.
  • We will not accept our defeat.
  • You shall not be late.
  • He shall not be allowed to go.

 

 

 

  1. Some Interrogative sentences begin with Shall I / Shall we, which convey the sense of advice / suggestion / request / proposal, and they express Present time. As—

 

 

 

  1. Shall I draw the curtain ?
  2. Shall we now go ?
  3. Shall I prepare tea for you ?
  4. Shall we start the match now ?

 

 

Sometimes Simple Future Tense is used to convey universal truth or habit.

These sentences express all the three times—Past, Present and Future. As—

 

 

  • Sin will be sin.
  • Roses will bloom in spring.
  • A drunkard will drink.

 

 

(x) Future Continuous Tense

Future Continuous Tense is used to convey the following ideas :

 

  1. To convey the sense that a certain activity will continue for some time in future. As—

 

 

  • We shall be playing the match at this time.
  • I shall be staying with my brother.
  • We shall be travelling by train.

 

 

  1. These sentences also convey the sense of future planning or intention. As—

 

 

  • I shall be meeting the Prime Minister on Tuesday.
  • We shall be attending a conference at Delhi next week.

 

 

(xi) Future Perfect Tense

 

 

  1. Future Perfect Tense is used to convey the sense of completion of an action by a certain point of time in future. As—

 

 

  1. I shall have reached Calcutta by this time tomorrow.
  2. We shall have completed our project by the end of the next month.

 

The Future Perfect Tense also conveys the sense of likelihood or probability. It refers to an action in the past. As—

 

  1. You will have met my brother at Calcutta.
  2. You will have seen the Taj.
  3. He will have been at your residence.

 

 

 (xii) Future Perfect Continuous Tense

The Future Perfect Continuous Tense indicates the continuance of some action for a long time in future. As—

 

  • He will have been building his house.
  • I shall have been preparing for my examination.

 

 

Tenses and Time Normally Present Tense, Past Tense and Future Tense indicate Present Time Past Time, and Future Time. But in some typical sentences and their implied sense some Tenses express more dimensions of Time than the main time for which they stand. We have already discussed in detail the relationship between Time and Tense in the earlier part of this chapter. Now we give hereunder a brief chart of the relationship between Time and Tense. 1. Simple Present Tense Simple Present Tense expressses the following dimensions of Time—

 

 

(i) All Inclusive Time—Past, Present and Future Time. As—

 

(a) Sentences of Eternal Truth

 

 

  • The sun shines during the day.
  • Birds fly.
  • Cows are animals.
  • A week has seven days.

 

 (b) Sentences of Permanent Nature

 

 

  • Men wear clothes.
  • She never comes late.
  • Sugar is sweet.
  • Trees are useful.

 

(c) Sentences Showing Long Habits

 

  • He knows swimming.
  • She loves her children.
  • I read in the morning.
  • He is always merciful.

 

(ii) Future Time

 

 

(a) Sentences of Programme and Planning

 

  • I go to Calcutta tomorrow.
  • My brother returns from America next week.
  • The marriage takes place on Monday next.
  • So we meet tomorrow.

 

(b) Sentences of Time and Condition

 

 

  • I shall help you if you come.
  • He will miss the train if he doesn’t start at once.
  • He will wait for you until you reach.
  • He will not awake until the sun rises.

 

(iii) Past Time Sentences of Historical Truth

 

 

  1. Now Napoleon advances towards England.
  2. Octavius Caesar succeeds Julius Caesar.
  3. Now America drops atom bombs on Japan.
  4. Finally Hitler commits suicide.

 

 

 

  1. Present Continuous Tense Present continuous Tense expresses Future time also. As—

 

 

(a) Sentences of Programme and Planning

 

 

  • We are leaving for U. K. next month.
  • They are playing a friendly match this Sunday.
  • They are shortly opening a new branch.
  • They are returning tomorrow morning.

 

 (b) Sentences of Probability and Intention

 

 

  • We are soon building a new house.
  • It is going to rain.
  • They are not going to buy a car so soon.
  • He is unnecessarily inviting trouble for himself.

 

 

Simple Past Tense

Simple Past Tense expresses the following dimensions of Time—

 

 

(i) Present Time

 

 (a) Sentences of Request

 

  • Could you lend me your pen for a minute?
  • Would you do it for me ?
  • Might I expect some help from you ?

 

(b) Sentences of Advice or Suggestion

 

  • You had better leave me alone.
  • I would rather go alone.
  • I would sooner resign than work under these conditions.

 

 (c) Sentences of “It is time + Verb in the Past Tense”

 

  • It is time we returned home.
  • It is high time you had given up this habit.

 

 

(ii) Future Time

Sentences having would/could in Indirect Narration

 

  • He said that he would not stay.
  • He said that he could not reach there.

 

Present/Future Time

 

 (a) If-clause for Simple Past Tense

 

  • If he worked regularly, he would be successful.
  • If he applied in time, he would be called for interview.

 

(b) Sentences of “wish” (Impossible wish)

 

  • I wish I were a Prince. (Present Time)
  • I wish I were there. (Present Time)

 

  1. Simple Future Tense

 

(i) Present Time Interrogative Sentences of r equest/a dvice/ suggestion

 

  • Shall I bring a cup of tea for you ?
  • Shall I lock the front gate ?
  • Shall we now go ?

 

(ii) All-inclusive Time—Past, Present and Future
  • Servants will be servants.
  • Kings will be kings.
  • The poor will always be there.

 

  1. Future Perfect Tense

 

 

(i) Past Time

 

  • You will have met him there.
  • She will have reached home.
  • If I were a King. (Present Time)