Verb tenses

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  • 1. ONLINE COURSE: IMPROVING GRAMMAR FOR TOEFLTESTUNIT ONE: VERB TENSES

2. Verb forms indicate tense, number and person, voice andmood.There are twelve tenses in English: Present Tense Simple Present Tense Present Continuous Tense Present Perfect Tense Present Perfect Continuous Tense Past Tense Simple Past Tense Past Perfect Tense Past Continuous Tense Past Perfect Continuous Tense Future Tense Simple Future Tense Future Perfect Tense Future Continuous Tense Future Perfect Continuous Tense 3. Use 1: Repeated actionsWhen something happens regularly or is apermanent situation we usually use the simplepresent tense. The present tense of any verb other than be is thesame as the base form of the verb. To form thethird-person singular of these verbs, add s or esto the base form. (verb + s with he/she/it). 4. SINGULAR PLURALFIRST PERSON I play. We play.SECOND PERSON You play. You play.THIRD PERSON She, he, or it plays They play.Ronnie plays The children play.VERB TO BEFIRST PERSON I am happy. We are happy.SECON You are happy. You are happy.THIRD PERSON She, he or it ishappy.They are happy.Ronnie is happy. The children arehappy. 5. The present tense expresses a constant,repeated, or habitual action or condition.It can also express a general truth.e.g. The Hudson River flows into the Atlantic.(not just now but always: a constant action).Jessy plays the flute superbly. (now andalways: a habitual action).Uranium is radioactive. (a condition that isgenerally true). 6. The present tense can also express an actionor condition that exists only now.e.g.- Ronnie feels sick. (not always but just now).- I declare these game over. (at this verymoment) 7. The present tense is sometimes used inhistorical writing to express past events and,more often, in poetry, fiction, and reporting(especially in sports) to convey a sense ofbeing theree.g.- Above the crowd the Hindenburg suddenlybursts into flame.- I watch as my sister runs after the ducks ansslips in the mud.- The pitch gets away from the catcher andbounces into the fence. 8. Use 2: Facts or Generalization. The Simple Present can also indicate thespeaker believes that a fact was true before, istrue now, and will be true in the future. It isnot important if the speaker is correct aboutthe fact. It is also used to make generalizationsabout people or things. Examples: Cats like milk. Birds do not like milk. Do pigs like milk? California is in America. California is not in the United Kingdom. 9. USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near FutureSpeakers occasionally use Simple Present to talkabout scheduled events in the near future. Thisis most commonly done when talking aboutpublic transportation, but it can be used withother scheduled events as well. Examples: The train leaves tonight at 6 PM. The bus does not arrive at 11 AM, it arrives at11 PM. When do we board the plane? 10. Continuous tenses are alsocalled progressive tenses. So the presentprogressive tense is the same as the presentcontinuous tense. subject+ auxiliary verb+ main verb be base +ing [am/is/are + present participle] 11. Examples: Are you still watching TV? I am studying to become a engineer. She is loving this chocolate ice cream. She loves this chocolate ice cream.IncorrectCorrect 12. Here is how we make the positive:Positive Positive Short FormI am sleeping I'm sleepingyou are sleeping you're sleepinghe is sleeping he's sleepingshe is sleeping she's sleepingit is sleeping it's sleepingwe are sleeping we're sleepingthey are sleeping they're sleeping 13. We can make the negative by adding 'not':Negative Negative Short FormI am not sleeping I'm not sleepingyou are not playing you aren't playinghe is not reading he isn't readingshe is not working she isn't workingit is not raining it isn't rainingwe are not cooking we aren't cookingthey are not listening they aren't listening 14. The English Present Perfect tense is used toexpress actions which have already beencompleted, or perfected, at the time ofspeaking or writing. Form:[ has/have + past participle of the verb ] 15. Examples: I have done the work. She has answered half the questions.In the first example, the use of the Present Perfecttense emphasizes the fact that, at the time ofspeaking or writing, the work has already beencompleted.In the second example, the use of thePresent Perfect indicates that, at the time ofspeaking or writing, half the questions have beenanswered. 16. Positive Positive Short FormI have played I've playedyou have worked you've workedhe has written he's writtenshe has walked she's walkedit has rained it's rainedwe have travelled we've travelledthey have studied they've studied 17. Negative Negative Short FormI have not eaten breakfast today I haven't eatenyou have not been to Asia you haven't beenhe has not seen the new film he hasn't seenshe has not played tennis she hasn't playedit has not snowed this winter it hasn't snowedwe have not slept all night we haven't sleptthey have not tried the food they haven't tried 18. To make a question, put 'have' or 'has' infront of the subject.'Yes / No' Questionshave I missed the bus?have you visited London?has he worked as a waiter before?has she met John?has it been cold this week? 19. Present perfect continuous tense is used foran action which began at some time in pastand is still continuing. Syntax:Has/have + been + Present participle 20. Examples: He has been sleeping for 5 hrs. James have been teaching at university since lastyear. Sam has been having his car for 2 years. Sam has had his car for 2 years.Incorrectcorrect 21. Luckily, it's very easy to make. Here's the positive(it's the present perfect of 'be' + verb -ing):Positive Positive Short FormI have been walking I've been walkingyou have been running you've been runninghe has been cooking he's been cookingshe has been swimming she's been swimmingit has been raining it's been rainingwe have been studying we've been studyingthey have been sleeping they've been sleeping 22. To make the negative, just add 'not':Negative Negative Short FormI have not been walking I haven't been walkingyou have not been running you haven't been runninghe has not been cooking he hasn't been cookingshe has not been swimming she hasn't been swimmingit has not been raining it hasn't been rainingwe have not been studying we haven't been studyingthey have not been sleeping they haven't been sleeping 23. This tense is usually used for those actionswhich are already over. It's syntax is given as:(subject + V2 + object)where V2 - second form of the verb 24. Examples: She lived in Tokyo for seven years. They were in London from Monday to Thursday oflast week. I went to all the art exhibitions I could. 25. Use 1: Completed action in the past.Use the Simple Past to express the idea that anaction started and finished at a specific time in thepast. Sometimes, the speaker may not actuallymention the specific time, but they do have onespecific time in mind.Examples:I saw a movie yesterday.I didn't see a play yesterday.Last year, I traveled to Japan.Did you have dinner last night?She washed her car. 26. Use 2: A series of completed actions.We use the Simple Past to list a series ofcompleted actions in the past. These actionshappen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.Examples:I finished work, walked to the beach,and found a nice place to swim.He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked intothe hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.Did you add flour, pour in the milk, andthen add the eggs? 27. Use 3: Duration in past.The Simple Past can be used with a duration whichstarts and stops in the past. A duration is a longeraction often indicated by expressions such as: fortwo years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.Examples:I lived in Brazil for two years.Shauna studied Japanese for five years.They sat at the beach all day.They did not stay at the party the entire time. 28. Use 4: Habits in the past.The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit whichstopped in the past. It can have the same meaning asused to. To make it clear that we are talking about ahabit, we often add expressions such as: always, often,usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger,etc.Examples:I studied French when I was a child.He played the violin.He didn't play the piano.Did you play a musical instrument when you were akid?She worked at the movie theater after school.They never went to school, they always skipped class. 29. In the Past Continuous tense, the action wasongoing till a certain time in the past. Thistense is used to talk about an action at aparticular time in the past. Syntax:Subject + Auxiliary verb + main verb(Present participle) + Object + Time reference 30. For positive sentences:SUBJECT WAS / WERE VERB + ingREST OF THESENTENCEI was sleeping at 11 p.m. last night.You were sleeping at 11 p.m. last night.He was sleeping at 11 p.m. last night. 31. Examples: I burned my finger while I was cooking breakfast. I was practicing the guitar when he came home. 32. Next, here's the negative - it's very easy, justadd 'not:I was not (wasn't) sleepingyou were not (weren't) workinghe was not (wasn't) comingshe was not (wasn't) reading 'War and Peace'it was not (wasn't) rainingwe were not (weren't) shoppingthey were not (weren't) watching a film 33. It is used to express an action which hasoccurred in past (usually, a long time ago) andaction which has occurred in past beforeanother action in past. Syntax:Subject + auxiliary verb + main verb(past participle) + object 34. Examples: They had visited a doctor. I had not finished my work last year. It have not rained heavily last month. It had not rained heavily last monthIncorrectcorrect 35. Using the past perfect1: A completed action before something else in the past.When we arrived, the film had started. (= first the film started,then later we arrived)2: To explain or give a reason for something in the past.I'd eaten dinner so I wasn't hungry.It had snowed in the night, so