Campus Recruitment – Verbal Ability – Tenses
|Simple Present||Simple Past||Simple Future|
|I study English every day.||Two years ago, I studied English in England.||I am going to study English next year. If you have a problem, I will help you study English.|
|Present Continuous||Past Continuous||Future Continuous|
|I am studying English||I was studying English when you called yesterday.||I will be studying English when you arrive tonight.|
|Present Perfect||Past perfect||Future perfect|
|I have studied English in several different countries.||I had studied a little English before I moved to Hyderabad.||I will have studied every tense by the time I finish this course.|
|Present Perfect Continuous||Past Perfect Continuous||Future Perfect Continuous|
|I have been studying English for five years.||I had been studying English for five years before I moved to Hyderabad.||I will have been studying English for over two hours by the time you arrive.|
Tense: Time of action + Action = Verb.
We have finite verbs in three forms VI, V2, V3.
e.g.: Go – Went – Gone. Apart from these we also have V1+ s (for third person singular) and V4 for continuous form. These forms are given at the beginning of this chapter.
Simple Present Tense: If a subject is
- First person singular/’ plural (I, we),
- Second person singular/plural (you),
- Third person plural (they),
we use first form of the verb. Add s’ to verb if the subject is in third person singular noun/pronoun,
e.g.: I work in a college.
We play cricket in our colony on Sundays.
You sing well.
They study together.
He comes here often.
She helps her children with their studies.
Simple Present Tense is used to express
- habitual actions, customs, universal truths,
e.g,: My mother wakes up at 6 am daily.
Muslims fast during the month of Ramzan.
The sun rises in the east.
- To speak of planned/ scheduled activities/ to make requests, order, commands.
e.g.: The train arrives at 6 am daily.
Schools in Hyderabad reopen in the month of June.
Open your books.
Present form (be) + Present Participate (V4).
e.g.: is eating (singular), are eating (plural), am writing.
Rule 1: ongoing actions at the time of speech,
e.g.: Don’t disturb – they are studying.
She is having her lunch.
Rule 2: To indicate near future.
e.g.: I am leaving for Chennai tomorrow.
The train is leaving at 8 pm tonight.
Rule 3: To express things happening now-a-days.
e.g.: She is doing her post graduation in economics.
He is repeatedly asking her for money.
- Adverbs such as always, continuously, repeatedly, constantly are used to describe regular actions and cannot be used in continuous form.
- Stative verbs (e. quality, state/condition) don’t take ‘ing’ in continuous form. Stative verbs are about opinions, likes, dislikes, preferences etc. they don’t describe actions. Verbs which describe actions are called dynamic verbs.
e.g.: I am seeing a man outside, (wrong)
I see a man outside. (correct)
I’m forgetting his name, (wrong)
I forget his name, (correct)
- Do not use ‘ing’ with
Senses of perception (see, smell, hear, taste, feel).
Relational verbs like: be, have, belong, consist, own.
Attitude verbs like: believe, like, dislike, expect, hate, love, know, hope, mind, notice.
Correction of sentences
- The soup is tasting good, (wrong)
The soup tastes good, (correct)
- The perfume is smelling good, (wrong)
This perfume smells good, (correct)
- Rani is loving Gopal since childhood, (wrong)
Rani loves Gopal since childhood, (correct)
- I am believing what you say. (wrong)
I believe what you say. (correct)
- Ravi is hoping to get a job in MNC. (wrong)
Ravi hopes to get a job in MNC. (correct)
- Rama is liking this salwar kameez. (wrong)
Rama likes this salwar kameez. (correct)
- Sita is resembling her mother, (wrong)
Sita resembles her mother, (correct)
- This house is belonging to him. (wrong)
This house belongs to him. (correct)
- The book is costing 200/- (wrong)
The book costs 200/- (correct)
- I am having 2 siblings, (wrong)
I have 2 siblings, (correct)
- I am needing some money, (wrong)
I need some money, (correct)
- Rani is knowing the answer, (wrong)
Rani knows the answer, (correct)
- The students are understanding the answer, (wrong)
The students understand the answer, (correct)
- I am having an I-phone, (wrong)
I have an I-phone, (correct)
- Subbu is having 2 years experience in this field. (wrong)
Subbu has 2 years experience in this field, (correct)
Some of these verbs can occur as stative verbs in one sentence, depending on the meaning and as dynamic verbs in another sentence,
e.g.: Have: I have two brothers.
We are having a meeting tomorrow to discuss this issue.
See: I see what you mean.
She’s seeing the doctor tomorrow.
Think: I think you should buy the blue dress.
I am thinking whether to accept this offer or not.
Feel: I feel you should not speak like that.
I’m feeling tired. I have been clearing this place for three hours.
Taste: These grapes taste great!
She’s tasting the dish before serving it.
Smell: This flower smells sweet.
Why are you smelling the cream?
Hold: Bottle holds two liters.
The thief couldn’t snatch the bag because she was holding it tightly.
Look: He looks smart in formal dress.
They are looking out of the window.
Present Perfect: Subject + have/ has + V3.
- Express actions that were completed recently,
e.g.: We have taken our lunch just now.
My father has left for office just now.
Recently they have hiked the bus fare.
Lately, the Govt, has increased the price of petrol.
I haven’t received my results yet
(‘yet’ often indicates negative)
We have lived in this area for 10 years.
They have been ill since Monday.
The train hasn’t arrived on the platform yet.
- It talks of actions in the past, the effect of which is still felt.
e.g.: I have cut my finger. (It is still bleeding).
He has had a bad crash (He is still in the hospital).
We have washed the car (Its still wet)
- It talks of change that happened over a period of time,
e.g.: You have grown since the last time I saw you.
The Govt, has become more interested in arts education.
My English has improved since I moved to Australia.
- Accomplishments: Of individuals – no specific time needed.
e.g.: Man has walked the moon.
Doctors have cured many deadly diseases.
Scientists have split the atom.
Present Perfect Continuous: Subject + have/ has + been + V4
Expresses an action that started some time back and continuous to the present,
e.g.: I have been staying in Bangalore since 2005.
She has been waiting for the bus for 3 hours.
They have been playing in this garden all afternoon.
He has been talking on the phone for 2 hours
- As mentioned earlier, all verbs cannot be used in the continuous form. For such verbs, instead of present continuous tense, the simple present is used, and instead of present perfect continuous, the present perfect is used.
e.g.: We are having an apartment at Banjara Hills. (wrong)
We have an apartment at Banjara Hills, (correct)
He has been having the same car for 10 years, (wrong)
He has had the same car for 10 years, (correct)
- Similarly, the verb ‘to be’ cannot be expressed in continuous form.
e.g: She has been being ill. (wrong)
She has been ill for a week, (correct)
He has been being in London for two years, (wrong)
He has been in London for two years, (correct)
Simple Past: Subject + V2 + Object.
Expresses actions happened at a point/ particular point of time in the past.
e.g.: I saw a movie last night.
Last year, I traveled to Japan.
Gandhiji died in 1948
Series of actions in past.
e.g.: I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
He arrived from the airport at 8 pm, checked in to the hotel at 9:00 and met the others at 10 pm.
Past Continuous: Subject + was / were + V4 + Object
Used to express the actions going on in the past.
It is also used to express two actions happening simultaneously in the past.
e.g.: At 6 pm last evening, I was watching a match.
When the phone rang, she was writing a letter.
We were having a picnic, it started to rain.
Ravi was working when Prakash had the car accident.
While John was sleeping last night, someone stole his car.
We use a series of actions (parallel to describe an atmosphere in the past).
e.g.: When I walked into the office, several people were busily typing, some were talking on the phone, the boss was yelling and the customers were waiting.
Past Perfect: Subject + had + V3 + Object.
To show two actions, of which one action gets completed before the other.
-Before the doctor came the patient had breathed his last.
-When he reached the station the train had already left.
-After he had taken his dinner he watched a movie.
To show intention, hope/ action.
e.g.: She had hoped to get selected in the team (but couldn’t).
Past Perfect Continuous: Subject + had + been + V4 + Object
Expresses actions which began in the past and continued in the past.
e.g.: Jane was tired because she had been jogging.
Samson gained weight because he had been over eating.
It should be remembered that, for verbs of feeling or perception, the continuous form cannot be used. So, instead of the present continuous, the simple present is used and instead of the present perfect continuous the present perfect must be used.
e.g.: Sam has been having this car for 2 years (wrong)
Sam has had this car for 2 years (correct)
Future Time Reference
‘Tense’ indicates time of action. Since the future is unpredictable and unknown, we don’t refer to it as future tense’, but as ‘future time reference’. The future can be expressed in the following ways:
Subject + will + VI: used to express decisions made at the moment of speaking.
e.g.: It will take several years to finish.
Janaki will look after the dogs while we are away.
be + going to + VI: used for future events where the speaker expresses his/ her intentions.
e.g.: I’m going to the theater on Friday, would you like to come?
Present Continuous: Subject + be (present) + V4:
is used to talk about plans for the future, or specific arrangements that people have made for future events,
e.g.: He is getting married next week.
- The present continuous tense is often used in questions about future arrangements,
e.g.: What are you doing next Sunday?
Tomorrow I’m going to a football match with Raju.
Present Simple: Subject + V1/ (Vl+s): is used to talk about events that form part of a timetable or program,
e.g.: All the banks in this town open at 10.00 am.
The Godavari express leaves at 5.30 pm.
Future Continuous: Subject + will + be + V4
This is rather an informal way to suggest that something is about to happen or will happen at some time that is not clear or precise. It is also used to talk about an activity that will already be in progress at a particular time in the future,
e.g.: I will be seeing you soon.
This time next week we will be flying to Delhi.
- Since the other forms Of future are not used often, only the structure and examples are given here.
Future Perfect: Subject + will + have + V3
It is used to indicate the completion of an action by a certain time in the future.
e.g.: We will have finished the course when you visit us next.
Future Perfect Continuous: Subject + will + have + been + V4.
It is used to indicate an action represented as being in progress over a period of time that will end in the future.
e.g.: They will have been building this flyover for 10 years by this time next year.