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Past Tense, Present Tense, and Future Tense | Class 8 English Grammar

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Understanding Tenses

There are three main categories of nouns as follows;
  • Present Tense
  • Past Tense
  • Future Tense

Past Tense

- Refers to actions that have already taken place. They are divided into four categories:

a) Simple past / past participle
- Refers to actions that have just happened. They are formed from verbs.
- Past participles usually end with -ed, -d, -t, en, or -n

The young man has recovered from the accident
I cleaned the utensils as requested.

b) Past Continuous Tense / Past Progressive Tense
- Refers to continuing action in the past and often used to set the scene for another action.
- They usually end with -ing

They were sleeping when the alarm went off.
He wasn't talking when the teacher walked in.
Was he standing when the teacher walked in?
While he was rubbing the board, the teacher walked in.

c) Past Perfect Tense
- They are used to emphasize that an action was completed before another took place.

The pupils had completed their homework when the bell rung.
In the above sentence, when the bell rung, the pupils had already completed their homework.
It had rained when the school bus arrived.
In the above sentence, by the time the school bus arrived, it had already rained.

d) Past Perfect Continuous Tense / Past Perfect Progressive Tense
- They are used to emphasize that an action was on-going or completed before another action started.

He had been eating lunch when the bell rung.
She had been lying in the field when the teacher approached her.

Present Tense

- Refers to actions that are taking place at the moment. There are four types of present tense.

a) Present Simple Tense
- Used for actions done always or as a habit. - The base form of the verb (for plural) and adding 's' to the base form in singular are used. Examples in sentences

They walk in a good style.
She walks in a good style.

b) Present Continuous Tense
- It is used in reference to actions that are going on now.
- They use a helping verb in the present tense -ing from of the verb. Examples in sentences

Regina is going to school.
we are learning how to swim.

c) Present Perfect Tense
- This is used in reference to actions that have just been done and completed.
Has/has + ed form of the verb is used. Examples in sentences include;

I have called my mum.
The teacher has left some minutes ago.

d) Present Perfect Continuous Tense
- Refers to actions that have been going on, they are either still going on or are complete.
This tense uses has/have + been + ing form of the verb. Example in sentences;

Mr. Maina has been teaching for six years.
John has been sleeping in class since morning.

Future Tense

- This is used to refer to actions that will take place in a time to come.
- It takes three forms

a) Future Simple Tense
- Actions that will take place in the near future, a time not long from now.
- The tense takes shall/will + present form of the verb.
- Examples in sentences;

I shall come in the afternoon.
They will come after the service.

Please Note
SHALL is used with first person pronouns (I and We) while WILL is used with any other word or pronoun.

b) Future Continuous Tense
- Actions that will be going on for some time in the future, they take shall/will + be + ing from of the verb.
- Examples in sentences;

Mike will be going to Mombasa this afternoon.
The graduation ceremony will be happening in December.

c) Future Perfect Tense
- Refer to actions that will happen in the future and be completed before the start of another.
- The tense takes shall/will + have +ed form of the verb.
- Examples in sentences;

John will have arrived by the start of the next term.
I shall have boarded by the time the vehicle leaves.

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