Friday, November 26, 2010

Grammar: Learning English Present Tenses

             The word tense comes from Latin word “tempus” which means time. It is the form that a verb takes or assumes to indicate the time of action, the condition, or the state of being.

Simple Present Tense

  • Repetitive , habitual or customary action.Adverbs of frequency expressing that the action is formed regularly or routinely and is expected of the doer, accompany the verb. These are; usually, everyday, frequently, often, mostly, daily, annually, twice a week, sometimes, always, seldom, etc.
                             She always comes to class early.
                             Only rarely does he return to his hometown.
                             Muslims pray five times a day.
  • Current frame of mind
Feelings and perception at the time of utterances are in the simple present to stress the speaker’s current consciousness.
I sense the presence of supernatural being.
She feels cold.
  • Facts and accepted observation and generalities
Statements whose veracity is accepted, and generalities known to be true are stated in the simple present tense.
                             Every age has its own culture.
                             Water seeks its own level.
                             Seoul City is in Korea
  • Imperatives
                    Take your cues from me.

Present Progressive Tense

  • To indicate action in progress at the moment of speaking.
The workers are always complaining.
They are fixing the faucet now.
I speak three languages but I am speaking English now.
  • To describe a situation existing at the present
As you read this, you are sitting in front of your computer. You are learning about the Present Progressive Tense.
  • To indicate an activity or situation that is continuing over a period of time.
          This year, I am studying English, Math, History and Accounting a t the University. I am living in the dormitory. I am making good progress in my studies. I am working harder than I did in high school, but I’m enjoying my new status.

  • Certain adverbs and adverbial phrases are frequently use with the progressive aspect: now, this summer, at the moment, today, this semester, this week, this year, at this time.

Present Perfect Tenses

  • Indicates continuous time from a vague past to the present. The emphasis is on the present meaning.
                    He has lost all his money.
                    They have gone.
                    How the child has grown.
  • Indicate continuous action from the past time to the present. The emphasis is on the length of time introduced by “for” or “since”.
                    I have waited for you for two hours.
                    I have not seen him for a year.
  • Expresses recent events with the help of the word “just” or “recently”.
                    The guest of honor has just arrived.
                    I have seen him recently.
  • Denotes future action after the words when, before, as soon as, after, until.
                    I shall read my theme when I have finished writing it.    
                    A bird will not leave the nest until it has learned to fly.
                    I will pay you as soon as you have finished your work.

Present Perfect Progressive Tense

  • It is formed by putting together has/have been + v-ing. It indicates that the action which began in the past I still going on. It is always used with the time expression beginning with since or for.
                    He has been speaking for an hour.