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Use of Proper Tense Forms

1. Habitual actions, general or universal truths, permanent situations etc. are expressed in simple present
tense. In such situations the verb always takes the simple present form.
e.g.1.The sun rises in the east
2. Man is mortal
3. Birds fly in the air
4. My house faces south
2. An action that is going on at the time of speaking is expressed by present continuous formof the verb. The
same verb formis also used to express something that is sure to happen in the near future.
e.g.1.The child is sleeping now
2. They are studying for degree
3. I amjoining duty next month
4. They are coming tomorrow
3. Present perfect is used to refer to an action which began sometime in the past and has continued up to the
present. It is also used to express an action that has just been completed.
e.g.1.We have lived in this house for several years
2. I havent seen himfor a long time
3. She has finished the work
But present time expressions like today, this week, this year etc. can be used with present perfect tense.
e.g.The postman hasnt yet come today
In order to imply the present implication of a past action, the present perfect tense is used.
e.g.1.I have taken my breakfast (It means now I amnot hungry)
2. She has washed the floor (It means even now it is clean)
4. The present perfect continuous is used to denote an action which started in the past, has gone on till the
present and is still continuing.
e.g.1.She has been working in the garden all day
2. They have been living here for a long time
5. A past action or event is presented in the simple past tense. An action which was in progress in the past is
presented in past continuous tense.
e.g.1.I went to the library yesterday
2. The boys were playing football
6. When two past actions are mentioned in a sentence, the earlier action should be in past perfect tense and the
second in simple past tense.
e.g.When I reached home last night my mother had already gone to bed
I had completed the work before you asked me about it
7. In a sentence which speaks of two past actions, if the earlier action has been continuing for some time till a
point of time when the later action took place, the earlier action should be in past perfect continuous tense
and the later in simple past tense
e.g.They had been looking for himfor three hours when they got the phone call
They cancelled the match as it had been raining the whole night
8. The simple future is used for an action which is still to take place. But for an arranged and definite future
action present continuous is preferred.
e.g.1.I shall write to her
2. I amgoing to write to her
3. My Uncle is going to Rome next week
9. Future perfect is used to show an action that is expected to be completed by a certain time in the future
e.g.They will have finished the work by next April