English Tense

Tense is a basic concept of English Grammar. Learning tenses is necessary for learning English language.

The ‘tense’ is simply the way of using a form of verb in a sentence to express the time or state of an action.

There are three forms of tenses in English langue:

  1. Present Tense       (It expresses an action that occurs in the present)
  2. Past Tense            (It expresses an action that occurred in the past)
  3. Future Tense         (It expresses an action that will occur in the future)

We hear and read different sentences in our routine. Each of those sentences narrates about some action with regard to the time (present, past, future) of its occurrence. In other words, each of those sentences belongs to a specific tense.

For expressing actions of present time, we use a specific structure of sentence. Similarly for expressing actions of past and future, we may use a different structure of sentence. Tense refers to these rules for making structure of sentence according to time of the action (present, past, or future).

The tense guides us for making correct sentence depending on the time of action. It tells us the following:

  1. Structure of a sentence
  2. Which form of main-verb should be used in a sentence
  3. Which auxiliary verbs should be used in a sentence


He worked in a factory.                                 (Past Tense)
He is working in a factory.                            (Present Tense)
He will work in a factory.                               (Future Tense)

The structure of each of the above sentence is different. Each sentence has different form of main verb and different auxiliary verb. Each of the above sentences belongs to a different tense.

Hence, the tense is the way of structuring a sentence using correct verbs and auxiliaries to give a meaningful sense with regard to time of occurrence of the action.

As earlier mentioned, there three forms of English tense: Present, Past and Future Tense. Each of them is further divided into four types, making total of twelve types:

Present Simple Tense
Present Progressive Tense
Present Perfect Tense
Present Perfect progressive Tense
Past Simple Tense
Past Progressive Tense
Past Perfect Tense
Past Perfect Progressive Tense
Future Simple Tense
Future Progressive Tense
Future Perfect Tense
Future Perfect progressive Tense