Simplest ways to learn English Grammar tenses

Simplest ways to learn English Grammar tenses

English Grammar tenses are the fundamentals of English language. Grammar Tenses are defined as the form of a verb that shows the time something happened, or is going to happen. Simply speaking, tenses are the backbone of every sentence you will speak and hence are extremely crucial in English communication.

In this blog article, we will be discussing basics of the English Grammar tense with simple tips to learn English language basics online. However, before we understand these tenses, there are few terms that we need to go through –

  1. a) Subject – is a noun or pronoun and place at the beginning of the statement. The center of the statement is the ‘Subject’ Or a pronoun, e.g. I, You, We, They, He, She, It.
  1. b) Main Verb – is an action getting done by the ‘subject’ and is also used to define the time form or tense of the statement.

1)Base form – is the face of the verb or action, for example – eat, drink, see. Note– I/We/They - eat, drink, see. She/He/It eats, drinks, sees (third party uses ‘s’ in the base form).

2)Past form – is again formed by adding -ed to the regular verb and in irregular verb, you need to memorize. Regular verb– listen -listened, walk - walked, talk - talked, laugh - laughed. Irregular verb (needs to memorize) – drink - drank, sleep - slept, eat - ate, swim - swam.

3)Past Participle -is again formed by adding -ed to the regular verb and in irregular verb, you need to memorize. Regular verb- listen -listened, walk - walked, talk - talked, laugh - laughed. Irregular verb (needs to memorize) – drink - drunk, sleep - slept, eat- eaten, swim - swum.

  1. c) Auxiliary verb – This form of the verb is mainly used to show the time and continuity of the action which is the main verb. The commonly used are have, be, and do. This is mainly used for negative, questions and running of the action.– is, are, was, were, do, does, did, have, has, had

We need to follow which subject takes which Auxiliary verb, read below-

With ‘I’ – am, was, do, did, have, had

He / She/It(name) – are, were, does, have, had

We/They – are, were, do, have, had.

  1. d) Modal verb – can, will, would, could, may, might, ought, should, must. is used for expressing - ability, possibility, permission, and obligation.

Now Let’s begin with LEARNING TENSES for FORMING ENGLISH SENTENCES.

Simple Past Tense: 

This tense is used as information about the completion of the action in the past. Another use is the action taken place in the middle of another action. The signal words –

  • Yesterday
  • Last summer
  • Last week/month/week

Structure details -

  1. a) Positive statement -Rule – Signal word, Subject + Past form of the verb. Example – Yesterday, we spoke.
  1. b) Negative statement- Use NOT - Rule - Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary verb + NOT + base form of the verb Example – Yesterday, we did not speak. She did not speak.
  2. c) Question statement – Rule – Signal word, Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Base form of a verb? Example – Yesterday did we speak? Yesterday, did she speak?

Simple Present Tense: 

This talks about the routine activity or action which is done as a habit or a process. Few signal words –

  • every day
  • sometimes
  • always
  • often
  • usually

1) Positive statement – Rule – Signal word, Subject + Base form. Example – Every day, we speak. Every day, Ram speaks.

2) Negative statement – use NOT Rule - Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary Verb + NOT + Base form of a verb and thereafter an Object Example – Every day, we do NOT speak. Every day, she does NOT speak.

3) Question statement- Rule – Signal word, Auxiliary verb + Subject + Main verb Example – Every day, do we speak? Every day, does he speak?

Simple Future Tense: 

This tense is used to talk about the action that will happen in the future, instant decision, predication, a promise, a threat, an offer.  This tense is made with the use of the Modal verb ‘Will’. Few signal words –

Tomorrow

Next-day/Sunday

Coming month/year

Any future time

Structure details-

1) Positive statement – Rule - Signal word, Subject + Will + Base form of a verb. Example – Next Sunday, I will come.

2) Negative statement – use ‘NOT’ Rule - Signal word, Subject + Will + ‘Not’ + Base form of a verb. Example – Tomorrow, Sita will not come.

3) Question statement – Rule - Signal word, Will + Subject + ‘Not’ + Base form of a verb. Example – Next day, Will you come?

Past Continuous tense: 

This particular tense is used when we are talking about an action that was running at a particular time or it is also used when two actions are happening at the same time. This tense is also known as Past Progressive tense.

Few signal words –

-Particular time or date of the day,

Structure details-

1) Positive statement – Rule – Signal words, Subject + Auxiliary verb + Base verb in -ing form. Example – Yesterday at 8 pm, he was watching TV.

2) Negative statement- Rule – Signal words, Subject + Auxiliary verb + Not + Base verb in -ing form. Example – Yesterday around 8 pm, He was not watching TV

3) Question statement- Rule – Signal words, Auxiliary verb + Subject + Base verb in -ing form. Example – Yesterday by 8 pm, was he watching TV?

Present Continuous tense: 

This tense is used for an action that is running at the moment of speaking. Here mainly THREE auxiliary verbs are used – IS/AM/ARE. Few signal words –

Right now

At the moment

Presently

Structure details-

1) Positive Statement -Rule – Signal word, Subject + is/am/are + Base verb in -ing form. Example – Right now, I am watching TV.

2) Negative statement – use ‘NOT’- Rule – Signal word, Subject + is/am/are + Not + Base verb in ‘-ing’ form. Example – Right now, I am not watching tv.

3) Question statement – Rule – Signal word, is/am/are + Subject + Base verb in ‘-ing’ form. Example – Right now, Am I watching TV?

Future Continuous tense: 

This tense is used for an action when in present we are talking about the time of the future and the action would be running at that time. Mainly uses ‘will be’. Few signal words –

Tomorrow

Next-day/Sunday

Any future time

Structure details-

1) Positive Statement - Rule – Signal word, Subject + will + be + Base verb in ‘-ing’ form. Example – Tomorrow, I will be watching TV.

2) Negative statement – use ‘NOT’- Rule – Signal word, Subject + will + NOT + be + Base verb in ‘-ing’ form. Example – Next day, I will not be watching TV.

3) Question statement – Rule – Signal word, Will + Subject + be + Base verb in ‘-ing’ form. Example – Coming Sunday, will you be watching TV?

Present Perfect: 

The structure of this tense is very simple still you need to understand the usage of this tense carefully. One is, we use this tense for some action done in past and it has effect in the present and second is, for a lifetime experience on the verb at the time for speaking. Few signal words –

  • already
  • so far
  • up to now
  • recently

Structure details-

1) Positive Statement - Rule – Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary verb + Past Participle. Example – Already, she has studied.

2) Negative Statement – Rule – Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary verb + Past Participle. Example – Up to now, she has learned computers.

3) Question Statement- Rule – Signal word, Auxiliary verb + Subject + Past Participle. Example – So far, has she studied?

Present Perfect Continuous: 

This talks about the continuous action from any time in the past to the present time. In formation, first is Auxiliary verbs and second is in past participle form of auxiliary verb (be). Few signal words –

  • all day
  • the whole day
  • how long

Structure details-

1) Positive Statement - Rule - Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary verb + Past participle (be) + Base verb ‘– ing’ form. Example – All  day, I have been studying.

2) Negative Statement – Use NOT- Rule – Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary verb + NOT+ Past participle (be) + Base verb ‘-ing’ form. Example – The whole day, I have not been studying.

3) Question Statement- Rule – Signal word, Auxiliary verb + Subject + Past participle (be) + Base verb ‘-ing’ form. Example – How long, has she been studying?

Past Perfect: 

Action which has already happened in the past before the other past. This tense simply talks about the past in the past. Like you had gone to the temple before you attended the class yesterday. This is also the past of the present perfect tense. Few signal words –

  • already
  • before
  • after

Structure details-

1) Positive Statement - Rule – Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary verb + Past Participle. Example – Already, I had eaten.

2) Negative statement- Rule – Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary verb + Not + Past Participle. Example – I had not eaten before.

3) Question Statement- Rule – Signal word, Auxiliary verb + Subject + Past Participle. Example – had you eaten already?

Past Perfect Continuous: 

This is to do with the duration of the action which had continued before other action took place in the past.  Few signal words –

  • Already
  • Before
  • when

Structure details-

1) Positive Statement -Rule – Signal word, Subject + Auxiliary Verb + Past participle (be) + Base verb ‘-ing’ form. For example, Already, I had been listening.

2) Negative Statement - Rule –Subject + Auxiliary Verb + NOT + Past participle (be) + Base verb ‘-ing’ form + Signal word. For example, I had not been listening before.

3) Question Statement- Rule –Auxiliary Verb + Subject + Past participle (be) + Base verb ‘-ing’ form + + Signal word….For example, had you been listening when you were there?

Hope above given details will help you understand these tenses to some extent. We highly recommend practising these in the form of written exercises or identifying types of tenses in newspaper articles, books magazines etc

Related article- https://www.speechify.in/en/blog/how-to-improve-your-english-grammar-follow-these-13-steps

No Comments

Leave a comment