The Usage of Tenses in English Grammar – A quick Guide

Usage of Tenses in English Grammar

The Usage of Tenses!

Most of the students are facing difficulty in the usage of tenses. we have designed this post to get you through these misconceptions. Just keep these specific rules in your mind and you will never get confused again.

Present Tense

Present Indefinite Tense

Usage of present simple tenses is divided into 5 Different Categories.

  1. To express what is actually taking place at the present moment; as

  • See, how it rains!
  1. To express a habitual action; as,

  • He drinks tea every morning. [ That is, he is in the habit of drinking tea, etc.]
  • I get up every day at five o’clock.
  • My watch keeps good time.
  1. To express general truths; as,

  • The sunrise in the east.
  • Honey is sweet.
  • Fortune favors the brave.
  • Heat expands cold contracts.
  1. In Vivid narrative as a substitute for the past Tense; as,

  • Tom now rushes forward and deals a heavy blow to Jerry.
  • Immediately the sultan hurries to his capital. [Historical Present.]
  1. Instead of the Future Tense, when futurity is indicated by the context; as,

  • We go to Lahore next week.
  • They leave for London by the next mall.
  • We begin practice tomorrow.

Present Continous Tense

Usage of Present Continous Tenses:

  1. Present continuous represents an action as going on at the time of speaking; as,

  • She is singing.
  • The boys are playing hockey.

Present Perfect Tense

  1. The present Perfect denotes an action that has just been completed; as,

  • There I have written my exercises.
  • He has worked the sum.
  1. Present perfect is also used, instead of past tense, to represent a past action as continuing to the present; as,

  • We have lived here for ten years. [we are still living there]

Note the Difference—–

  1. We have lived here for ten years.

  2. We lived here for ten years.

Sentence i shows that we are still living here.

Sentence ii shows that we are living here no longer.

Past Tense

Usage of Past tense is here……

Past Indefinite Tense

  1. To denote a single act in the past; as

  • Smith scored twenty runs
  • The steamer sailed yesterday.
  • Steve defeated Rana Smith at West Ring.
  1. To denote an action going on in the past; as,

  • While they danced (=were dancing), we sang (=were singing.)
  1. To denote a habitual action in the past; as

  • He studied (=used to study) many hours every day.
  • Scottish kings were crowned (=used to be crowned) at scone.

Past continuous tense

  1. The past continuous tense represents an action going on at some point in the past tense; as,

  • When I saw him he was playing chess.
  • I was sitting when he called upon me.

Past perfect tense

The past perfect tense also called the Pluperfect denotes an action completed at some point in past time before another action was commenced; as,

  • The rain has stopped when we came out.
  • I had done my exercise when Harry came to see me.
  • I had written the letter before he arrived.

Future Tense

Future Indefinite Tense

The future Indefinite is used of a single act that has still to take place; as,

  • I shall see him tomorrow.

Future Continous Tense

The future continuous tense represents an action as going on at some point in future time; as,

  • I shall be reading the paper, then.

Future Perfect Tense

Future perfect denotes an action that will be completed at some point in the future time; as,

  • I shall have written my exercise at that time.


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Usage of Tenses Infographics

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usage of tenses


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