AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
Uses of Tenses [in both the cases, none is reading at this moment].
THE PRESENT TENSE (iii) For an action that is planned or arranged to
take place in the near future.
(1) Present Indefinite Tense For example,
The Present Indefinite or Simple Present Tense is used : I am going to the party tonight.
(i) To express a habitual action. My father is arriving day after tomorrow.
For example, Exception : The following Verbs are not generally used in
The cock crows every morning. the continuous form.
I get up everyday at 6.o’ clock. For example,
He goes to school everyday.
(a) Verbs of Perception, like : see, hear, smell,
(ii) To express general truths
The earth is round. (b) Verbs of Appearance, like : appear, look, seem.
Slow and steady wins the race. (c) Verbs of Emotion, like : want, wish, desire,
The sun sets in the west. feel, like, love, hate, hope, refuse, prefer.
(iii) In exclamatory sentences beginning with here (d) Verbs of Thinking, like : think, suppose, be-
and there to express what is actually taking place lieve, agree, consider, trust, remember, forget,
in the present. know, understand, imagine, mean, mind.
For example, (e) have, own, possess, belong to, contain, con-
Here comes the tram! sist of, be etc.
There goes the ball! (3) Present Perfect Tense
There he goes!
The Present Perfect Tense is used :
(iv) In vivid narrative, as substitute for the Simple
Past. (i) To indicate complete activities in the immediate
For example, past.
The officer now comes forward and tells the For example,
staff to complete all the work by 6 pm. He has just finished the work.
Immediately the minister hurries to the capi- The train has just started.
tal. (ii) To express past actions whose time is not given
Sachin now makes quick runs to save the and not definite.
(v) To indicate a future event that is part of a plan
or arrangement. I have never known him to be pessimistic.
For example, Mr. John has been to Europe.
We leave for Delhi next Wednesday. (iii) To describe past events when we think more of
We go to Bangkok next week. their effect in the present than of the action it-
When does the school reopen? self.
Simple Past is also used to introduce quotations. For example,
For example, I have finished my homework. (and now I am
Rousseau says, "Every man is born free, but free).
everywhere he is in chains today."
Mohan has drunk all the milk. (there is no
Simple Past is used instead of the Simple Future Tense,
milk in the port)
in clauses of time and of condition.
(iv) To denote an action beginning at some time in the
past and continuing upto the present moment.
I shall sing till you sleep.
If it rings, I shall pick up the receiver. For example,
(2) Present Continuous Tense I have known him for a long time.
The Present Continuous Tense is used : He has been ill since last week.
(i) For an action going on at the time of speaking. We have lived here for five years.
For example, (4) Present Perfect Continuous Tense
He is reading. The Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used for an ac-
The boys are playing cricket. tion which began at some time in the past and is still con-
(ii) For a temporary action which may not be actually tinuing.
happening at the time of speaking. For example,
For example, I have been watering the plants since 5 o" clock.
I am reading "Romeo Juliet".
He has been fishing for two hours.
He is reading "Illyus and the Oddyssey".
They have been playing for several hours.