AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
THE PAST TENSE THE FUTURE TENSE
(1) Past Indefinite Tense (1) Future Indefinite Tense
The Past Indefinite or Simple Past Tense is used : The Future Indefinite or Simple Future Tense is used
for an action that is still to take place.
(i) To indicate an action completed in the past. For example,
For example, I shall meet him tomorrow.
The boy left school an hour ago. Day after tomorrow will be Friday.
(2) Future Continuous Tense
I did this work a week ago.
The Future Continuous Tense represents an action as
The ship sailed last week. going on at some time in future time.
(ii) To denote past habits. For example,
For example, I shall be writing the letter then.
When I go into the class, the teacher will be
He practised many hours every day.
She always sang a romantic song. * The Future Continuous Tense is also used for repre-
(2) Past Continuous Tense senting future events that are planned.
The Past Continuous Tense is used : For example,
I shall be waiting for you till 4 pm.
(i) To denote an action going on at some time in the
She will be meeting me next week.
(3) Future Perfect Tense
For example, The Future Perfect Tense is used to indicate the
The light went out while I was reading. completion of an action by a certain future time.
We were watching the television all evening. For example,
I shall have done my homework by that time.
(ii) With always, continually etc. for persistent hab-
Before you go to meet him, he will have left
its in the past.
For example, (4) Future Perfect Continuous Tense
He was always refusing. The Future Perfect Continuous Tense indicates an ac-
She was continually neglecting her duty. tion represented as being in progress over a period of
time that will end in the future.
(3) Past Perfect Tense
The Past Perfect Tense is used : By next January, we shall have been living in
(i) To describe an action completed before a certain Delhi for three years.
moment in the past. When he completes his school, he will have
For example, been studying at NIIT.
Conjugation of Verb ‘To be’
I met him in 1995. I had seen him last five
years before. PRESENT INDEFINITE TENSE
I called him at 5 a.m. I had found him got up Singular Plural
at 7 a.m. 1st Person I am We are
2nd Person You are You are
(ii) When two actions happened in the past and it
3rd Person He/She/It is They are
may be necessary to show which action happened
earlier than the other. We use Past Perfect in the PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE
event that happened earlier. Singular Plural
For example, 1st Person I am being We are being
2nd Person You are being You are being
When I reached the station, the train had started.
3rd Person He/She/It is being They are being
I had completed my work before the officer came.
PRESENT PERFECT TENSE
I had done my work when Seema came to see
1st Person I have been We have been
(4) Past Perfect Continuous Tense 2nd Person You have been You have been
The Past Perfect Continuous Tense is used for an ac- 3rd Person He/She/It has been They have been
tion that began before a certain point in the past and con-
PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE
tinued upto that time.
For example, 1st Person I have been being We have been being
He had been serving the institution for the last 2nd Person You have been You have been being
one year. being
At that time he had been writing a short story 3rd Person He/She/It has been They have been being
for three months. being