AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
I am reading ‘Hamlet’ (but I am not reading at this mo- Present Perfect Continuous
ment) Structure :
(iv) We also use the present progressive to talk about de- Subject + have / has + been + V4 (V+ing) + ....... (for /
veloping and changing situations, even if these are very since + time)
long lasting. (i) The present perfect tense is used to indicate an
The climate is getting warmer. (Not gets warmer) action which began at some time in the past and is still
Verbs not normally used in Continuous Tenses : continuing; as
hear, see, smell, notice, observe, admire (respect), I have been living in Delhi since 1986.
adore, appreciate (value), care for (=like), desire, detest, He has been playing for hours.
dislike, fear, hate, like, loathe, love, mind (care), respect, (ii) To Indicate the event which has been finished now
value, want, wish, agree, appreciate (=understand), assume, means its effect is continuing :
believe, expect (think), see (think), sure, certain, forget, They have been drinking a lot.
know, mean, perceive, realize, recall, recognize, recollect, Simple Past Tense (or Past Indefinite)
remember, see through, suppose, think (= have an opin- Structure :
ion), trust (=believe, have confidence in), belong, owe, own, (i) Subject + V2 + ..........
possess, appear, concern, consist, contain, hold (=contain),
(ii) Subject + was / were + complement
keep (=continue), matter, seem, signify, sound (=seem /
Affirmative : I worked.
appear), please, refuse, forgive, hope, imagine, mean, cost,
resemble, require, suffice. Negative : I did not work.
I am loving you. - incorrect Interrogative : Did I work?
Affirmative : You worked.
I love you . - correct
Negative : You did not work.
I am hating her. - incorrect
Interrogative : Did you work?
I hate her. - correct
He / she / it worked. He / she / it did not work. Did
It is sounding queer. - incorrect he / she / it work?
It sounds queer. - correct The simple past is used :
Exception to the rule : (i) To indicate an action completed in the past. It is
Feel, look, smell, taste, see, hear, think, assume and often used with adverbs or adverb phrases of past time.
expect are used in the continuous forms under following For example
circumstances :- I saw him yesterday.
Present Perfect Do not use was / were + V2
Structure : Sub + have / has + V3 + ............. Use of I was saw him yesterday.
has / have - incorrect
The present perfect is used : I saw him yesterday. - correct
(i) To indicate completed activities in the immediate past; ’Was / Were’ is used only with complements.
(ii) Sometimes it is used without an adverb of time.
I have just finished the book.
I learnt English in London.
Note : Forms of verb
(iii) It is used for past habits :
V1 V2 V3 V+ing V+ies/s
go went gone, going goes He always carried a notebook.
Read read read reading reads. Always, daily, every day, every month, used to, every
write worte written writing writes year, once a week / month / year etc. are used to indicate
Reach reached reached reaching reaches the habits of the past.
(ii) The present perfect tense is used for recent actions Past Imperfect (Past Conti-nuous) or Past Progressive
when the time is not mentioned : Structure : SUBJECT + was / were + V 4 ( V +
Have you read ’Macbeth’? I have read the booklet but I ing)............
do not understand it. The past continuous tense is used :
(iii) To express past events when we think more of
(i) To denote an action going on at sometime in the
their effect in the present than of the action itself; as,
past. The time of action may or may not be indicated.
The lift has broken down. (We’ll have to use the stairs)
It was getting darker.
(iv) To denote an action beginning in the past and con-
At eight he was having breakfast.
tinuing upto the present moment; as,
(ii) With always, continually etc. for persistent habits
He has lived here for five years.
in the past.
We have not seen sonali for several days.
He was always working.
(v) Use present perfect with the following adverbs :
Affirmative : He was working.
Just, often, never, ever (in questions only)
Negative : He was not working.
So far, till now, yet (in negatives and questions only)
Interrogative : Was he working?
already, since - phrases.
Affirmative : You were working.
With, today, this week, this month etc.
Negative : You were working.
He has just gone out?
Interrogative : Were you working?