Tenses in English grammar- Definition, Types, and Examples.

Tenses in English grammar- Definition, Types, and Examples.
Tenses in English grammar- Definition, Types, and Examples.

What are tenses?

The time at which an action occurs must frequently be stated in grammar. We use tenses to denote this time and action.

Time is usually classified as Past, Present, and Future. Similarly, Action can also be classified as Simple, Continuous, Perfect, and Perfect Continuous.

Since we already defined a tense as a combination of both time and action, the tenses are classified as

  1. Tenses based on Time
  2. Tenses are based on Time and Action.

Tenses based on Time

Based on Time the tenses are further classified as

  1. Past Tense
  2. Present Tense
  3. Future Tense

Past Tense

The past tense describes actions that have already been accomplished in the past.


  1. I completed my graduation.
  2. The Indian team played Cricket.
  3. Raju returned from Delhi.
  4. He returned my book.
  5. I went to the airport.

Present Tense

The present tense is used to depict actions that are currently taking place.


  1. All the food delivery partners are on strike.
  2. Sarika is 2 years old.
  3. Ramu plays cricket.
  4. Radha is a good girl.
  5. The bag is yellow in color.

Future Tense

The future actions that will take place are described in the future tense.


  1. Radha will come tomorrow.
  2. He will write his exam.
  3. The train will arrive in 10 minutes.
  4. I will attend the meeting.

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Tenses based on Time and Action

Based on Time and Action the tenses are classified as

  1. Simple Present Tense
  2. Present Continuous Tense
  3. Present Perfect Tense
  4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense
  5. Simple Past Tense
  6. Past Continuous Tense
  7. Past Perfect Tense
  8. Past Perfect Continuous Tense
  9. Simple Future Tense
  10. Future Continuous Tense
  11. Future Perfect Tense
  12. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Simple Present Tense

The Simple present tense is used to depict actions that are happening in the present.


  1. The Sun rises in the East.
  2. The sky is clear.

Present Continuous Tense

The Present continuous tense is used to indicate that an action is still in progress.

  1. I am studying.
  2. He is playing cricket.
  3. I am enjoying the game.
  4. Radha is writing the exam.
  5. The meeting is going on.

Present Perfect Tense

The Present perfect tense is used to describe an action that took place in the past but is still taking place today.


  1. They have worked very hard for the exam.
  2. I have completed my work
  3. The train has arrived.
  4. I have started taking music classes.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

It can represent a completed action that began in the past and just recently ended.


  1. I have been working on this project for the past 2 years.
  2. You haven’t been attending the class for the past 2 days.
  3. He has not been well since yesterday.

Simple Past Tense

It is used to describe an action that occurred in the past.


  1. I ate an apple.
  2. He completed the work.

Past Continuous Tense

The past continuous tense, commonly referred to as the past progressive tense, describes an ongoing activity or situation that existed at some point.


  1. He was washing clothes.
  2. Ramu was riding a motorcycle.
  3. She was working as a teacher.

Past Perfect Tense

When describing an activity that has already happened in the past, the past perfect tense is employed.


  1. He had completed his work.
  2. They had paid the fees.
  3. My sister had gone to Pune.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

It represents an action that started in the past, went on in the past, and ended in the past.


  1. He started at 10 AM.
  2. The train had been delayed by 2 hours.

Simple Future Tense

It describes an action that will occur in the future.


  1. The exam will start tomorrow.
  2. The players will arrive shortly.

Future Continuous Tense

It defines an action that will take place in the future and last for a while.


  1. I will be starting from home at 3 PM tomorrow.
  2. They will be booking the marriage hall today.

Future Perfect Tense

It indicates an action that will be finished at some future time.


  1. They will have their lunch when they arrive.
  2. The train will depart in 10 minutes.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

It indicates an ongoing process that will end at some point in the future.


  1. Raju will have been waiting for an hour by the time I reach there.

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Stay tuned with Laws Of Nature for more useful grammar articles.

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