Verbal Ability - Simple Tenses of Verbs
The job of a verb is to mention the action of a sentence. However, an action could have happened in the past, can happen in the present, or can happen in the future too. Depending on the time in which the action takes place, the verb is expressed in tenses.
Actions are of two types - one, where occurrences take place, for example — I sleep, I talk, he rides, she falls, etc. The other type of actions is the state of being or status, for example – I am, He is, etc. Depending on these two different types of verbs, their tense forms will vary.
Any action has the possibility to occur in three time-zones only. It has either occurred in the Past, occurs in the Present, or may occur in the Future. Based on this, there are three tenses −
- Simple Present Tense
- Simple Past Tense
- Simple Future Tense
Some people argue that there is no Future Tense in English as words like “will, shall” can be used for many present-time actions.
- He won’t help me ever.
- Will you just keep quiet and listen to me?
Also, many sentences can also be written talking of future actions without using “will, shall”.
- The train departs in ten minutes.
- It is going to rain.
- I am visiting my parents this weekend.
Simple Present Tense
Simple present tense is a form that is used by a verb when it describes an action that happens regularly in the present time.
- He goes to meet his parents every month.
- It rains heavily this time of the year.
- He goes to school every day.
When the action happens regularly in the present, we use the base form of the verb with “I, You, We” and related plural nouns. For “he, she, it” cases and related singular nouns, we use “s” with the base form of verbs.
- I do.
- We have.
- You talk.
- Players practice.
- Birds chirp.
- He talks.
- Rita sings.
If the verb talks about the nature, state of being, or status of some person, we will use the “be” form.
In this case −
- “am” is used with “I”
- “are” is used with “we, you, they”
- “is” is used with “he, she, it” and related nouns.
- I am happy.
- We are tired.
- You are impertinent.
- They are late.
- He is silent.
- Roy is boring.
- She is a model.
Simple Past Tense
Simple Past Tense is used to talk of actions that started and ended in the past.
- I went to this school as a kid.
- He told me that he was ill.
- He asked me out tonight.
In most of the cases, the past tense of a verb can be formed by using “ed” with the main verb, for example, “talk- talked”. But there are many exceptions like “go- went”.
- I did.
- We had.
- You talked.
- The players practiced.
- The birds chirped.
If the verb talks about the nature, state of being, or status of some person, we will use the “be” form, but in their past form.
In this case −
- “was” is used with “I, he, she, it”
- “were” is used with “we, you, they”.
- I was happy.
- You were impertinent.
- They were late.
- He was silent.
Exceptions to the “ed” form of the past form
Many verbs don’t use “ed” to change their tense to past. Some use only “d” in their past form and some use completely different words for their past form, while some don’t change at all.
Some of the common words are here −
|Base Verb||Simple||Past Participle|
Simple Future Tense
When talking of actions that may happen in the future, we use “will, shall”. However, there are many ways in which we can talk of actions that can happen in future without using “will, shall”. The reader is supposed to understand the meaning of such sentences.
- I will do.
- We will have.
- You will talk.
- The players will practice.
- The birds will chirp.
If the verb talks about the nature, state of being, or status of some person, we use “will” with “be” form −
- I will be happy.
- You will be far.
- They will be late.
- He will be silent.
If a sentence has two actions that may happen in the future, we use “will, shall” with only one of them, as that will make the reader understand that the sentence is being spoken for a future action.
- If I go to the market, I will bring you a toffee.
- He will win if he continues to practice this hard.