Tenses : Present, Past, Future - Meaning into Words Grade XI

English Grammar

Tenses : Present, Past, Future - Meaning into Words Grade XI

Tenses : Present, Past, Future

Tense means time. Everything happens in time. There are three types of tenses in English. They are the past tense (which describes the events happened before the time of speaking, the present tense (which describes the events happening at the time of speaking), the future tense (which describes the events going to happen after time of speaking). Each has four branches; simple, continuous, perfect and perfect continuous.

1.Present tenses:

A. Simple present tense
(S+v1/v5 + obj.)
She/he/it/Ram = v5
I/you/we/they = v1
S = subject, V =verb obj = object

1.With every day, always, ever, often, seldom, sometimes, now days, rarely, daily, hardly, occasionally, generally, usually, once/twice a day/week/month etc.
2. For habitual actions or repeated actions, general or universal truth, fixed timetable or work or near future.

He eats rice.
I write a letter.
They play football.
She keeps goat.
He often comes late.
The sun rises on the east.
The exam starts from the next month.

B. Present continuous
(S+ is/am/ are+ v4 + obj.)
I = am
We/you/they = are
He/she/it/Sita = is

1.With Now, still, at present, at this time
2.With Don’t! / Wait! / Listen! / Look!
3.Actions, which are taking, place at the time of speaking, to express pre- decided future plan, to show temporary actions and change in behavior/situation.

You are writing a story.
They are playing football.
Look! Someone is coming.
Don’t, cross the road, the bus coming.
I am inviting my friend on my sister’s wedding.

C. Present perfect tense
(S+ have/ has+ V3 + obj.)
I/we/you/they = have
He/she/it = has

1. Just, recently, already, ever, yet (negative/question), since, for
2. Repeated past actions
3. Action just competed but result present

He has just cut his finger. It is bleeding.
He has gone out. He will be back in an hour.
She has already done her work.
He hasn’t gone out yet

D. Present perfect continuous tense
(S+ have/ has been+ V4 + obj.)

1. To express an action that has already been started in the past but it is still going on.
2. With Since (for point time)/ for (period of time)
3. For prolonged action

I have been playing football.
Ram has been writing an essay since Sunday.
She has been working in the rain for five hours.

2. Past tense

A. Simple past tense
(S+ V2 + obj.)

1. With yesterday, last week, last month, ago, in 1999.
2. With the action completed in the past.
3. “Used to” is used to denote past habit.

I played football.
He wrote a story last week.
He composed poetry last year.
She was born in 1992.
She used to wear skirts. But now she wears sari.

B. Past continuous tense
(S + was/were +v4+ obj.)
I/He/she/it = was
We/you/they = were

1. With when/while + simple past.
2. For the action that was going on for some times at particular time in the past
3. At this moment/at this time past time.

He was reading stories.
At this time last year, we were planting rice.
When I played football, my brother was writing a letter.

C. Past perfect tense
(S+ had+ V3 + obj.)

1. With when with simple past.
2. With before, after
3. For the action had already completed before another action started.

She had eaten rice.
They had gone out.
When the doctor came, the patient had died.
As soon as I had written the letter, I posted it.

D. Past perfect Continuous
(S+ had been+ V4 + obj.)

1.To express the action, this had been going in the past before another action started.
2. With simple past.

He had been writing an essay.
She had been playing tennis.
Rama had been working on computer before I phoned her.

3. Future tense

A. Simple Future
(S. + shall/will + v1 + obj.)
I, we = shall.
You, she, he, it, and they = will

1. This tense is used to express the action, which takes place at a time in the future.
2. We use simple future for prediction, expectation, for future happening of situation.
3. With tomorrow, next week, next year, soon, tonight
4.For plans and telling intentions

A: She will buy a book tomorrow.
B: I shall help him.

A: Do you think she will pass?
B: Yes, she will pass.

We shall pay football.
He will play football.
They will sit outside.
They will draw a map.

B. Future Continuous Tense:
(S+ shall/will be+v4 + obj.)

1.It is used for an action that will be going at some (particular time) in the future.
2. At this time/moment + future time.

a) Don’t phone me between seven to nine I shall be writing my homework.
b) At this time tomorrow, Manisha will be planting rice.
c) I shall be working in the field.
d) He will be doing his work.

C. Future Perfect Tense
(S + shall/will/have+v3 + obj.)

It is used to express the action that will be
completed before a certain action of period of
time in the future. This tense is generally used
with by + point of time, in + period of time,
before + point of time e.g. by tomorrow, by next week, by next year, by 2015, by Sunday, by June.

I shall have gone to market.
He will have played football.
They will have done work.
They won’t have done work.
Will they have done work?
They will have completed the work by June.
I will have settled in the UK before 2015.
Priya will have passed SLC in two years.

D. Future Perfect Continuous Tense:
(S + shall/will have been + v4 + obj.)

1. The future perfect continuous tense is used to express the action that will be going on for certain time in the future.
2. By + future time + ……………… + for + period of time.

Poff. Pandit will have been teaching here for 10 years by the end of next month.
I shall have been writing a story.
He will have been playing football.
Sita will have been writing novels.
Sita won’t have been writing novels.
They will have been living in the village for two months by the next month.

More about tenses:

1. Simple Past and Simple Past
If two past actions occur at the same time and one action cause to happen another action, then both actions are expressed in the simple past.
I read the book and fell asleep.
When he pushed me, I fell off.

2. Simple Past and Past Continuous:
The simple past tense is also used with past Continuous and past perfect tense to show two past events in a sequence. Here one is running action (past continuous) another sudden action (simple past).
When I saw me, I was reading a book.
He saw me while I was reading a book.

3. Simple past and Past Perfect
Simple past is also used with past perfect to show one action completed before another. Or if we went to emphasize that action happened before another, we put it in before, after or when.
She phoned me as soon as I had left my office.
By the way the time I reached there, they had already gone.
When the police came, the thief had run away.
The patient had died before the doctor arrived.


1. Change the following sentences using “used to”
(a) He lived in France as a boy.
(b) At one time, there were trees in the garden.
(c) They came out in these days.
(d) I was in love with her.
(e) How did you spend the winter evenings?
(a) He used to live in France as boy
(b) At one time there used to be trees in the garden
(c) They used to come out in those days.
(d) I used to be on love with her.
(e) How did you use to spend the winter evenings ?

2. Rewrite these sentences filling in the gaps with appropriate forms of the verbs HAVE
(a) My brother………….not much money at the moment.
(b) She………….an accident last year.
(c) By next month he………..finished the exams.
(d) My friend is lucky; her parents………… television.
(a) My brother doesn’t have much money at the moment.
(b) She had an accident last year.
(c) By next month he will have finished the exam.
(d) My friend is lucky; her parents have television.

3. Match the events the circumstances given below using ‘When’.
Events —————————- Circumstances
She burnt her hand —————- She was being given injection.
She lost consciousness ————-She was having her breakfast.
She found her passport ————-She was taking meal out of the oven.
Her pen ran out ——————–She was writing a cheque.
She bit her tongue —————–She was tidying her room.
When she burnt her hand, she was taking meal out of oven.
When she lost consciousness, she was being given injection.
When she found her passport, she was tidying her room.
When her pen ran out, she was writing a cheque.
When she bit her tongue, she was having her breakfast.

4. Write present participle and past part iciple forms of the following verbs.
(i) Sing (ii) run

Word Past Participle (v3) Present Participle (v4)
Sing sung singing
Run run running


1. Complete the following sentences:
(a) I broke a tooth this morning when…………………….
(b) The au pair girl broken two glasses yesterday while,…………………………..
(c) Jack cut his face this morning at the time of………………….
(d) He fell off the ladder while he………
(e) He found his passport lying……………………….

2. Choose the appropriate word in brackets to complete the sentences given below:
(a) Carmen (did/died) when she was only four years old.
(b) After the funeral, Roberto (lead/led) the procession to the cemetery.
(c) Rosa didn’t (give/gave)away the doll.
(d) I don’t think the priest (believe/believed) in reincarnation.
(e) Roberto and Maria didn’t (know/knew) what happened to the doll.

3. From a question and write two possible replies as shown below:
You are sweating.
Why are you sweating?
(a) I have been running.
(b) I have been working in the sun.
(c) You have got blood on your hands.
(d) There is saw dust on the floor.
(e) You are feeling tired.
(f) You fingers are marked with ink.
(g) You have got headache.

4. Study the dialogue given below and write a similar dialogue beginning with any are one of the prompts given below:
A : My shirt got torn this morning.
B : What were you doing at that time?

A : I was getting through the barbed wires.
B : And what did you do when your shirt got torn?

A : I rushed to a nearby tailor’s shop.
(i) My servant broke two plates last evening.
(ii) Laxmi cut her fingertip this morning.

5. For each of the following statement ask a question and answer it:
A: Your eyes are all red.
B : I’ve been peeling onions.
(a) Your hair’s wet.
(b) You’re out of breath .
(c) Your hands area shaking.
(d) There’s saw dust on the floor.
(e) You’ve got oil on your hands.

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