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What is the definition of 'tense' in grammar?

Jodi Brooks

in Homework Help

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Jeremy Wood on August 1, 2018

Verbs can take various forms, depending on whether they refer to the present or the past , and the temporal relationship of one event to another. These forms are the tenses . (In English, future is expressed by the versions of the present of the verbs.) Here are some examples of tenses in English: Every day we watch television for an hour or two. [simple present, here used for a routinely repeated action] While I was watching the news, the phone rang . [1: past continuous, denoting an ongoing action; 2: "rang" is simple past, for an event that occurred while the first (watching) was going on] Are you watching the game on Saturday? [present continuous, here used for the future] You have been watching too many novels of suspense. [present perfect, denoting an action that has occurred in the past and is still happening in the present. This tense occasion of special difficulty to adult learners of English. It seems to have no equivalent in other languages, which have structures like "you are always watching too many thrillers" and "I'm here from seven in the morning"] Different linguists give these tenses different names; the names above are representative, but not definitive. There are quite a few more tenses in English, but the above demonstrate that the function of the voltage.


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