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Rules For Tenses

Introduction

Tenses are form of verb that reflects the time of action happened or happening or will happen. Tenses are generally divided into three forms:

  • Present
  • Past
  • Future. 

However, they comprise sub-sections to describe the precise time of action. Most of the competitive examinations include questions regarding tenses to check the communication and grammar skills of contenders appearing.

Let’s take a look at the different tense forms and their bifurcations.

rules for tenses

Forms and Rules Of Tenses

The three tenses are further divided into 4 sub parts depending upon their usage and categories, namely:

  • Simple
  • Continuous
  • Perfect
  • Perfect Continuous

Let’s discuss in details about their rules for each tense and sight examples for each.

Simple Tense

 

Present Tense

Singular:

Rule – Subject + V1 + s/es + Object
Example – The child plays a guitar.

(Here the subject Child is singular ans so we use ‘s’ with the verb ‘play’)

Plural:

Rule: Subject + V1 + object
Example – The children play guitar.

(Here the subject Children is plural and we use the plural form of the verb ‘play’ without an ‘s’)

Past Tense

Rule – Subject + V2 + Object
For past tense, the verb is always plural irrespective of the subject. (without an ‘s’.)

Example – He / They swam across the river.

(Here, the subject “he” and “they” is followed by “swam” , the second form of verb (V2) of “swim”)

Future Tense

Rule: Subject + will/shall + V1 + Object
For future tense, the verb is always plural irrespective of the subject. (without an ‘s’.)

Example – I shall go to the market tomorrow.

(In this example, the subject “I” + shall is followed by the first form of verb (V1) “go”.)

 

Continuous Tense

Present Tense

Rule: Subject + is/am/are + V1 + ing + object
While employing the tense rules for present continuous, all the verb form for singular or plural subject stays in its first form V1

Example: Mary is dancing / They are dancing

Here the subject “Mary” or “they” is followed by ‘is’ or ‘are’ respectivly. The first form of verb (V1) here is “dance” and we added “ing” to it to make it continuous.

 

Past Tense

Singular

Rule – Subject + was + V1 + ing + Object

Example –  Mary was cleaning the house

Here, the subject “Mary” + ‘was’ is followed by the first form of verb (V1) “clean” + “ing”


Plural

Rule: Subject + were + V1 + ing + Object

Example: They were cleaning the house

Here, the subject is “They” + were is followed by the first form of verb (V1) “clean” + “ing”

 

Future Tense

Rule: Subject + will be/shall be + V1 + ing + Object

Example – Mary / They will be coming to my house tomorrow

Here the subject “Mary” / “They” + will be is followed by the first form of verb (V1) “come”+ing

Perfect Tense

Present Tense

Singular

Rule: Subject + has + V3 + Object

Example: Mary has washed the clothes

Here, “Mary” is the subject + has “washed” followed by the third form of verb “wash”

Plural:

Rule – Subject + have + V3 + Object

Example – They have washed the clothes

Here, “They” is the subject + have followed by the third form of verb “wash”

 

Past Tense

Rule – Subject + had + V3 + Object

Example – Mary had pulled the rope

Here the subject “Mary” + had is followed by the third form of verb (V3) “pull”.

 

Future Tense

Rule: Subject + will have/shall have + V3 + Object

Example – Mary shall have covered all the notebooks  in brown paper by tomorrow.

Here, the subject is “Mary” + shall have is followed by the third form of Verb (V3) “covered”

Perfect Continuous

Present Tense

Singular:

Rule – Subject + has been + V1 + ing + Object

Example – Mary has been studying since morning

Here, the subject “Mary” + has been is followed the the first form of verb “study” + ing

Plural:

Rule: Subject + have been + V1 + ing + Object

Example – The students have been studying since morning

Here the subject “students” + have been is followed by the first form of verb “study” + ing

 

Past Tense

Rule – Subject + had been + V1 + ing + Object

Example – Mary had been taking care of her mother from last two weeks.

Here the subject “Mary” + had been is followed the first form of verb (V1) of “take” + ing

 

Future Tense

Rule – Subject + will have been + V1 + ing + Object

Example – He shall have been living here since 2001

Here, the subject “he” + will have been is followed by the first form of verb “work”+ing