Uses of Past and Future Tense

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In this lesson you will learn about uses of past and future tenses, how to use them and examples

A. Past Tense

I. Simple past tense

It is used:

a) for an action completed in the past, with adverb of past time. ( Ex. Last year, a month ago, yesterday)

  1. The ship reached the harbour yesterday.
  2. My uncle arrived a week ago.

b) To denote past habits :

  1. She went to the park every day. - not now, only in the past.
  2. she usually cooked meat once in a week.

c) without the indication of time

  1. I played cricket at college.
  2. Our team did not practice well.

II. Past continuous tense

It is used:

a) for an action going on a at sometime in the past. (time may or, may not be indicated)

  1. They were practising the drama all the morning.
  2. She was turning pale.
  3. My friends came while I was playing.

b) To denote persistent habits - with always , continually etc.

  1. She was always irritating me.
  2. The government was continually raising the price of cooking oil.

III. Past perfect tense

It is used:

a) To denote an action completed before certain moment of time in this past.

  1. She has lived here 2 years ago.
  2. A sage has visited our village some three months ago.

b) If there are two actions in the past. The first action is in past perfect tense. The second action is in the past tense.

  1. When we reached the park., they had locked the gate.
  2. They had started the function before the chief guest arrived.

IV. Past perfect Continuous tense

It is used:

a) for an action began before certain point of time in the past and continued up to that time.

  1. At that time she had been learning karnatic dance for one year.
  2. When I joined the company yesterday, he had been working there for five years.

B. Future Tense

I. Simple future tense

It is used:

a) To denote an action which will take place in the future time.

  1. We will celebrate Christmas next month.
  2. They will go home tomorrow.

II. Future continuous tense

It is used:

a) To refer an action in progress in future.

  1. I shall be watering the plants in my garden.
  2. They will be revising for the examination.
  3. Mr. Joans will be teaching you English next year.

b) for already planned actions in the future ( instead of simple future)

  1. We shall be meeting the minister next month.
  2. They will be starting the project next week.

III. Future perfect Tense

It is used:

a) To denote the completion of an action by a certain future time.

  1. He will have painted the house by next month.
  2. We shall have completed the course next year.

IV. Future perfect Tense

It is used:

a) To denote an action in progress over a period of time that will end in the future.

  1. we shall have been completing the construction by this time next month.
  2. when we get home , our father will have been waiting for us for two hours.

TIPS for Tenses Usage

TENSES PRESENT PAST FUTURE
SIMPLE FORMS 'do' 'does' forms of the verbs 'did' form of the verb shall, will } + 'do' form of the verb
CONTINUOUS FORMS is, are, am } + present participle (-'ing' verb) was, were } + present participle (-'ing' verb) shall, will } + be + present participle (- 'ing' verb)
PERFECT FORMS has, have } + past particle had + past participle shall, will } + have + past participle
PERFECT
CONTINUOUS FORMS
have, has } + been + present participle (-'ing' verb) had + been + present participle ( -'ing' verb) shall, will } + have + been + present participle (- 'ing' verb)

Note:

  • 'do' form: write, draw, go - present participle (-'ing' verb):- writing, drawing , going
  • 'does' form:writes, draws, goes - past participle ( 'done' form ):- written., drawn, gone.
  • 'did' form: wrote , draw, went.

Exercises

Identify the tense forms:

  1. Sheela was working in my office.
  2. Navin has been playing cricket for 3 hours.
  3. They had been waiting for you hare for 2 hours since I saw them.
  4. We shall go for picnic next week.
  5. The play started at 4'0 clock.
  6. She teaches us mathematics now.
  7. We shall have finished our work by tomorrow.
  8. My uncle is reading the news paper.
  9. The students will meet the principal at 5.30 p.m.

Answers:

  1. Sheela was working in my office. (Past Cont.)
  2. Navin has been playing cricket for 3 hours. ( Present Perfect Continuous)
  3. They had been waiting for you hare for 2 hours since I saw them. (Past Perfect Continuous)
  4. We shall go for picnic next week. (Simple Future)
  5. The play started at 4'0 clock ( Simple Past)
  6. She teaches us mathematics now. ( Simple Present)
  7. We shall have finished our work by tomorrow. ( Future Perfect)
  8. My uncle is reading the news paper ( Pre. Continuous)
  9. The students will meet the principal at 5.30 p.m.( Simple Future )

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