Tense

Introduction: Tense is a fundamental aspect of grammar that conveys the timing of an action or state in relation to the present moment. It plays a crucial role in expressing ideas, narrating events, and conveying information about when something happens. Understanding tense is essential for effective communication in any language. In this article, we will delve into the definition, classification, structures, and examples of tense in grammar.

Definition of Tense: The word ‘Tense’ has been derived in English from the Latin word ‘Tempus’ which means time. It refers to the form of a verb that indicates the time at which an action occurs. It helps in placing events or actions in the past, present, or future. In English grammar, there are primarily three basic tenses: past, present, and future. Each tense can further be divided into simple, continuous (progressive), perfect, and perfect continuous forms.

Classification of Tenses:

Present Tense:

Simple Present: Used to describe actions that are habitual, factual, or general truths.

Example: She sings beautifully.

Present Continuous: Used to describe actions that are happening at the moment of speaking or ongoing actions. Example: They are playing football.

Present Perfect: Used to describe actions that occurred at an unspecified time in the past or have relevance to the present.

Example: I have finished my homework.

Present Perfect Continuous: Used to describe actions that started in the past and are still continuing into the present.

Example: They have been waiting for hours.

Past Tense:

Simple Past: Used to describe actions that were completed at a specific time in the past.

Example: He visited Paris last summer.

Past Continuous: Used to describe actions that were ongoing at a particular time in the past.

Example: She was studying when I called her.

Past Perfect: Used to describe actions that occurred before another action in the past.

Example: By the time we arrived, they had already left.

Past Perfect Continuous: Used to describe actions that were ongoing for a period of time before another action in the past.

Example: He had been working for six hours before he took a break.

Future Tense:

Simple Future: Used to describe actions that will happen at a specific time in the future.

Example: They will arrive tomorrow.

Future Continuous: Used to describe actions that will be ongoing at a specific time in the future.

Example: At this time tomorrow, they will be traveling to Paris.

Future Perfect: Used to describe actions that will be completed before a specific time in the future.

Example: By next year, I will have graduated.

Future Perfect Continuous: Used to describe actions that will be ongoing for a period of time before a specific time in the future.

Example: By the time you arrive, we will have been waiting for two hours.

Look at the following chart of verb that has many forms

Infinitive (to + verb1)Present (verb1)Past (verb2)Past Participle (verb3)verb1+ ing
to bebe (am/is/are)was/werebeenbeing
to havehave (have/has)hadhadhaving
to dodo (do/does)diddonedoing

Structures of Tenses: Each tense has its own structure, which involves the use of auxiliary verbs (also called helping
verbs) and the main verb. The auxiliary verbs vary depending on the tense and whether it’s affirmative, negative, or interrogative.

TenseStructuresBengali symbol
Simple PresentSub+verb1+objনাই
Simple PastSub+verb2+obj /
Simple FutureSub+will+verb1+obj
 
Present ContinuousSub+am/is/are+verb1+ing+obj 
Past ContinuousSub+was/were+verb1+ing+obj  /
Future ContinuousSub+will be+verb1+ing+obj 
 
Present PerfectSub+have/has+verb3+objয় 
Past PerfectSub+had+verb3+obj 
Future PerfectSub+will have+verb3+obj 
 
Present Perfect ContinuousSub+have/has+been+verb1+ing +obj  (Time)
Past Perfect ContinuousSub+had+verb3+been+ verb1+objতল / (Time)
Future Perfect ContinuousSub+will have+been+verb1+obj  (Time)
Identify the following tenses
1. I go there. 2. I have parked at the wrong place. 3. You will cross the canal. 4. Sakib has repaired the watch. 5. You know the answer. 6. Mahin plays the violin. 7. They walked in the wood. 8. A cock has two legs. 9. I will be saying prayer. 10. We will meet them. 11. The earth goes round the sun. 12. Water is liquid. 13. I am watching a film. 14. It is coming. 15. The boys are sleeping.  16. I will have done this work. 17. I had lunch yesterday. 18. You have printed the letters. 19. We have done the job. 20. Himi went to work. 21. We will be flying to Dhaka. 22. You did the shopping. 23. Kanak travelled to Spain last year. 24. Tonmoy visited it last year. 25. I was working in the garden. 26. We were watching a film. 27. Himi has repaired it. 28. You will come to play. 29. Our friends have visited us. 30. You have been on holiday this year. 31. I will have walked 15 kms. 32. You have been writing. 33. They have been staying in this hotel. 34. I will reach home by 7p.m. 35. Imran has been sleeping all this morning. 36. You have been missing classes. 37. Nawazish had written three letters. 38. They had lived in Satkhira. 39. You will have locked the door. 40. You left the place. 41. Pianto had been working there. 42. They had been working hard. 43. I will be playing tennis. 44. I will be playing tennis. 45. They will have arrived. 46. Cars stop here. 47. Sajal teaches English. 48. The teacher said nothing. 49. Shuvo works hard. 50. Rowza will pass in the exam. 51. There goes the taxi. 52. He will stay with us for 3 days. 53. Moon does not go to the market. 54. Shyam is talking to Monir. 55. We are late. 56. He will be waiting for. 57. I am playing football. 58. She will do it. 59. They are sleeping here. 60. She is having her breakfast now. 61. Karia worked in that office. 62. He passed away in 1999. 63. We went for the movie. 64. I studied at the DU. 65. I have been doing it. 66. I will have been working for three years. 67. I wanted to ride. 68. I have been eating apples. 69. You have not been studying. 70. They will be winning the election. 71.We have been playing with Mary. 72. He was washing the dishes. 73. She was cooking dinner. 74. She will not come tomorrow. 75. I was working hard. 76. We were playing. 77. It started to rain. 78. She was reading a novel. 79. She will have taken three exams. 80. I am planning to meet you in the office. 81. The sun sets in the west. 82. I called her. 83. I was walking down the street. 84. The police van was patrolling the city. 85. I had never seen it. 86. He will have saved enough. 87. You will have left for London. 88. Mim will have gone there. 89. We were there together. 90. I will keep in touch with you. 91. I shall have been playing cricket. 92. She will be walking alone. 93. I will be watching the movie. 94. I wil be at home. 95. She is watching T.V. 96. She had read the book. 97. I will have been studying English. 98. We shall say the truth. 99. I have seen him. 100. We are flying kites.

Transform the following sentences as directed.

I walk to school every day. (Present Continuous) She is reading a book. (Present Simple) They have already finished their homework. (Simple Future) He had visited Paris. (Present Perfect) We will go shopping tomorrow. (Past Perfect) She will be studying abroad. (Simple Future) They will have completed the project. (Past Continuous) I am going to the gym after work. (Future Perfect) She was baking cookies when I called. (Simple Future) We were watching a movie. (Past Perfect) I had been studying for hours. (Past Continuous) They will have been working at the company. (Past Perfect) I eat sushi every Friday. (Present Continuous) She sings beautifully. (Present Past) They often travel to exotic places. (Future Simple) I am meeting my friend for lunch tomorrow. (Present Simple) He plays the piano very well. (Future Simple) We are going on vacation next week. (Present Simple) She has already seen that movie twice. (Present Perfect Continuous) They have been waiting for the bus. (Present Perfect) I will call you. (Present Perfect Continuous) He has been working on this project. (Future Simple) We had been friends for years. (Future Perfect) She will have finished her degree. (Past Perfect Continuous) I have never been to Australia. (Future Continuous) They will be arriving in an hour. (Present Perfect) He had already eaten dinner. (Future Perfect) I will have completed the assignment. (Past Perfect) She will buy a new car next month. (Future Perfect) We are moving to a new apartment next week. (Past Continuous) They were playing soccer. (Future Continuous) I was sleeping when you called. (Future Perfect Continuous) She was studying in the library all afternoon. (Present Perfect Continuous) They will have been working on this project. (Past Continuous) I have been waiting for this moment. (Past Continuous) She has already left for work. (Future Continuous) We will be traveling to Europe. (Present Perfect) He will have finished the race. (Past Continuous) I am cooking dinner tonight. (Future Perfect) She was dancing at the party last night. (Future Perfect) They were studying for the exam. (Past Perfect Continuous) I had been living in New York. (Past Continuous) She will have been waiting for us. (Present Simple) I swim every morning before work. (Future Perfect Continuous) He runs five miles every day. (Present Perfect) She reads a book before bed every night. (Simple Past) They have just finished their lunch. (Present Simple) We will go hiking next weekend. (Future Continuous) I want to buy a new car next month. (Present Perfect) She will be sleeping when you arrive. (Future Simple) They will have completed the renovation. (Future Perfect Continuous) He has been living in this city for ten years. (Present Perfect) I have been waiting for this opportunity. (Present Continuous) We had been planning the trip. (Past Perfect Continuous) I drive to work every day. (Future Continuous) She speaks three languages fluently. (Future Perfect) They usually eat dinner at 7 p.m. (Present Simple) We will be attending the conference next month. (Present Simple) I will study abroad next year. (Future Perfect) She will have finished her book. (Present Simple) They play basketball. (Past Continuous) I have read a book. (Past Continuous) She iss sleeping. (Past Continuous) She has already left for the airport. (Future Continuous) We will be flying to Paris next week. (Present Perfect) He will have finished the race before we arrive. (Simple Future) I am going to bake cookies this afternoon. (Future Perfect) She painted a picture yesterday. (Past Continuous) They walked in the park. (Past Continuous) I had been waiting for hours. (Past Continuous) I played tennis every Saturday. (Present Simple) He will drink coffee in the morning. (Present Simple) She taught English at the university. (Present Simple) They had already left for vacation. (Present Perfect) We will be visiting our grandparents. (Past Continuous) She was studying for her exam all night. (Past Perfect Continuous) I have been working out here. (Present Continuous. She has already left for the meeting. (Future Continuous) We will be celebrating her birthday next week. (Present Perfect) He will have finished the report (Future Perfect Continuous) I entered the room. (Past Continuous) The fire alarm went off. (Past Continuous) He finally arrived. (Past Perfect Continuous) We arrive late. (Future Perfect Continuous) I was going for a walk every evening. (Present Simple) He writes in his journal every night. (Present Perfect) She volunteers at the animal shelter. (Present perfect) They have already finished their dinner. (Simple Present) We will be moving to a new city next month. (Future Perfect) She will have finished her project by tomorrow. (Past Continuous) They were playing chess when the power went out. (Future Perfect) I was studying for my exam when the phone rang. (Future Perfect Continuous) She was cooking dinner when I arrived home. (Past Perfect Continuous) She has already left for the conference. (Present Perfect Continuous) We will ski in the mountains next weekend. (Future Continuous) He will have finished his essay by the deadline. (Past Continuous) She was playing the guitar when I walked in. (Future Perfect) The power went out. (Past Continuous) I practiced meditation every morning. (Present Simple) He read the newspaper every morning. (Present Simple)

Simple Present Tense

Detailed with number and person

Structure: Sub + verb1 + ext.

Example: I eat rice.

First person

SentenceSingular NumberPlural Number
AffirmativeI eat rice. We eat rice. 
NegativeI don’t eat rice. We don’t eat rice. 
InterrogativeDo I eat rice?Do we eat rice? 
Neg. Int.Don’t I eat rice? Don’t we eat rice? 

 Second person

SentenceSingular NumberPlural Number
AffirmativeYou eat rice. You eat rice. 
NegativeYou don’t eat rice. You don’t eat rice. 
InterrogativeDo you eat rice? Do you eat rice? 
Neg. Int.Don’t you eat rice? Don’t you eat rice? 

 Third person

SentenceSingular NumberPlural Number
AffirmativeHe eats rice. They eat rice. 
NegativeHe doesn’t eat rice. They don’t eat rice. 
InterrogativeDoes he eat rice? Do they eat rice? 
Neg. Int.Doesn’t he eat rice? Don’t they eat rice? 

Now practise the other tenses using the following sentences with Bengali meaning like that.

1. I help the poor.

2. I recite the Quran.

3. I play football.

4. I cook food.

5. I watch movie.

6. I write a latter.

7. I catch fish.

8. I enjoy it.

9. I sleep at night.

10. I read a book.

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