A verb indicates the time of an action, event or condition by changing its form. Through the use of a sequence of tenses in a sentence or in a paragraph, it is possible to indicate the complex temporal relationship of actions, events, and conditions

There are many ways of categorising the twelve possible verb tenses. The verb tenses may be categorised according to the time frame: past tenses, present tenses, and future tenses.

Verb Tense: Time

The four past tenses are

  1. the simple past ("I went")
  2. the past progressive ("I was going")
  3. the past perfect ("I had gone")
  4. the past perfect progressive ("I had been going")

The four present tenses are

  1. the simple present ("I go")
  2. the present progressive ("I am going")
  3. the present perfect ("I have gone")
  4. the present perfect progressive ("I have been going")

Note that the present perfect and present perfect progressive are a present not past tenses -- that idea is that the speaker is currently in the state of having gone or having been going.

The four future tenses are

  1. the simple future ("I will go")
  2. the future progressive ("I will be going")
  3. the future perfect ("I will have gone")
  4. the future perfect progressive ("I will have been going")

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