Problems with Tenses

by Amandeepkaur
(moga,punjab in India)

Please explain the present, past and future tenses

present tense
past tense
future tense

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Jul 08, 2013
present, past and future tenses
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

There is a lot that can be written about these tenses, so I can only give a very brief explanation here, then I would suggest you do an internet search to get more details.

PRESENT TENSE:

The main ones are:-

1) Repeated actions or habits

"He plays tennis every Thursday"

2) Things that are always true / facts

"The sun is hot"
"I am tired"

3) Scheduled events in the future

PAST TENSE:

Completed actions in the past

"I studied hard yesterday".

FUTURE:

Event in the future:

"I will leave for Frankfurt tomorrow"

"I'm going to the cinema tonight"

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how to use past perfect and future tense

by priti shah
(india)

i am not able to use proper grammer tense in my writting as well as in speaking i am very greatful and thankful to you if you guide me in this matter


thank you
priti

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Aug 09, 2013
Using the past perfect and future tenses
by: IELTS buddy

These are better explained by the use of a timeline so I would recommend you search on the internet for one of these so you can see it visually. But I'll have a go.

PAST PERFECT

Basically, the past perfect is used to identify a time in the past that came BEFORE another time in the past.

It's used with 'had + past participle'.

So in a way, it is a time before the past simple. Take a look at this example:

By the time I got to work at 9am, John HAD BEEN there for 30 minutes already (John arrived at 8.30am).

Both these things happened in the past - John arriving is the first event, me arriving is the second event.

However, we often just use the past simple to show this as the context makes it clear:

I arrived at 9am and John arrived at 8.30am.

There is no need to use 'had arrived'.

This is a very difficult tense so I would not worry too much about it. You are not likely to be making much use of it in an essay.


FUTURE

We use 'will' when we want to talk about future events that we believe are certain.

‘Will’ is followed by verb 1, or the infinitive.

Education will be more important in the future because as populations increase, there will be greater competition for jobs.

'Will' and 'Going to' are used in similar ways. We can use ‘going to’ to talk about a plan we have or when we are making a prediction based on evidence we know of, often from what we can see in front of us.

‘Going to’ is followed by verb 1, or the infinitive.

The sky is very black (the evidence we can see). I think it’s going to rain. (not an IELTS example)

The climate is going to become warmer and warmer because the government is not doing enough to prevent global warming.

It is more likely to be 'will' that you use in your writing (but be careful as this is 100% - you may want to use words like 'may' and 'could').







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present perfect tense

by tina

Please explain present perfect tense and situations where we use it over other?

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Sep 14, 2013
Present Perfect Tense
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

There are a few uses for the present perfect. I'll talk about some of the most common.
___________________________________________

SOMETHING STARTING IN THE PAST AND STILL HAPPENING NOW

If something started in the past but is still going on now, we use the present perfect:

"I have lived in my current house since 2001".

So the person STILL lives in the house.

It is common to use 'since' and 'for' with it.

"I have been living in my house for 13 years".
___________________________________________

GENERAL EXPERIENCES

We use it to talk about general experiences we have had in our life, when we are not referring to when it happened.

"I've been to Africa three times".

This is in contract to the past simple which is used if you specify when:

"I went to Africa in 1990, 1995, and 2003".
____________________________________________

WITH 'JUST', 'YET' AND 'ALREADY'

We use it with the above words:

"I've just finished reading my book".
"I haven't eaten yet".
"I've done my homework already".

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Past and Past Perfect

what is difference between these 2 sentences? When should we use one over other?

I spoke to him.
I had spoken to him.

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Sep 09, 2013
past and past perfect
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

You are referring to the past and the past perfect.

"I spoke to him" = past simple

"I had spoken to him" = past perfect

PAST SIMPLE

This is for a completed action in the past.

PAST PERFECT

The past perfect is used to identify a time in the past that came BEFORE another time in the past.

It's used with 'had + past participle'.

So in a way, it is a time before the past simple. Take a look at this example:

"Even though I had spoken to him about coming on time, he still arrived late"

Both these things happened in the past - Speaking to him is the first event, arriving late the second event.

Past perfect therefore tells us which event came first in the past.

Sep 10, 2013
Present perfect tense
by: Anonymous

Please explain present perfect tense and situations we use it over other?

Sep 14, 2013
Present Perfect
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

There are a few uses for the present perfect. I'll talk about some of the most common.
___________________________________________

SOMETHING STARTING IN THE PAST AND STILL HAPPENING NOW

If something started in the past but is still going on now, we use the present perfect:

"I have lived in my current house since 2001".

So the person STILL lives in the house.

It is common to use 'since' and 'for' with it.

"I have been living in my house for 13 years / since 2001".
___________________________________________

GENERAL EXPERIENCES

We use it to talk about general experiences we have had in our life, when we are not referring to when it happened.

"I've been to Africa three times".

This is in contract to the past simple which is used if you specify when:

"I went to Africa in 1990, 1995, and 2003".
____________________________________________

WITH 'JUST', 'YET' AND 'ALREADY'

We use it with the above words:

"I've just finished reading my book".
"I haven't eaten yet".
"I've already done my homework".

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past simple and past continuous

by pragatsingh
(mantova lombardy italy)

I never understand the difference between the past simple and past continuous

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Dec 20, 2013
Difference between the past simple and past continuous
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

Well I really can't explain much more about the difference between the past simple and the past continuous to that what you will find on most other sites if you do a search.

Basically the continuous tenses are often used to explain something that is happening over a period of time.

So if you want to refer to the past but it is something that was happening over a period of time rather than a fixed time then you would use past continuous. For example:

"He was studying for 3 hours last night"
(a period of time)

"He stopped studying at 6pm"
(one fixed time - you can't say "He was stopping studying at 6pm". That would not make sense).

There are some more rules about using them together so I would do some more searching and reading up on it, but what I've given you are the basics on the difference between the past simple and past continuous.

Thanks

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When to use the present continuous?

by John Kenter
(Hong kong)

I'd like to ask you a question about English tenses if you don't mind. I found some sentences in a thread in which someone poses this question:

"a. John wonders why Mary kicked him.
b. (X) John wonders why did Mary kick him.

Why is (a) OK, but (b) not? "

To which another guy replies:

"John is not asking anything and that's why the question structure (why did Many kick?) is wrong. John is only wondering why Mary kicked him."

My question is why would the guy use present continuous:

"John is not asking anything"

when replying to the above question? Could it be replaced by, say,

"John does not ask anything?"

Someone told me that the continuous form is more often used in this context. Is that true? I'd be grateful if you could explain it for me.

Thank you.

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Dec 20, 2013
When to use the present continuous
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

The main reason is that the person who wrote this wants to convey the idea that it is happening now.

When he is explaining the conversation he is doing it as if it is now, not earlier, and we use the present continuous to say what is happening now.

We do use the present simple for things that are happening now, but it is with verbs that do not take the continuous tense. For example:

"He needs help" (not usually "he is needing help")

"Asking" can take continuous.

It is complex though. Don't worry too much if you don't quite get it - it's easy to get bogged down in tenses. Don't over analyse things.

You'll get to know by instinct what is right to use in what situation the more you practice.

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Using the present perfect tense with the past tense

by sun
(roc)

Hi,

I understand that we use present perfect when we're explaining an event that happened sometime before the present event, and usually present and present perfect are used in one sentence. I ran into two sentences (shown below) that do not fit the present perfect tense definition and would appreciate it if you could explain it to me.

Sentence A. Friends and family alike clucked their judgmental tongues and warned her that two months was not long enough for her to have come to grips with her loss.

Q1: "clucked" and "warned" are in the past tense, and "to have come" is in present perfect. I thought present perfect goes with present tense, not past tense?

Sentence B. They decided that her grief must have rendered my friend lonely and confused, and assumed that she couldn't be ready to love again so soon after her tragic loss.

Q2: "decided"..."have rendered". Again, it starts with past tense, but follows with present perfect "have rendered"

Very confused..please explain. Thank you so much for your explanation.


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Jan 23, 2014
Using the present perfect tense with the past tense
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

I have not heard that the present perfect is usually with the present tense. Maybe it is more often, but it is perfectly acceptable to use it with the past. For example:

"I felt so sad yesterday, but I have now come to terms with my loss".

"I felt ill this morning, but I’ve taken some medicine and now I feel much better".


The key thing about the second one is the word ‘must’ (a modal verb). This is not the present perfect, this is using a modal in the past.

When we want to use a modal in the past we use 'have' plus the past participle with it. For example:

"I could have taken the bus this morning but I took a taxi".

Hope that helps
Thanks



Jan 23, 2014
when to use simple past and when to use past perfect
by: Anonymous

Hi,

Thank you for your explanation on the second sentence (because a modal verb "MUST" was used). I could have also eliminated the modal verb "must" and change it to "had rendered" and that would work too.

That said, I'm still confused the first example you gave. Why couldn't I change it to "had come"?

Typically past perfect

Begin + Simple Past Tense, Past Perfect Tense.
example: When I saw Miko last week, she had lost a lot of weight.


And Present perfect

Begin + Simple present Tense, Present Perfect Tense

example: I want to go shopping because I have not bought clothes in a long time.

And I understand that I can also change these sentences to simple past and present.

when do you use past perfect when simple perfect would work just as well?

Thank you!

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I forget my grammer in speaking.....what I should do for this?

when i speak out my cue card then I do not easily change my tense

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Jul 08, 2013
Grammar in speaking
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

There isn't one thing you can do to suddenly help you remember your grammar when you are in the test, apart from trying to relax of course.

The more you practice English, the better it will get.

What I would say though is that fluency is one of the most important things in the speaking test, and your fluency will get worse if you concentrate on your grammar too much.

So try not to think about the grammar - you can't do much about it once you are there. So relax and try to speak fluently.

Jul 08, 2013
thank u
by: Anonymous

thank u..to give me valuable suggestion

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Tips for using tenses correctly

by ginni
(punjab)

i know about tenses but i always use wrong?
most of the time i do made mistake while speaking?
give me the tips pls.
thanks

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May 20, 2014
Tips for using tenses correctly
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

Sorry but there really aren't quick tips to using the correct tenses.

There are so many they all have different rules.

It just comes down to practice.

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