The English language is one of rules and conventions. Rules help the language to be as systematic as possible while conventions help the language to be more colourful and inventive. Grammar is paramount, and for people to understand language grammar has to be followed by all practitioners. English comprises different parts of speech, and verbs, along with nouns, are essential parts of any English communication. This High English quiz on tenses is all about the relationship between verbs and time.
Since verbs describe actions, and actions are dynamic and can relate to past actions, present actions or future actions, we have to understand the relationship between verb forms and time. Verbs take on three basic forms in relation to time in the past, present or future. Variations of these verb forms are possible, such as simple past, past continuous, present perfect and present perfect continuous. These forms are necessary to relate to actions in different points in time.
In addition to these verb forms the verb ’to have’ can be used to denote possession. The verbs ‘would’ and ‘used to’ can be used to convey our actions in the past or to convey actions that were done in the past but are discontinued now.
Numerous verbs are available in English that describe a variety of actions and these verbs take on different forms in different tenses. For instance, in the sentence ‘it HAS BEEN SNOWING since morning’ the verbs (in capitals) are in the present perfect continuous tense in terms of tense and, in terms of time, represent the present.
The quiz on tenses that follows exposes us to the relationship between the different verb forms and the time they represent.