Verbs - Tenses (Part 1)
James had been looking for an engagement ring.

Verbs - Tenses (Part 1)

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There are a number of verb tenses. This quiz includes present tense and past tense. A verb is an action word. It can tell us what the subject(s) is(are) doing. Actions, however, can take place at different times. For example, they can show an action in the past, an action in the present and an action in the future.

To define when an action takes place, a verb is written in a “tense” form. These tenses include the following:

PRESENT TENSE: A verb that shows an action that is taking place at that very moment (in the present) is a present tense verb.

An example of this tense of a verb would be: “Gabby is licking her ice-cream up and down.” From this sentence, we can tell that the action is currently taking place. Present tense verbs often end with and “s.” For example: “To talk” is the root verb. “She talks” shows a current action.

PAST TENSE: A verb that shows that an action took place in the past is a past tense verb. For example, let’s look at the following sentence. “Daddy paid the mechanic last week.” In this sentence “paid” is the past tense of the verb “to pay” and it tells us that the action took place in the past. Many past tense verbs end in “d” or “ed.” For example: “To walk” is the root verb. Kelly walked” shows us an action that took place but is not currently taking place in the present.

PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE: A verb that shows an action that started in the past but was completed is known as a past perfect continuous tense. It is a verb that is preceded by the words “had been.” An example would be as follows: “Timothy had been walking for a while when we caught up to him.” We know the action took place in the past and was a continuous action. A continuous action is shown by the “ing” at the end of a verb. But since Timothy is no longer walking (we know this because the words “had been” precede the verb telling us that the walking had ended), “walking” in this sentence is a past perfect continuous tense.

FUTURE TENSE: A verb that tells us that an action is not taking place but will take place sometime in the future is a future tense verb. An example of this verb usage is as follows: “My sister will play the piano at the recital.” When the word “will” appears before a verb, it tells us that the action has not yet taken place but will take place in the future.

There are other forms of verb tenses but for this quiz we will focus on these four tenses.

1.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

He had been jumping on the bed when he fell off.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
When an action has started in the past and was a continuing action but has since ceased, it is known as a past perfect continuous tense. Part of the clue of a continuous verb is the use of “ing” at the end of the verb. When a verb that ends in “ing” is preceded by the words “had been” it tells us the continuous action has ended. In this sentence the verb is “jumping”. It is preceded by the words “had been” which quickly tell us that the verb “jumping” is a past perfect continuous tense. Therefore, Answer (c) is the correct answer.
2.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

The water will boil once it reaches the right temperature.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
The first thing we need to look for is to see when the action is taking place. When an action has yet to happen, the verb is preceded by the word “will”. This lets us quickly know that the action will take place at a future time. In this sentence the verb is “boil” and it is preceded by the word “will” telling us that “boil” is a future tense verb. Answer (d) is correct.
3.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

Rover is so happy to see you!
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
The first thing we need to look for is to see when the action is taking place. Generally, when a verb ends in an “s” it is a good clue that the action is currently taking place. When an action is currently taking place it is taking place in the present. Therefore, this sentence is showing a present action and the verb “is” is a present tense verb. Answer (a) is correct.
4.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

Many people died in the holocaust.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
Locating the verb, we need to determine what action is in the sentence and when that action is taking place. A good hint to tell us this is the letter or letters at the end of the verb. In this sentence the verb is “died” and it ends with a “d.” Generally, when a verb ends in an “ed” or a “d” it tells us that an action took place in the past. When an action has taken place in the past it is a past tense verb. The verb “died” shows a past action so Answer (b) is the correct answer.
5.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

She wished she had gone to the mall with her friends.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
Once the verb is located, we need to determine what action is taking place. A good hint to tell us this is the letter or letters at the end of the verb. In this sentence the verb is “wished” and it ends with an “ed.” Generally, when a verb ends in an “ed” or a “d” it tells us that an action took place in the past. When an action has taken place in the past it is a past tense verb. The verb “wished” shows a past action so Answer (b) is the correct answer.
6.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

He will call me once he finds out the answer to my question.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
The first thing we need to look for is to see when the action is taking place. When an action has yet to happen, the verb is preceded by the word “will”. This lets us quickly know that the action will take place at a future time. In this sentence the verb is “call” and it is preceded by the word “will” telling us that “call” is a future tense verb. Answer (d) is correct.
7.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

The bumble bee buzzes from one plant to the next for hours.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
The first thing we need to do is to determine what action is in the sentence and then when that action is taking place. A good hint to tell us this is the letter or letters at the end of the verb. In this sentence the verb is “buzzes” and it ends with an “s.” Generally, when a verb ends in an “s” it tells us that an action is currently taking place. When an action is currently taking place it is taking place in the present. Therefore, this sentence is showing a present action and the verb “buzzes” is a present tense verb. Answer (a) is correct.
8.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

The Pastor worked on his Sunday sermon for hours.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
We first need to determine what action is in the sentence and then when that action is taking place. A good hint to tell us this is the letter or letters at the end of the verb. In this sentence the verb is “worked” and it ends with an “ed.” Generally, when a verb ends in an “ed” it tells us that an action took place in the past. When an action has taken place in the past it is a past tense verb. Here the verb “worked” shows a past action so Answer (b) is the correct answer.
9.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

The student body had been voting when the dismissal bell rang.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
When an action has started in the past and was a continuing action but has since ceased, it is known as a past perfect continuous tense. Part of the clue of a continuous verb is the use of “ing” at the end of the verb. When a verb that ends in “ing” is preceded by the words “had been” it tells us the continuous action has ended. In this sentence the verb is “voting”. It is preceded by the words “had been” which quickly tell us that the verb “voting” is a past perfect continuous tense. Therefore, Answer (c) is the correct answer.
10.
For the sentence below, find the correct verb tense from the choices given.

James had been looking for an engagement ring for hours before he found the right one.
Present tense
Past tense
Past perfect continuous tense
Future tense
When an action has started in the past and was a continuing action but has since ceased, it is known as a past perfect continuous tense. Part of the clue of a continuous verb is the use of “ing” at the end of the verb. When a verb that ends in “ing” is preceded by the words “had been” it tells us the continuous action has ended. In this sentence the verb is “looking”. It is preceded by the words “had been” which quickly tell us that the verb “looking” is a past perfect continuous tense. Therefore, Answer (c) is the correct answer.
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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