Tensed from Tenses 1

Sitting in the library, with The Deluxe Transitive Vampire opened to the Tense section, I attempted understand when to use which tense by making a chart.

That didn’t help me much but these resources did: Writer’s Digest Grammar Desk Reference, A Writer’s Reference with Writing about Literature, and EnglishPage.com.Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference

I am going to post as I make senses of all tenses and my tensed brain will have some relief.

Simple Tenses

Present, past, future

Perfect Tenses

Expresses an action that was/will be completed at the time of another action
A Writer's Reference with Writing about Literature

Present perfect

Action/event that began at sometime in the past and extended into the present

  • I’ve worked there for 6 months.
  • I’ve often gone to the park. (I’ve visited and may go again)

Past perfect

Action/event completed in the past BEFORE some other past action/event, used to show relationship between 2 or more past events

  • Once I had gotten over the fight, I called to apologize.

Future perfect

Action/event that will be completed in the future before some other action/event

  • At 4 o’clock, I will have practiced for 2 hours.

Progressive Tenses

Describes actions in progress

Present perfect progressive

  • I have been working for the last hour. (from past until now)
  • How have you been doing? (without duration, meaning time = recently, lately)

Past perfect progressive

Something started in past and continued up until another time in the past

  • I had been working late that night.
  • He had been partying before he came to the first class.

Future perfect progressive

Something has started and will end in a future time.

  • I will have been working 40 years come next spring.

Present progressive

Past progressive

Future progressive


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