Selasa, 20 Desember 2016

Past, Present, and Future Tense


The simple past is used to talk about a completed action in a time before now. Duration is not important. The time of the action can be in the recent past or the distant past. 

You always use the simple past when you say when something happened, so it is associated with certain past time expressions
  • frequency: often, sometimes, always
    I sometimes walked home at lunchtime.
    I often brought my lunch to school.
  • a definite point in time: last week, when I was a child, yesterday, six weeks ago
    We saw a good film last week.
    Yesterday, I arrived in Geneva.
    She finished her work atseven o'clock
    I went to the theatre last night
  • an indefinite point in time: the other day, ages ago, a long time ago People lived in caves a long time ago.
  • She played the piano when she was a children
  • They weren't in Rio last summer.
  • We didn't have any money.
  • We didn't have time to visit the Eiffel Tower.
  • We didn't do our exercises this morning.
  • Were they in Iceland last January?
  • Did you have a bicycle when you were young?
  • Did you do much climbing in Switzerland?

The simple present tense is used:

  • To express habits, general truths, repeated actions or unchanging situations, emotions and wishes:
    I smoke (habit); I work in London (unchanging situation); London is a large city (general truth)
  • To give instructions or directions:
    You walk for two hundred meters, then you turn left.
  • To express fixed arrangements, present or future:
    Your exam starts at 09.00
  • To express future time, after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until:
    He'll give it to you when you come next Saturday.


  • For habits
    He drinks tea at breakfast.
    She only eats fish.
    They watch television regularly.
  • For repeated actions or events
    We catch the bus every morning.
    It rains every afternoon in the hot season.
    They drive to Monaco every summer.
  • For general truths
    Water freezes at zero degrees.
    The Earth revolves around the Sun.
    Her mother is Peruvian.

There are a number of different ways of referring to the future in English. It is important to remember that we are expressing more than simply the time of the action or event. Obviously, any 'future' tense will always refer to a time 'later than now', but it may also express our attitude to the future event.
All of the following ideas can be expressed using different tenses:
  • Simple prediction: There will be snow in many areas tomorrow.
  • Arrangements: I'm meeting Jim at the airport.
  • Plans and intentions: We're going to spend the summer abroad.
  • Time-tabled events: The plane takes off at 3 a.m.
  • Prediction based on present evidence: I think it's going to rain!
  • Willingness: We'll give you a lift to the cinema.
  • An action in progress in the future: This time next week I'll be sun-bathing.
  • An action or event that is a matter of routine: You'll be seeing John in the office tomorrow, won't you?
  • Obligation: You are to travel directly to London.
  • An action or event that will take place immediately or very soon: The train is about to leave.
  • Projecting ourselves into the future and looking back at a completed action: A month from now he will have finished all his exams.
It is clear from these examples that several tenses are used to express the future. The future tense section shows the form and function of each of these uses of future tenses.