STEP 1: DEFINITION
English has three time frames: past, present, and future. Each of these is divided into simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive. The regular verb TO MAKE is shown below:
|Simple = made||Simple = make/makes||Simple = will make|
|Progressive = was/were making||Progressive = am/is/are making||Progressive = will be making|
|Perfect = had made||Perfect = has/have made||Perfect = will have made|
|Perfect Progressive = had been making||Perfect Progressive = has/have been making||Perfect Progressive = will have been making|
Each of these aspects is controlled, or affected, by time markers (also called time expressions or signal words). These are some examples of time markers which are commonly used:
|Simple = yesterday, the day before yesterday, last week/month/year, a few minutes/two hours/five years ago||Simple = rarely, sometimes, regularly, always, every week/day/time/year, usually||Simple = tonight, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, later, next week/month/year, in 2005, for the next 2 years/days/months|
|Progressive = while, when, as, at that time/moment||Progressive = now, right now, at present, today, these days, nowadays, currently, presently||Progressive = in 2005, for the next 2 years/days/months|
|Perfect / Perfect Progressive = before, after, by the time, already||Perfect / Perfect Progressive =since, for, already, yet, just, so far, until now, several/four/many times||Perfect / Perfect Progressive = by (a future point in time), by this time next year|
Verb tense errors occur when students do not correctly match tense with time expressions and when they cause inappropriate verb tense shifts.
Incorrect: We are living there last year.
Correct: We were living there last year.
Incorrect: She raised her hand and gives the wrong answer.
Correct: She raised her hand and gave the wrong answer.
STEP 3: LEARNING MORE
For more information on verb tense, follow these links: