Tense and Aspect
Tense is the grammatical expression of the location of events in time. Tense in verbs express the time that an action occurs in the moment of speaking. There are three types of tense in english grammar. These are present, past and future tenses. One important structure that functions together with tense is aspect. Aspect is a grammatical category that indicates temporal features such as duration, frequency, and completion. Aspect expresses how the speaker views of the verb. Aspect is indicated by complex tenses that are composed of an auxiliary verb + a main verb. There are two different aspects in English: the progressive and the perfect.
We use the label progressive because the verb phrase describes the ongoing nature of an event or action. A progressive verb phrase consists of the auxiliary be in either present or past tense + the present participle of the main verb.
subject auxiliary be present participle (verb+ -ing) time reference John is walking. present John was walking. Past
When have combines with a main verb, the verb phrase shows the perfect aspect. The perfect aspect describes the relationship between an earlier event or action with a later event or action. A perfect verb phrases consists of the auxiliary have in either present or past tense + the past participle of the main verb. Perfect Aspect
subject auxiliary have past participle (verb + -ed) time reference John has walked. present John had walked. past John had written past
“present time” refers to general habits, customs, characteristics, or truths. If speakers wish to refer to an action occurring at the moment of speaking, they use the present progressive. The simple present tense consists of the main verb in its simple form, except in third person singular when the –s inflection is added to the main verb. For questions and negatives in the simple present we need to add the do auxiliary. For example we can see some sentences examples in chart:
[VERB] + s/es in third person
• You speak English.
• Do you speak English?
• You do not speak English.
USE 1 :Repeated Actions
We use the Present Simple to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do. Examples:
• I play tennis.
• She does not play tennis.
• Does he play tennis?
• The train leaves every morning at 8 AM.
• The train does not leave at 9 AM.
• When does the train usually leave?
• She always forgets her purse.
• He never forgets his wallet.
• Every twelve months, the Earth circles the Sun.
• Does the Sun circle the Earth?
USE 2: Facts or Generalizations
The Present Simple can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things. Examples:
• Cats like milk.
• Birds do not like milk.
• Do pigs like milk?
• California is in America.
• California is not in the United Kingdom.
• Windows are made of glass.
• Windows are not made of wood.
• New York is a small city. It is not important that this fact is...
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