What Tenses Meant to Be

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Today fluency in English is a very valuable asset. For second language speakers, English creates better job opportunities abroad, and it is essential for living and working in foreign countries. Although tenses are only one small part of English language, they are nonetheless important to have mastered. One cannot run away from having to use the language in one way or another. China has come to realize the importance of mastering English, and have begun to learn the language in a serious way. We in Malaysia are very fortunate to have English taught as a subject in primary and secondary school. Yet many students do not take advantage of it. After 11years of schooling, they can only communicate in Manglish. In many languages, tenses are not as important as in English. In the English language, tenses are especially important because they tell us not only about the time but also about the aspect of the verb.

What are Tenses?
Tenses are a set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time and sometimes also the continuance or completeness of the action in relation to the time of the utterance. Time can be split into three main tenses as present, future and past. Everything that happens occurs in one of these three timeframes. The present is what you are doing, the past is what you have done and the future is what you will do. The verb is changed to express what tense you are speaking in. Additionally, there are variations on each tense, creating a total of 12 tenses, four variations each for present, past and future.

Start with the present tense. The most basic form of the present tense is Present Simple, used to express facts, habits and a permanent situation.  Next is the Present Continuous. We use the Present Continuous when talking about actions that are happening at the moment. Next there is the Present Perfect. The Present Perfect is used to express actions that happened at an indefinite time or that...
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