What are the 12 types of tenses with examples?

What are the 12 types of tenses
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What are the 12 types of tenses?

When we are going to read and speak about anything, how do we know that events are happening in the past, present and future? For example, if I would like to say “I am going to mall for shopping”. How can we say if we don’t know tenses? Thus, these tenses help to identify the time by changing the verbs accordingly. We should know about tenses and what are the 12 types of tenses.

Introduction of Tenses

In English grammar, verbs are often used in such a way that it denotes the time when an event occurs. These verbs that perform various forms to change the time of an action, event or situation are called tenses. Tenses are classified into three broad categories:

  1. Past Tense
  2. Present Tense
  3. Future Tense

Each of these tenses is further divided into four categories. These categories define the nature of the action performed by the verb. We will also learn all these categories with the tenses.

  • Simple or Indefinite
  • Continuous
  • Perfect
  • Perfect Continuous

Let us see more about each of these 12 types of tenses with example.

Past Tense

Past tense is used to define any event that has occurred in the past. Let’s take a brief on its four categories.

  • Past indefinite tense:This type of past tense is used to describe event that happened in the past. For Example: We stayed in the hotel.
  • Past continuous tense:This type of past tense is used to describe an event that was going on or continued in the past. Example: We were watching the film in the cinema hall.
  • Past Perfect Tense: It is used to define an event in the past that has been completed. Example: We had finished our lunch before he arrived.
  • Past Perfect Continuous:In this type of past tense, verb is used to indicate an event or action that began before any other event or action in the past. We can say that one action or event interrupts another. Example: I had been teaching science since school.

Present Tense

  • Present Simple Tense:The present indefinite or simple term is used to indicate something that occurs at regular interval. It is also called simple present tense. In other words, it defines an action, event, or situations that usually occur. For Example: They play. 

Learn more about present simple tense.

  • Present Continuous Tense:This tense indicates the continuous nature of an action or event in the present and still it is in continuity. In this type of tense the activity has started in the past and will be completed in the future. For Example: Anand is going to office.
  • Present Perfect Tense:It is used to describe an action that commenced in the past, continues in the present and is just completed. The timing of the occurrence of the action is usually not mentioned. Example: I have completed my graduation.
  • Present Perfect Continuous Tense: It is used to define an action or event that has started in the past and continues in the present or has simply ended in the past. It is also used where time is not mentioned. Example: They have been trying to teach her.

Future Tense

  • Future Simple or Indefinite Tense:This tense is used to define a future action or event. Simple future tense identify with the verb ‘will’ and ‘shall’. Example: We will go to the passport office.
  • Future Continuous Tense:This type of tense identification by the actions, situation or event in future. Example: She will be joining the community.
  • Future Perfect Tense:It is used to refer to an action or event that will be completed at some time before any other action in the future. Example: I will have finished my work by the time you reach here.
  • Future Perfect Continuous Tense:This tense is used to describe an action or event that is continuing into the future and will be completed at a specified time in the future. Example: I will have been doing my work for last two hours.

These are a brief description of the tenses and its variants. Now, you can understand little about tenses. Now, we are going to elaborate to each of the tenses in further classes. I hope now you have got the answer of what are the 12 types of tenses.

Now, understand what is the importance of 3 tenses with each other?

These three tenses i.e. past, present and future are the most important for learning and they are interconnected. When we are talking or writing, we use these tenses to describe events that have occurred, are progressive or will occur in the future. Command over tenses gives us the confidence to speak English correctly.

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