What is tense in Grammar?

Tense is used in our day to day life but we are unaware of it. We speak or write about anything which is happening around us. In any language, speaker uses the forms of verb in his sentences. We use the forms of verb in our speaking or writing to show the time of action. In English Grammar, the form of verb in sentence which shows time of action happened is called tense.

Each sentence gives us information about the time of action. According to time, we form sentence in particular tense to simplify the situation of time.

Like many languages, English also has three basic tenses.

  • Present
  • Past
  • Future

Each tense has four types. Now we shall see those one by one.

Present tense

In this we use the verb to refer present time. In this, action is done at the present time that is now, at the time of speaking. The formation of this sentence is in present.


We shall see the types with examples.

  • Simple Present

I play football.

  • Continuous Present

I am playing football.

  • Perfect Present

I have played football.

  • Perfect Imperfect

I have been playing football.

Past tense

This sentence tells us the information about the action done in past. In this sentence, verb refers past time at the time of speaking. This sentence has the formation of past.


  • Simple Past

I played football.

  • Continuous Past

I was playing football

  • Perfect Past

I had played football.

  • Perfect Imperfect Past

I had been playing football.

Future tense

.In this sentence, verb refers future time at the time of speaking. It means, this sentence gives information about the action which will be done in future. This sentence has the formation of future.


  • Simple Future

I shall play football.

  • Continuous Future

I shall be playing football.

  • Perfect Future

I shall have played football.

  • Perfect Imperfect Future

I shall have been playing football.

Click on above links and you can get the information about the types of tenses.

Hi, I am Madhuri Kherde, an educationist, ex-principal of a secondary school in Mumbai, and founder of EnglishLamp.com. I have been teaching English and Mathematics for the last thirty-four years. I like to share my knowledge and experience with others. So I hope you enjoy my posts on this website.