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Tense and Aspect

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Grammar presentation created by ESL faculty at Ball State University.

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Tense and Aspect

  1. 1. Verb Tenses Level 3+
  2. 2. What are “verb tenses” “Verb Tense” is a combination of “time” and “aspect” of an action. ● “time” refers to past and present--some would include future ● “aspect” refers to simple, progressive, and perfect
  3. 3. Time in Verb Tense The time in verb tense is mainly present and past. Future time is shown by using will (a modal) or be going to/be V+ing (progressive forms) NOTE: The first word in the verb phrase will show time.
  4. 4. Present Time Most present time verbs use the base form. ● walk→ I walk everyday. ● have→ We have seen it He, she, and it subjects add an -s/-es to the verb. ● walk→ She walks everyday. ● be→ He is working right now.
  5. 5. Past Time Past time phrases are noted by adding -ed (or using an irregular form) walk→ walked run→ ran have→ had be→ was/were
  6. 6. Future Time Future is usually noted by using the modal will or the progressive be going to walk→ will walk [be] going to walk
  7. 7. Future Time pt 2 However, it is important to understand that future can be implied in a number of ways. Other Modals We can go there tomorrow. Present Progressive They are meeting next Wednesday.
  8. 8. Aspects of Verbs The three aspects of verbs include: ● Simple ● Progressive ● Perfect NOTE: Perfect and Progressive may be used together (i.e., “perfect progressive”).
  9. 9. Simple Aspect Simple aspect will not modify the main verb. Only the rules of time will apply. walk→ walk/walks/walked This is used to state basic information such as facts, beliefs, knowledge, opinions, etc.
  10. 10. Simple Usage Present is used to talk about: ● habits/routine o She studies two hours a day. o They will meet on weekends. ● statements of fact/opinion o We lived in Hawaii. o The sun is a star. o I like pizza.
  11. 11. Progressive Aspect Progressive aspect focus on the action in the verb. It refers to a state-of-being at the time of the action. Form: [be] + main verb (present participle) walk→ am walking, is walking, are walking, were walking, was walking
  12. 12. Progressive Usage Progressive is used to talk about: ● at the time: o We are working on a project right now. o Last night, they were dancing at the party. ● state of being: o He is being so annoying! o I was feeling kind of tired.
  13. 13. Perfect Aspect Perfect forms focus on possible completion of an action. Perfect verbs will have a start and end point. Form: [have] + main verb (past participle) walk→ have walked, has walked, had walked
  14. 14. Perfect Usage Perfect aspect is used to talk about: ● completion o We have won! o They have built a new headquarters downtown. ● events in the past o After I had eaten lunch, my friends invited me to join them.
  15. 15. Perfect Progressive Perfect Progressive combines focus on action with a sense of possible completion. Form: [have] + been + main verb (present participle) walk→ have been walking, has been walking, had been walking
  16. 16. Perfect Progressive Usage Perfect Progressive is used to talk about: ● recently completed o I have been looking for you. ● incomplete o She has been preparing for her driving test. ● new habits o He has been running every morning.
  17. 17. Verb Order Verbs will always follow the same pattern. Any verbs that are used will have a specific effect on the verb that follows. All variants are optional, except the main verb. The first word will indicate the time frame.
  18. 18. Verb Order Modal (followed by the base form) Perfect (followed by the past participle) Progressive (followed by the present participle) Passive* (followed by the past participle) Main Verb *Passive is not discussed in this presentation.
  19. 19. Examples of Verb Order I walk. I am walking. I have been walking. I could have been walking. She jogs. She can jog. She might be jogging. She would have jogged. She may have been jogging.
  20. 20. Key Points to Remember ● Tense = Time Frame + Aspect ● Verbs must be applied in a specific order. ● The first word in the Verb Phrase will indicate the Time Frame.

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