Most early English learners, find the most difficult part is learning tenses. However, when they have learned at least the mostly used English tenses, they will manage speaking or writing English sufficiently well. Therefore, it is essential to get a grip of the proper usage of English grammar tenses even though some English academics may consider reading, speaking, and other activities help to learn the language faster.
There are 12 tenses in English grammar. Verb tenses show the time they take place. The primary three tenses in English are Simple Present, Simple Past and Simple Future Tenses. Then Present, Past, and Future Continuous. Thereafter follows, Present Perfect, Past and Future Perfect. English Grammar teaches Present Perfect Continuous, Past Perfect Continuous, and Future Perfect Continuous. However, by learning about these six tenses, one will be able to speak and write English to express their thoughts to a satisfactory level.
English grammar includes сonditional tenses as well. They are Conditional Simple I, Conditional I Progressive, Conditional II Simple and Conditional II Progressive. However, beginners will feel it is easier to learn Present, Past and Future Tenses that are also the most important tenses for beginners in following the other tenses. According to the Eighth Part of Speech of English grammar, the category of verbs comes after Nouns and Pro Nouns.
In constructing sentences, it is essential that the Subject and Verb should be equal to the number of the Subject and time of the Verb. For example, ‘A dog barks’, is a full sentence and since the dog barks now, this sentence is in Simple Present Tense. Likewise, a ‘Dog Barked’ is Simple Past Tense since the dog does not bark now. In Simple Future Tense, ‘A dog will bark’ as it implies it will bark at some other time. Knowing how to use these three simple tenses, a learner can express what he or she wants to put across.
The importance of using tenses is that it allows one to express the sublime nuances of time. In the Present Continuous Tense, ‘The boy is running’ gives the expression that this boy is engaging in running at this present moment and is continuing to move. Similarly, Past Continuous Tense is illustrated when some action that was happening for sometime in the past, e.g. ‘The Boy was running’ which was in the past.
However, learners of English are often confused when they see different forms of verbs. This may lead to difficulties when a learner has to deal with English tenses. For example, the past tense of ‘Eat’ is ‘Ate’ while past tense of ‘Read’ is also ‘Read’. The spelling is the same but pronounced, ‘red’ when implying it is in the past tense. The past tense of ‘Write’ is ‘Wrote’ while the past tense of ‘Describe’ is ‘Described’. This problem will resolve in a while when learners get accustomed to the different usage of verbs. It may perhaps be the reason, why professionals of English argue that teaching tenses are more effective if students write as well as speak at the beginning of their learning for about six months, rather than wasting time to understand the different tenses.
After all, once we mastered the stage to ‘Learn English Grammar Tenses’, don’t we forget their grammatical terms when we practice English?