The tense of a sentence shows us when an action happens. It tells us whether the action happened in the past or is taking place in the present. Simple present tense Simple present tense can be used as follows:
For an action or event that happens regularly,
Mr Tan goes to the gym fortnightly.
The professional bowler practices bowling daily.
An observation of a naturally occurring event,
The sun rises from the east and sets in the west.
Gravity is the force that pulls things to the centre of the earth.
An observation of a habit or behaviour,
Sandy loves cupcakes.
Peter enjoys windsurfing.
An action or event that is going to happen in the future,
The performance starts at 8 pm.
The new shopping mall opens next Sunday.
For the simple present, third person singular verb always ends in -s:he eats, she needs, he kicks, she sings. Generally, it is used to describe actions that are factual or habitual things that occur in the present but that are not necessarily happening right now: “Strong wind blows across this part of the island.
Present continuous tense Format: am / is / are + present participle The Present Continuous Tense is used to talk about:
An action or event that is happening now:
The children are studying in their room.
Jim is reading an email from his supervisor.
An action or event that takes place in the future
Mary is learning how to bake a cake next week.
We are going to library tomorrow.
Simple Past Tense The Simple Past Tense is used to talk about things that started in the past and also ended in the past. It is used to described completed events in the past. It can also be used to talk about unlikely wishes about unreal situations in the present.
Peter bought a bicycle last week.
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.
Last year, I travelled to Japan.
I wish I knew the answer to this question.
Past Continuous Tense The Past Continuous Tense is used to mention an activity that was taking place in the past. It can also be used to talk about an action happening in the past interrupted by another action. Also, it can be used to describe two activities that were taking place at the same time.
Form: Was + present participle Were + present participle
Charlie was making a model of a ship in his room.
We were swimming when it started to rain.
Benny was daydreaming as the teacher was talking.
Note: There are many who view that there are only Present Tense and Past Tense. This is because there is no inflexion in the main verb used. Other ‘tenses’ modify the verb by way of using modal verbs, instead of changing the form of the main verb.