Rules for Tenses in English Grammar with Examples

Rules of Tenses help one understand how to correctly use the different tenses in a sentence, without making a grammatical mistake and also by easily indicating when an event or action has occurred.

Aspirants who are willing to apply for the various Government exams 2020 must go through these tenses rules carefully, as English language is a part of the syllabus for most of these exams. 

Tenses can be divided into three parts:

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

Each of the three above mentioned tenses can further be divided into sub parts. These sub parts include:

  • Simple
  • Continuous
  • Perfect
  • Perfect Continuous

In this article, we shall discuss in detail the tenses rules for the above mentioned types of verb tenses, followed by examples to explain them clearly.

Preparing for the upcoming Government exams 2020??

Refer to the links given below for your assistance:

Rules for Tenses PDF:-Download PDF Here

Present Tense

Present Tense can be defined as an expression for an activity that is currently in action or is habitually performed. It is used for a state that generally exists or is currently ongoing.

  • Simple Present

Simple Present Tense
Singular Plural
Rule: Subject + V1 + s/es + Object Rule: Subject + V1 + Object
Example: The girl sings a song

Here the subject is Girl (singular) and “s” has been added to the verb (sing), followed by the object (song)

Example: The girls sing a song

Here the subject is Girls (plural) and no changes have been made with V1 (first form of verb) and the object

  • Present Continuous

Present Continuous Tense
Rule: Subject + is/am/are + V1 + ing + object
Example: She is eating food

Here the subject is She, followed by “is”

The first form of verb (V1) here is “eat” and “ing” has been added to it, followed by the object “food”

  • Present Perfect 

Present Perfect Tense
Singular Plural
Rule: Subject + has + V3 + Object Rule: Subject + have + V3 + Object
Example: He has cleaned the utensils

Here, “He” is the subject + has

“Cleaned” is the third form of verb and utensils is the object

Example: They have cleaned the utensils

Here, “They” is the subject + have

“Cleaned” is the third form of verb and utensils is the object

  • Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Singular Plural
Rule: Subject + has been + V1 + ing + Object Rule: Subject + have been + V1 + ing + Object
Example: She has been practising since morning

Here “She” is the subject + has been, followed by “ing” added to the the first form of verb “practise” and then the object

Example: They have been practising since morning

Here “They” is the subject + have been, followed by “ing” added to the the first form of verb “practise” and then the object

Given below are a few examples that may help you differentiate between the four sub parts of present tense easily:

  1. Raj speaks German (Simple Present for Singular)
  2. They speak German (Simple Present for Plural)
  3. She is speaking German (Present Continuous)
  4. He has learnt German (Present Perfect for Singular)
  5. They have learnt German (Present Perfect for Plural)
  6. She has been learning German (Present Perfect Continuous for Singular)
  7. They have been learning German (Present Perfect Continuous for Plural)

Also, go through the concepts and sample questions of important English topics such as :

  1. Rules and List of Conjunctions
  2. Active And Passive Voice Rules
  3. List of Homophones/Homonyms
  4. List of Synonyms and Antonyms
  5. List of Prefix and Suffix with examples
  6. Idioms And Phrases

More such articles on the rule, lists and concepts can be found on the General English For Competitive exams.

Candidates preparing for the various government exams can refer to the detailed exam syllabus from the links given below:

The video given below explains the Tenses Rules and Concepts in the English Language. Candidates can watch the full video to gain conceptual clarity and application of tenses rules, while attempting questions in the competitive exams.

For a better understanding of the formation of words in English and to know the English words that are asked in most of the competitive exams, visit the links provided below:

  1. English Root Words
  2. Most asked English Vocabulary Words

Past Tense

Any event or action that took place in the past can be referred to as the past tense. Below we have discussed in detail the four sub parts of past tense in English grammar. 

  • Simple Past 

Simple Past Tense
Rule: Subject + V2 + Object
For example: He ran away

Here, the subject is “He” and “ran” is the second form of verb (V2) of “run” followed by the object

  • Past Continuous 

Past Continuous Tense
Singular Plural
Rule: Subject + was + V1 + ing + Object Rule: Subject + were + V1 + ing + Object
For example: She was going shopping

Here, the subject is “She” + was

It is followed by the first form of verb (V1) “go” + “ing” and then the object “shopping”

For example: They were going shopping

Here, the subject is “They” + were

Followed by the first form of verb (V1) “go” + “ing” and then the object “shopping”

  • Past Perfect 

Past Perfect Tense
Rule: Subject + had + V3 + Object
For example: Sumit had left the job

Here the subject is “Sumit” + had

Then “left”, which is the third form of verb (V3) “leave” is given followed by the object

  • Past Perfect Continuous 

Past Perfect Continuous Tense
Rule: Subject + had been + V1 + ing + Object
For example: They had been preparing for their performance for two months

Here the subject  is “They” + had been

It is followed by “preparing”, which is the first form of verb (V1) of “prepare” and then the object

To help you understand past tense and its form even better, given below are a few examples to simply the concept:

  1. I played football yesterday (Simple Past)
  2. I was playing football yesterday (Past Continuous for Singular)
  3. They were playing football yesterday (Past Continuous for Plural)
  4. They had played football yesterday (Past Perfect)
  5. They had been playing football the entire yesterday (Past Perfect Continuous)

Given below are a few articles to clarify the confusion between various common but confusing words in the English Language. It is vital aspirants gain clarity on the basic concepts to ace this section, as they are very well aware that English is an important part of the syllabus of various competitive exams.

More such concept-wise, subject-wise differences can be found on the 100 Difference between Articles page linked here.

Comprehensive News Analysis

Future Tense

The actions that are to take place in the future fall in the category of future tense. We have discussed the sub parts of future tense in detail further below in the article, followed by the examples for the same.

  • Simple Future

Simple Future Tense
Rule: Subject + will/shall + V1 + Object
For example: I will visit my Uncle tomorrow

Here, the subject is “I” + will

It is followed by the first form of verb (V1) “visit” and then the object

  • Future Continuous 

Future Continuous Tense
Rule: Subject + will be/shall be + V1 + ing + Object
For Example: I shall be going to the market tomorrow

In this example, the subject is “I” + shall be

Following it is the first form of verb (V1) “go”+ing and then the object

  • Future Perfect

Future Perfect Tense
Rule: Subject + will have/shall have + V3 + Object
For example: I shall have prepared the notes by tomorrow morning

In this example, the subject is “I” + shall have

It is followed by “prepared”, which is the third form of Verb (V3) “prepare” and then the object

  • Future Perfect Continuous 

Future Perfect Continuous Tense
Rule: Subject + will have been + V1 + ing + Object
For Example: She will have been working here since 2015

Here, the subject is “She” + will have been

It is followed by the first form of verb “work”+ing and then the object

Given below are a few examples that may help you clarify the future tense concept clearly:

  1. She will go to school tomorrow (Simple Future)
  2. She will be going to school tomorrow (Future Continuous)
  3. She will have gone to school tomorrow (Future Perfect)
  4. She will have been going to school tomorrow (Future Perfect Continuous)

Rules for Tenses PDF:-Download PDF Here

To prepare well for the English section, it is important to practise and revise Tenses regularly for conceptual clarity. Hence, go through the exercise on Tenses Questions and Answers in the given link.

Candidates can also check below the variety and scope of questions asked in the competitive exams on the other relevant topics of English language:

Check the Verbal Ability page to get more Questions and Answers articles based on different general English topics.

Candidates preparing for the upcoming government exams must carefully go through the concept of tenses rules as candidates tend to score the least in the English Language section.

For further questions or information regarding the competitive exams, study material or best books for preparation, candidates can turn to BYJU’S.

Given below are the links that may help you prepare for the upcoming Government exams 2020:

Video – Tenses Rules in English Part 2

The video on Tenses rules has more parts, candidates will find the other parts in the Tenses Questions And Answers page linked here.

3 Comments

  1. Very good explanation

  2. Very useful.
    It is given in a very good manner so that people can understand .

  3. Very useful I needed this type of app thanks for help

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