The study elaborately explains the tenses and their definition. Different types of tenses are also discussed along with prominent examples and FAQs and synopsis as its conclusion.

Tenses are an important part to be studied in the context of the subject English. It forms the base of the English language. Tenses can be defined as a certain category of verbal communication that relates to or explains the time of occurrence of the event. The tenses are classified into three broad headers- Past, Present and Future- that are further divided into four sub-categories – simple, continuous, perfect, perfect continuous. This detailed classification is very useful for learners and academicians in the field of English. 

What are Tenses?

Tenses are the important foundational pillar of the English language. The entire subject and the language are based on the proper and effective use of the correct form of tenses. Tense is a type of verb that explains if an event has happened or is happening currently or is going to happen in the future. 

There are also different kinds of tenses within each tense of the main category. These are formed by the summation of all the helping words or the auxiliary words in a sentence. This can be elaborated as “she gives ‘, “she has given”, “she is giving” and “she has been giving”. The meanings of these are quite different and separate from each other but they represent present tenses. This is defined as an aspect. 

The tenses serve various purposes in sentence construction like present tense is used for any event that is occurring right at the moment of speaking. . Past tense is used in the sentence construction to describe events that are completed in the past time. Future Tenses are used to describe the action that will happen in the future.

Past perfect tense is used to describe any event that has occurred before any other action in the past time. The present perfect tense is used to state any event that has started in the past but the effect of the action still prevails in the present.  Future perfect is used to state an action that would start in the future before another event.

Present continuous tense is used to describe an action that is going on now in the present moment. Future continuous is expressed as action regarding a future that is expected to continue its operation over some time. Past continuous events are expressed as events that were continuing in the past. 

Explain different types of Tenses

Tenses are of different types. Broadly these are divided under three main heads. These are past, present and future tense. These refer to the past events, the present events and the future events that will happen in future. These are further classified as follows.

Present tense

  • Present indefinite tense- for action occurs in the present moment. 
  • Present perfect tense- action is already done, but the effect is yet lasting in the present moment.
  • Present continuous tense-for action going on in the current moment and will continue for a future time. 
  • Present perfect continuous tense. – For events stated in the past and are still going on. 

Past tense

  • Past perfect tense-for two actions in the past completed one before another. The first one is the perfect continuous of another. 
  • Past continuous tense- for any events that were continuing for some time in the past. 
  • Past perfect continuous tense- it refers to any action that began before any specific point in the past and continues up to that very point in the past. 
  • Past indefinite tense- for action already completed in the past time. 

Future tense

  • Future continuous tense- for any action that will be going on in the future. 
  • Future indefinite tense- it refers to any action that will be done in future. 
  • Future perfect continuous tense- for any action that will be continuing for a definite time in future. 
  • Future perfect tense- for events that will be completed over some time in the future. 

Provide a few Tenses Examples

  • Past tense- Swagata attended his marriage. 
  • Present tense- Aviraj wants to eat.
  • Future tense- Miraya will attend the seminar on corporate laws tomorrow. 


Tenses are an integral part of English. This is the foundational base in the study and research in the English language. Tense can be explained as the verb’s state. This very state elaborates the time in which the verb (action) has taken place. 

Tenses are classified into different heads namely past tense, present tense and future tense. These tenses are further classified into various other forms like simple past, past continuous, past perfect and past perfect continuous tense. The present tense is divided as present continuous, simple present tense, present indefinite continuous and present perfect tense.