The simple aspect or indefinite aspect is the verb form used to express a fact. The simple aspect does not tell whether the action is a complete action or a habitual action.
- Everest is the highest mountain peak in the world. (fact)
- Alice climbs Everest every year. (This is a fact. Context tells us it’s a habitual action.)
- Tom climbed Everest yesterday. (This is a fact. Context tells us it’s a complete action.)
- Tom will climb Everest next year also. ( to be happened in future)
The perfect aspect or complete aspect expresses a completed action. Verbs in the perfect aspect are recognizable by the presence of have, has, or had + the past participle form of the verb.
- Tom had climbed Everest. (action that happened before a time in the past.)
- Tom has climbed Everest. (completed action.)
- Tom will have climbed Everest. (an action will be completed before a specific time in the future.)
The progressive aspect or continuing aspect is the aspect of a verb that expresses an on-going action. Verbs in the progressive aspect are recognizable by the present participle (-ing form of the verb).
- Tom is climbing Everest. (action going on at the time of speaking.)
- Tom was climbing Everest. (action going on at a time in the past.)
- Tom will be climbing Everest. (action going on at a time in future.)
Perfect Progressive Aspect
Perfect progressive aspect is used for verbs that denote an action that began in the past and continues into the present.
- Alice has been teaching for the last 10 years. (.(an action that started in the past and that same action is still happening now)
- Alice had been working for 2 hours when Tom came in. (an action that started in the past and was still in progress when a second action started. Both actions began and ended in the past.)
- By the time Alice gets there, Tom will have been working there for a year. (A continued or ongoing action that will start in future and is thought to be continued till sometime in future.)
Table of Tenses
|Present Tense||Past Tense||Future Tense|
|Simple Present||Simple Past||Simple Future|
|Tom plays soccer||Tom played soccer||Tom will play soccer|
|Present Continuous||Past Continuous||Future Continuous|
|Tom is playing soccer||Tom was playing soccer||Tom will be playing soccer|
|Present Perfect||Past Perfect||Future Perfect|
|Tom has played soccer||Tom had played soccer||Tom will have played soccer|
|Present Perfect Continuous||Past Perfect Continuous||Future Perfect Continuous|
|Tom has been playing soccer||Tom had been playing soccer||Tom will have been playing soccer.|
Note: Does English have a future tense? Many contemporary linguists insist that the English language has only two tenses.
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