COMMON PATTERNS AND USAGES OF TENSES IN ENGLISH

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1 Common Patterns and Usages of Tenses in English 1 COMMON PATTERNS AND USAGES OF TENSES IN ENGLISH I Nengah Sudipa Udayana University Abstract This article aims to describe in detail about the Tense-formulas with English sentences. The data was collected from a number of reference books, Magazine, as well as from Practical English Usage. It was done through reading and notetaking. The formulation of the article is in accordance with the patterns exemplified by the quoted sentences. It turns out that Tense is defined as a verb form referring to time. Keywords: tense-formula, pattern, usage I INTRODUCTION How many tenses are there in English?, once the English student was asked. The answer was There are, oh maybe 14 or 16 tenses. This dialogues urges me to write this article in order to widen the insight of the readers, who are mostly our beloved English students. The answer is not only about the numbers of the tenses, however the patterns and how to use them as well. This article aims to introduce the patterns and elaborate the usages in such ways that the materials could be easily comprehended. II MATERIALS AND METHOD The materials for this article, especially the patterns were adopted from a number of English grammar books, namely The Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Quirk, et.al.1985) and The Introduction to the English Grammar (Huddleston, 1984).The usages are based upon the examples taken from Garuda Magazine (Sept,2015) and a number of tokens from the Practical English Usages (Swan, 1995). The materials were intensively and extensively read to comprehend the relevant points, and furthermore the observation and note-taking techniques were applied. III RESULTS AND DISCUSSION What is TENSE? is the first question must be thoroughly responded. Tense is the verb form referring to time. Look at the examples (3-1) He eats rice (3-2) He ate rice (3-3) He is eating rice (3-4) He has eaten rice The verb form of eat in (3-1) is called Verb I [present tense] indicates the activity happens everyday, the same as the daily habitual happening. It covers three time dimensions (yesterday, now and tomorrow). The form of ate in (3-2) is called the Verb II [past tense] functions to show the activity happens in the past (yesterday,..ago; last..). The form of is eating in (3-3) is called Verb I+ING [continuous/progressive tense] indicates the activity is still going on; and the form of eaten in (3-4) is called Verb III [past participle] with the combination of has/have indicates the activity has just finished at the moment of the speaking. 3.1 PATTERNS AND USAGES Basically there are two major points of tenses in English, namely; (1) The Present and (2) The Past THE PRESENT The present consists of (1) Simple Present; (2) Present ; (3) Present Perfect and (4) Present Perfect

2 Common Patterns and Usages of Tenses in English The Simple Present The Simple Present covering three time dimension: the past, the present and the future is used to indicate the habitual activity. This can be completed by certain adverbs and time adverbials. Adverbs of frequency consists of always, usually, often, sometimes, occasionally, seldom, rarely, ever, never. Time adverbials are every day, every..; on Sundays, on.etc. (3-5) They sometimes work in a factory They do not work in an office Do they work at home on Sundays? (3-6) He works in a cafeteria every Saturday He does not work in a school Does he always work in a supermarket? The Present The Present is used to indicate that the activity is still going at the moment of the speaking. This tense is usually completed by: now, at the moment, at present. (3-7) She is wearing blue jean now Is he listening to the radio They are not sleeping well in a camp The Present Perfect (3-8) They have written three letters for one hour Has she copied the book since 1st of March? She has not cooked in the kitchen The present perfect tense, with action verbs (write, copy, cook, etc) indicates that the action started in the past and already finishes at the moment of the speaking. When this tenses use state verbs: (live, stay, like, love, hate, remember, regret, forget, have, and be), it indicates that the activity started in the past, however does not end at the moment of the speaking, moreover it continues until the future. (3-9) (a) He has lived in Denpasar for three months (b) She has loved him since 1990? (c) They have remembered their friends living in Lampung The activity of present perfect with state verb does not end at the moment of the speaking, however it keeps continuing until the future. (a) He does not finish living in Denpasar, but he is still living there until certain time in the future; (b) She does not stop loving him nor hating him because she has loved him, however her love to him is still going on until certain time in the future; (c) it does not mean that they forget their friends after they finished saying the sentence: they have remembered their friends in Lampung. This indicates that they still remember them until next time in the future Perfect The Present Perfect, with action verbs only - is used to express the activity that started in the past and not stopping at the time of the speaking and moreover it continues until future. (3-10) He has been sleeping for an hour

3 Common Patterns and Usages of Tenses in English 3 We have been studying since in this morning Has she been crying for two hours? THE PAST The Past consists of (1) Simple Past; (2) Past ; (3) Past Perfect and (4) Past Perfect Simple Past Simple Past is used to indicate that the action took place in the certain time in the past, usually with the time adverbials: yesterday, ago (two days ago); last.( last year) (3-11) They studied in Australia She did not buy many blouses in the morning market Did he build a house in The Past (3-12) (a) He was sleeping WHEN I rang him (b) I was doing my homework WHEN he came in (c) The baby was crying when his mother left him behind The activity expressed by the form of past progressive lasts longer than the action done by the past verb form. In (a) The activity of was sleeping lasts longer than the action done by the verb of rang. In (b) the action done by the verb was doing is longer than the action performed by the verb form of came. In (c) the action of the verb left lasts shorter than the activity of was crying The Past Perfect (3-13) He went home AFTER the party had finished There are two clauses in the above example, the action in the main clause He went home happens later than the subordinate clause. the party had finished. The activity implied in the subordinate clause is considered to happen before Past. (3-14) She had left the house BEFORE her father arrived There are two clauses in the above example, namely the main clause She had left the house is considered to happen before past and the subordinate clause. her father arrived exactly occurs at the point of the speaking in the past, e.g yesterday, last week, two days ago, etc. It, therefore can be elaborated into She had left the house before her father arrived YESTERDAY The Past Perfect This tense is used to indicate that the action has been going on Before Past and finished exactly at The Past (Yesterday, last week, two days ago, etc.). The time clause is usually used to limit the length of the activity. (3-15) My father had been sleeping WHEN I got home at 12 yesterday The activity of sleeping done by my father started before 12 yesterday, when I got home at 12, he finished sleeping at 12 yesterday. Compare with above. The difference is that the Past deals only with the matter of

4 Common Patterns and Usages of Tenses in English 4 which is longer between the Main Clause and Subordinate clause, however the Past Perfect deals with only the Starting and Finishing points of the activity. 3.2 THE FUTURE The following sentences, although without future time adverbials manage to indicate that the activity is going to be performed not now, however in the future SIMPLE FUTURE (3-16) John will visit me (3-17) Marry shall not [shan t] study French (3-18) We are going to buy a new house in Hardy s Land (3-19) The bald Professor intends to have his hair replanted (3-20) Some students want to copy this new interesting article (3-21) The family wish to enjoy their long-lives in the earthly-world (3-22) The foreign English instructor means to gain high salary in Bali (3-23) Who plans to play truant in Micro-linguistics subject? PAST FUTURE This tense is usually used as the Main Clause in the conditional sentence Type II which is in conjunction with the Simple Past, see (3-24) The students would get good marks IF the teacher taught well 3.3 COMBINATIONS A number of patterns and sentences as examples are shown in the following discussions. They are actually the combinations between/among several ideas which are rarely performed in the real usages, because they are opposed from the principle of Tense definition above PRESENT FUTURE PERFECT (3-25) They will have bought the house PAST FUTURE PERFECT This tense is usually used as the Main Clause in conditional sentence type III which is in conjunction with the Past Perfect, see (3-26) The teacher would have given you the good mark IF you had revised the paper PRESENT FUTURE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE (3-27) His father will have been applying the good position PAST FUTURE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE (3-28) Her mother would have been serving her.

5 Common Patterns and Usages of Tenses in English 5 IV CONCLUSION From the previous discussion, it could be diagrammed and concluded as follows: Before Past The Past The Present The Future Simple Simple Perfect Perfect (1) Perfect (2) The Present Perfect Tense consisting of the action verbs show the activity started from the past and finishes at the time of the speaking in the present, however when it has state verbs : live the activity does not end at the moment of the speaking in the present, but still continues to the future. Compare (1) He has eaten his lunch since 3 o clock; (2) He has lived in Denpasar since 3 months. REFERENCES Huddleston, Rodney An Introduction to Grammar of English. Oxford: Oxford University Press Garuda Magazine, edition Sept 2015 Quirk, Randolph, Sydney Greenbaum, G. Leech and J. Svartvit A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Swan, Michael Practical English Usages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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