Ahh, grammar. It can be tricky for new English learners. I mean, some things just don’t make sense! Like why do we clean up, but scrub down?

But exceptions and jokes aside, grammar is an important set of rules by which we follow in the English language. It includes things like verb tense, pronoun usage, and word order. 

When we use good grammar, our readers can easily follow our thoughts and see what we’re trying to say. Second, using proper grammar demonstrates that we are educated and professional. Good grammar shows that we have taken the time to learn the rules of our language and that we care about communicate effectively. 

Finally, good grammar can actually change the way people perceive us. Studies have shown that people who use correct grammar are seen as more intelligent, competent, and trustworthy than those who don’t. In today’s world, first impressions are everything. 

Tenses form the foundation of any set of grammar rules. So what is the present tense? How is it different from future or past tense? Read on to learn more from ULC, Singapore’s leading language school. 

1. Past Tense

The past tense is a verb tense used to indicate that an action or event occurred in the recent or distant past. An example of what past tense is would be,  “Last night, I went into town.” In which case, the word “went” is written in past tense.

Other examples of past tense include:

  • Took, the past tense of take
  • Wrote, the past tense of write
  • Drank, the past tense of drink
  • Ate, the past tense of eat 

More commonly, many of the verbs are denoted as past tense by adding an “-ed”, for example, “jumped”, “reached”, and “walked”.

You can also use past tense to talk about things that happened before now but aren’t happening now. For example, “I used to live in New York.” This sentence is in past tense because living in New York happened before now, but it isn’t happening now.

2.  Present Tense

The present tense is used to describe actions that are happening now or that are currently true. The easiest way to use present tense is to simply speak or write in the present tense. This means using verbs that describe actions that are currently happening, like “I am writing a paper.”

You can also use present tense to describe future events. An example of what present tense is would be “I am going to the movies tonight.” To do this, you just need to use a form of the verb “to be” plus a verb in the infinitive form, like “I am going to see a movie.”

Just remember, when you’re using present tense, always conjugate the verb to agree with the subject. For example, if you’re talking about multiple people going to the movies, you would say “they are going to see a movie.”

3. Future Tense 

The future tense is used to describe an event that hasn’t happened yet. For example, “I will eat dinner at 6pm tonight.” The future tense can also be used to describe an event that will happen in the future but isn’t definite. 

For example, “I will probably go to the movies this weekend.” The future tense is typically formed by using the auxiliary verb “will” or “shall” with the main verb. For example, “I will eat dinner at 6pm tonight.” In some cases, the main verb can be conjugated to show the future tense without using an auxiliary verb. For example, “I am eating dinner at 6pm tonight.” 

Curious to learn more? Improve your English with ULC’s Beginner English course and bolster your understanding of English grammar rules now.

Master Grammar With ULC

It might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but learning about grammar is extremely important as it is the foundation of language and communication. If you don’t have a firm grasp of grammar, it can be difficult to express yourself clearly. This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications, which can be frustrating for both you and the people you’re talking to. 

Drop us a note at ULC to chat about how we can help improve your English with our numerous courses for students of all levels. With classes such as private English lessons, beginner lessons, intermediate courses and online English classes for kids, there is a lesson for everyone!