Verbs and their tenses

Remember Latin? Verbs of the first, second, third and fourth conjugations? All very structured; all very logical.

Well English isn’t like that. You just have verbs … period. Doing words like I ‘eat‘ or I ‘drive‘ a car and so on.

Now clearly you can drive a car yesterday, today or tomorrow. You may still be driving it, or you may not.

Here are some verb tenses. Every tense had its own different word ending in Latin so you could tell immediately whether you invaded England yesterday, are in the process of invading today, or are planning to invade tomorrow.

I have used the Latin name for each tense – which was generally agreed upon – rather than an English name which may not be the only possibility.

Some people talk about simple forms others about continuous. The easiest rule to learn about English is that there are no real rules.

Present tense: I invade; I am invading (it’s something I’m doing now)

Future tense: I shall invade; I will invade (it’s something I shall or will do in the future)

Imperfect tense: I invaded (it’s something I did in the past – an activity I undertook)

Perfect tense: I have invaded (it’s something I have done – something I have achieved – and have finished doing)

Pluperfect tense: I had invaded (suggesting it was a long time ago, something which had already happened e.g. when I invaded England, I had already invaded France)

Future Perfect tense: Before tomorrow night, I shall have invaded England

Conditional tense: If you invaded England, you would be surprised how few English people you met. (The conditional tense usually follows the word ‘if’).

Is that enough for now?

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