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Rules of Tenses in Grammar

Learning English with The AN and freSy

If you want to be a good English speaker and get high marks in the SSC CGL exam, it is important that you have a solid grasp of English Grammar. Grammar is very crucial for English language learning. It helps you understand the meaning of sentences and is the basis for communication. Grammatical errors can affect the meaning of the message and clarity.

Today we will talk about “Tenses”. In a nutshell, Tense gives you an indication of when the action in the sentence took place. English Grammar is based on tenses. You cannot understand sentences if you don’t know the meaning of different tenses.

Tenses Rules in English Grammar with Examples

The Rules of Tense will help you to understand the different tenses and avoid grammatical errors. They also clearly define when an event or action has occurred. Candidates who intend to take the SSC CGL exam this year should follow the tense rules.

There are three tenses in English grammar Instead:

“Types of Tenses”
  • Present tense
  • Past tense
  • Future tense
All three tenses have four kinds:
  • Simple or indefinite
  • Continuous
  • Perfect
  • Perfect Continuous

Now, let’s understand the tenses in detail:

Tense Rules Chart:
Tense Chart Present Tense Past Tense Future Tense
Simple Form Subject + V1 + Object Subject + V2 + Object Subject + will + V1 + Object
Continuous Form Subject + is/am/are + V1+ing + Object Subject + was/were + V1+ing + Object Subject + will be + V1+ing + object
Perfect Form Subject + has/have + V3 + Object Subject + had + V3 + Object Subject + will have + V3 + Object
Perfect Continuous Form Subject + has/have + been + V+ing + Object Subject + had + been + V+ing + Object Subject + will have + been + V+ing + Object

Present Tense Rule

The present tense is used in English grammar to tell us about an event that is going on in the present or is relevant at any time.

Present Indefinite or Simple Present Rule


Subject (I, You, We, They ) + V-1 (First Form of Verb) + Object

  • I go to school.
  • He plays football.
  • They read books.
  • To show a habit (e.g. Rekha goes to the library every morning)
  • To express general truths (e.g. Magnets attract iron bars)
  • In exclamatory sentences starting with here and there (e.g. Here comes the king)
  • Generally used with fixed timetables and fixed programs (e.g. We have to take the train which is scheduled at 8 am)

Present Continuous Tense


Subject (I/ You/ We/ They) + auxiliary verb (is/am/are) + V-1 (First Form of Verb)+ing + Object

  • I am going to school.
  • He is playing football.
  • They are reading books.
  • To show that an action is going on in that given time (e.g. the children are playing in the field)
  • To show a future action that has already been planned (e.g. I am going to London after my graduation)
  • Indicate a repeated action despite several warnings (e.g. The boy is making the same mistake again and again)

We do not use the following verbs in present continuous form when used in their usual meaning. We rather use the simple present tense.

See, hear, smell, notice, recognize, appear, look, seem, want, wish, desire, feel, like, love, hate, hope, refuse, prefer, think, suppose, agree, consider, trust, remember, forget, know, understand, imagine, mean, mind, have (=to possess), own, belong to, consist of, etc.


- The room is smelling bad. (Wrong)

- The room smells bad. (Correct)

Present Perfect Tense


Subject (I/ You/ We/ They) + has/have + V-3 (third form of verb) + Object

  • He has played football.
  • They have read books.
  • To refer to an event, completed in the recent past. It is used with the word just. ( e.g. He has just left with his wife)
  • With the past actions whose time is ambiguous or not mentioned in the text. (e.g. Have you read The Ramayana)
  • When we emphasize more on the outcome (that we experience in the present) than on the action (that has already happened in the past). (e.g. Ronit has cut his finger accidentally and it is bleeding now)
  • To show that an action started in the past is going up to this moment in the present. (e.g. Our family has lived in this house for 10 years now)
  • With adverbs or adverb phrases like never, ever, so far, till now, yet, already, today, this week, this month, etc. (e.g. Sonu has never broken any rule)

Present Perfect Continuous Tense


Subject (I/ You/ We/ They) + has/have been + verb+ing + since/for + Object

  • He has been playing football.
  • They have been reading books.
  • It has been raining since morning.
  • To show that an action that started in the past and is continuing in the present too. (e.g. Riya and her dog have been playing on the ground for an hour)
  • To show an already finished action. We use this tense to answer the after-result of that action. (e.g. I have been practicing drawing since this morning)

Thus, we got you covered in the first part of the tense. To understand the rest of the complete tense, refer to Tenses in grammar for SSC CGL exams:

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