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Understanding Tenses

This article on English grammar can put an end to the miseries you experience in observing and enduring the rules,and the exceptions in learning English grammar. It is hoped that this article will help you to transform a few grammatical stumbling blocks into rock solid stepping stones. To many, learning English grammar has proved to be a walking a tight rope experience. Nevertheless, there are modes and means to gradually bring this awful experience to an end. The first truth is that a language, be it English, Hindi or any other that you can think of, is evolutionary .However, it is also seen that a language can face a shelved fate if it is not used for a long time. For instance, Sanskrit is considered the mother of all languages among the linguists but sadly, its domain is now restricted to scholars and used only for chanting scriptures for rituals. It is a forgotten language in India. So, this serves as an example to show how a language once used for its richness, diversity and comprehensiveness can lose its vitality and dynamism.

The second truth is that an individual can lose the required skills to use a language if he/she does not use the language on a regular basis. This is true of English too. An individual who is not fortunate enough to be a part of an English speaking environment, in all probability, finds himself/herself in such situation.

To help you very appropriately and efficiently use English with total confidence I have formulated a table of tenses with examples:








I/We/You/They + sing + a song.

He/She/It/Tom+ sings + a song.

s+ is,am,are+v1+ing+o

I am/We are/You are/They are + sing + ing + a song.

He/She/It/Tom +is+ sing +ing + a song.

s+ have/has+v3+o

I/We/You/They + have + sung + a song.

He/She/It/Tom + has+ sung + a song.



I/We/You/They + have + been + sing + ing + a song.

He/She/It/Tom + has + been + sing +ing + a song.






I/We/You/ /He/She/It/Tom/They + sang + a song.


I/He/She/It/Tom + was + sing + ing + a song.

We/You/They + were + sing + ing + a song.


s+ had+v3+o

I/We/You/HeShe/It/Tom/They + had + sung + a song.


I/We/You/He/She/It/Tom/They + had + been + sing + ing a song.



s+ shall/will+v1+o

I/We/You/He/She/It/Tom/They + shall/will + sing + a song.



I/We/You/He/She/It/Tom/They + shall/willl + be + sing + ing + a song.


s+ shall/will+have+v3+o

I/We/You/He/She/It/Tom/They + shall/will + have + sung + a song.


I/We/You/He/She/It/Tom/They + shall/will + have + been + sing + a song.

NB: There are three tenses in English and each of them has four forms. The verb ‘sing’ has been used as the main verb in the examples.

  • 1.Sing (present or V1), 2.Sang (past or V2), 3.Sung (Past Participle or V3) and Singing ( present participle.
  • ‘S’ stands for ‘Subject’, ‘V’ stands for ‘Verb’ and ‘O’ stands for ‘Object’.
  • For any clarification of doubts related to this article, kindly leave your queries in the comment box and I will get back to you. Thank you.


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