In preparation for writing your final story is is good to know how to use verbs to locate events in time.
Use verbs-of-doing to indicate what the author, the story, or the event does (example verbs below can be used with different subjects)
Complete the above #12 beginings as it applies to your story.
A verb indicates the time of an action, event orcondition by changing its form. Through the use of a sequence of tenses in a sentence or in a paragraph, it is possible toindicate the complex temporal relationship of actions, events, andconditions
There are many ways of categorising the twelve possibleverb tenses. The verb tenses may becategorised according to the time frame: past tenses,present tenses, and future tenses.Assignment 2:Write a sentence for each type of the time frame tenses using the material from your story. There will be a total of #12 time frame sentences. An example is given for each type of tense in each time frame.
Review the following verb tenses
a. The four past tenses
b. The four present tenses
c. The four future tenses
The four past tense are
The four present tenses are
Note that the present perfect and present perfect progressive are a present not past tenses -- that idea isthat the speaker is currently in the state of having gone orhaving been going.
The four future tenses are
On your own time
To brush up on your verbs I suggest you review as many as these verb tenses as you have time for.
Verb tenses may also be categorisedaccording to aspect. Aspect refers to thenature of the action described by the verb. There arethree aspects: indefinite (or simple), complete (or perfect),continuing (or progressive).
The three indefinite tenses, or simple tenses, describe an action but do not statewhether the action is finished:
A verb in the indefinite aspectis used when the beginning or ending of an action, an event, orcondition is unknown or unimportant to the meaning of the sentence.The indefinite aspect is also used to used to indicate anhabitual or repeated action, event, or condition.
The three complete tenses, or perfect tenses, describe a finishedaction:
A verb in the complete aspectindicates that the end of the action, event, or condition is known andthe is used to emphasise the fact that the action is complete. Theaction may, however, be completed in the present, in the past or inthe future.
The three incomplete tenses, or tenses"progressive tenses, describe an unfinished action:
A verb in the continuing aspect indicates that theaction, event, or condition is ongoing in the present, the pastor the future.
It is also possible to combine the complete tenses andthe incomplete tenses, to describe an action which was inprogress and then finished:
The simple present is used to describe anaction, an event, or condition that is occurring in the present, atthe moment of speaking or writing. The simple present is used whenthe precise beginning or ending of a present action, event, orcondition is unknown or is unimportant to the meaning of thesentence.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the simple present tense and eachsentence describes an action taking place in the present:
The simple present is used to express general truthssuch as scientific fact, as in the following sentences:
The simple present is used to indicate a habitualaction, event, or condition, as in the following sentences:
The simple present is also used when writing about worksof art, as in the following sentences.
The simple present can also be used to refer to a futureevent when used in conjunction with an adverb oradverbial phrase, as in the following sentences.
While the simple present and the present progressive are sometimes used interchangeably, the present progressive emphasises the continuing natureof an act, event, or condition.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the present progressive tense. In eachsentence the on-going nature of the action is emphasised by the use ofthe present progressive rather than the simple present.
The present progressive is occasionally used to refer toa future event when used in conjunction with an adverb oradverbial phrase, as in the following sentences.
Thepresent perfect tense is used to describeaction that began in the past and continues into the present or hasjust been completed at the moment of utterance. The present perfectis often used to suggest that a past action still has an effect uponsomething happening in the present.
Each of the highlightedcompound verbs in the followingsentences is in the present perfect tense.
This sentence suggest that the documents were not delivered inthe past and that they are still undelivered.
The writer of this sentence uses the present perfect inorder to suggest that the decision made in the past is still ofimportance in the present.
Here both actions took place sometime in the past and continue toinfluence the present.
In this sentence, the writer uses the present perfect toindicate that a condition (the heat wave) began in past and continuesto affect the present.
Here the action of dreaming has begun in the past and continuesinto the present.
Like the present perfect, the progressive">present perfect progressive is used to describe an action, event, orcondition that has begun in the past and continues into the present.The present perfect progressive, however, is used tostress the on-going nature of that action, condition, or event.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the present perfect progressive tense andeach sentence suggests that the action began in the past and iscontinuing into the present.
The simple past is used to describe anaction, an event, or condition that occurred in the past, sometimebefore the moment of speaking or writing.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the simple past tense and eachsentence describes an action taking place at some pointin past.
The past progressive tense is used to describedactions ongoing in the past. These actions often take place within aspecific time frame. While actions referred to in the present progressive have some connection to the present, actionsreferred in the past progressive have no immediate orobvious connection to the present. The on-going actions took placeand were completed at some point well before the time of speaking orwriting.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the past progressive tense.
This sentence describes an action that took place over a periodof continuous time in the past. The cat's actions have noimmediate relationship to anything occurring now in the present.
Here the action "was telling" took place in the past andcontinued for some time in the past.
This sentence describes actions ("ran" and "was writing") thattook place sometime in the past, and emphasises the continuingnature of one of the actions ("was writing").
Here the ongoing action of "waiting" occurred at some timeunconnected to the present.
In this sentence, the action of hiding took place over anextended period of time and the continuing nature of the hidingis emphasised.
The past perfect tense is used to refer toactions that took place and were completed in the past. Thepast perfect is often used to emphasis that one action,event or condition ended before another past action, event, orcondition began.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the past perfect.
All the events in this sentence took place in the past, but theact of closing the store takes place before Miriam arrives at thestore.
Here the praise ("had raved") precedes the finding ("located") ofthe restaurant. Both actions took place sometime before themoment of speaking or writing.
In this sentence, both actions take place in the past, but theeating of the hay ("had eaten") preceded the eating of the oats("fed").
While the sentence "The heat wave has lasted three weeks"suggests that a condition began in the past and continues intothe present, this sentence describes an action that began andended sometime in the past ("had lasted"). By using thepast perfect the writer indicates that the heat wave hasno connection to any events occurring in the present.
Here the learning took place and was completed at a specific timein the past. By using the past perfect rather than thesimple past ("learned"), the writer emphasises that thelearning preceded the feeling of independence.
The past perfect progressive is used toindicate that a continuing action in the past began before anotherpast action began or interrupted the first action.
Each of the highlighted compound verbs in the followingsentences is in the past perfect progressive tense.
Here the action of the toddlers ("had been running") is ongoingin the past and precedes the actions of the teachers ("shooed")which also takes place in the past.
In this example, the ongoing action of "talking" precedes anotherpast action ("bought").
Here, the action of digging ("had been digging") took place inthe past and occurred over a period of time. The digging wasfollowed by the action of finding ("found").
In this sentence the act of discovery ("discovered") occurred inthe past but after the ongoing and repeated action of reading("had been reading").
This sentence is a bit more complex in that it contains threedifferent past verb tenses. The sequence of tensesconveys a complex set of information. The past perfect progressive ("had been chopping") is used to emphasise theongoing nature of the past act of chopping. While a secondpast perfect progressive ("had been mincing") could beused, the past perfect ("had minced") is used to suggestthat act of mincing was completed. The simple past("realized") is used to describe the action closest to thepresent, an action that followed both the chopping and themincing.
The simple future is used to refer to actionsthat will take place after the act of speaking or writing.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the simple future tense.
The <future progressive tense is used todescribe actions ongoing in the future. The future progressive isused to refer to continuing action that will occur in the future.
Each of the highlighted compound verbs in the followingsentences is in the future progressive tense.
The future perfect is used to refer to anaction that will be completed sometime in the future before anotheraction takes place.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the future perfect tense.
In this sentence, the act of operating ("will have operated")takes place in the future sometime before the act of attending("attends").
Here, the plumbers' act of soldering ("will have soldered") willprecede the act of leaving ("leave").
In this sentence, the act of returning from the store ("getback") takes place after the act of writing ("will havewritten").
In this example, the act of finishing ("will have finished")occurs well before the act of starting ("starts").
Here, the act of getting out of bed occurs sometime after thewriting of the exam.
The future perfect progressive tense is usedto indicate a continuing action that will be completed at somespecified time in the future. This tense is rarely used.
Each of the highlighted verbs in the followingsentences is in the future perfect progressive tense.
In this sentence, the future perfect progressive is usedto indicate the ongoing nature of the future act of the studying.The act of studying ("will have been studying") will occur beforethe upcoming end of term.
Similarly in this sentence, the ongoing nature of a future act("will have been arguing") is emphasised by the use of thefuture perfect progressive. The act of sustained arguingwill take place before the meeting is over.
Here the ongoing action of fermentation will precede ("will havebeen fermenting") the act of returning.Written by Heather MacFadyen Copyright © 1994, 1995 and 1996 by the University of Ottawa