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tense rules

tense rules

  • The changed forms of a verb that indicates the time of the action are called tenses of the verb.
1.       When the verb in the Principle Clause is in the Past tense, the verbs of the Subordinate Clauses should be in the Past tense.
e.g. He said that he had finished his work.

2. But a past tense in the Principle Clause may or may not be followed by the Past tense in the subordinate clause if the latter expresses universal or habitual truth.
e.g. The teacher said that the earth revolves around the sun.

3. Any tense may be used in the subordinate clause if it gives a comparison by using the word than .
e.g. The teacher liked Anil better than he liked me.

4. Any tense can be used when the subordinate clause is in a quotation.
e.g. I said, “I am going to Delhi today”.

5. The Present Perfect Tense (subject + has/have + V3) cannot be used when an expression of Past time (yesterday, Last night, ago, etc.) is used.
e.g. We wrote to you yesterday about his mother.

6. In conditional sentences, the subordinate clause, beginning with if, is generally in Present or Past tense but not in the future tense.
e.g. If I go to Delhi, I shall see the Red Fort.

7. With the phrases as if and as though, Past tense and plural form of the verb should be used.
e.g. He behaves as if he were a millionaire.
8. Past perfect tense (subject+had+v3) is used when a sentence refers to two past actions and one of them occurs earlier than the other.
e.g.  When my uncle came to India I had passed M.A.
9. Words like usually, generally, often, whenever, etc. are used in Present Indefinite tense.
e.g. usually go to play cricket.

10. If the action began in the past and it is still continuing in the present, use Present Perfect tense (Subject + has/have +beenV1+ ing)
e.g. I have been reading In the class for two months.

11. Do not use the future or the Present tense after such expressions as suppose that, it is high time, it is time, as if etc.
e.g. It is high time that you went home.

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