Grammatical tense is a temporal linguistic quality expressing the time at, during, or over which a state or action denoted by a verb occurs. A language is a dynamic set of visual auditory or tactile Symbols of Communication and the elements used to manipulate them
Tense is one of at least five qualities, along with mood, voice, aspect, and person, which verb forms may express. Grammatical mood is one of a set of distinctive Verb forms that are used to signal modality. In Grammar, the voice (also called gender or diathesis of a verb describes the relationship between the action (or state that the verb expresses and the participants identified In Linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a Verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof in the described event or state Grammatical person, in Linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event such as the speaker the Addressee, or others For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs.
Tenses cannot always be translated from one language to another. While verbs in all languages have typical forms by which they are identified and indexed in dictionaries, usually the most common present tense or an infinitive, their meanings vary among languages.
There are languages (such as isolating languages, like Chinese) in which tense is not used, but implied in temporal adverbs when needed, and some (such as Japanese) in which temporal information appears in the inflection of adjectives, lending them a verb-like quality. In morphological typology (in linguistics an isolating language (also analytic language) is any Language in which words are composed of is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities In some languages (such as Russian) a simple verb may indicate aspect and tense. Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages
The number of tenses in a language may be controversial, since its verbs may indicate qualities of uncertainty, frequency, completion, duration, possibility, and even whether information derives from experience or hearsay.
English has two tenses by which verbs are inflected, a non-past tense (present tense) and a past tense (indicated by ablaut or the suffix -ed). Present Tense is the first Sagittarius album released in 1968 by Columbia Records. The past tense is a Verb tense expressing action activity state or being in the past of the current moment (in an Absolute tense system or prior In Grammar, a suffix (also postfix, ending) is an Affix which is placed at the end of a word What is commonly called the future tense in English is indicated with a modal auxiliary, not verbal inflection. In Linguistics, an auxiliary (also called helping verb, helper verb, auxiliary verb, or verbal auxiliary) is a Verb functioning
The following chart shows how TAM (tense/aspect/mood) is expressed in English:
have -en (perfect)
be -ing (progressive)
Since will is a modal auxiliary, it cannot occur with other modals, like can, may, and must. In Linguistics, an auxiliary (also called helping verb, helper verb, auxiliary verb, or verbal auxiliary) is a Verb functioning Only aspects can be used in infinitives. In Grammar, infinitive is the name for certain verb forms that exist in many languages
Grammarians and linguists typically consider will to be a future marker and give English two non-inflected tenses, a future tense and a future-in-past tense, marked by will and would respectively. In Grammar, the future tense is a verb form that marks the event described by the verb as not having happened yet but expected to happen in the future (in an Absolute tense In general parlance, all combinations of aspects, moods, and tenses are often referred to as "tenses".
The more complex tenses in Indo-European languages are formed by combining a particular tense of the verb with certain verbal auxiliaries, the most common of which are various forms of "be", various forms of "have", and modal auxiliaries such as English will. In Linguistics, an auxiliary (also called helping verb, helper verb, auxiliary verb, or verbal auxiliary) is a Verb functioning Romance and Germanic languages often add "to hold", "to stand", "to go", or "to come" as auxiliary verbs. For example, Spanish uses estar ("to be") with the present gerund to indicate the present continuous. Portuguese uses ter ("to have") with the past participle for the perfect aspect. Swedish uses kommer att ("come to") for the simple future. These constructions are often known as complex tenses or compound tenses (a more accurate technical term is periphrastic tenses). In Linguistics, a compound verb or complex predicate is a multi- Word compound that acts as a single Verb.
Examples of some generally recognized Indo-European and Finnish tenses using the verb "to go" are shown in the table below. Finnish ( or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (92% As of 2006) and by ethnic Finns outside
|Present simple||I go. The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. Swedish ( is a North Germanic language spoken by more than nine million people predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic" a branch of the greater Indo-European Language family. Irish (ga ''Gaeilge'' is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish. The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages, or Neolatin languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family comprising all Italian ( or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people as a First language, primarily in Italy. The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages, or Neolatin languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family comprising all The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) a group of closely related Languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages Bulgarian (български език IPA: ɛzˈik is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group Finno-Ugric (ˌfɪnoʊˈjuːgɹɪk is a grouping of languages in the Uralic language family comprising Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian and Finnish ( or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (92% As of 2006) and by ethnic Finns outside Present Tense is the first Sagittarius album released in 1968 by Columbia Records.||Jag går.||Téim.||(Io) vado.||(Yo) voy.||(Аз) отивам. |
(Аз да) отида.
|(Minä) menen.||In most languages this is used for most present indicative uses. In English, it is used mainly to express habit or ability (I play the guitar).|
|Present continuous||I am going. The continuous and progressive aspects are Grammatical aspects that express incomplete action in progress at a specific time they are non-habitual imperfective||Jag är gående2||Tá mé ag dul.||(Io) sto andando.||(Yo) estoy yendo.||(Аз) отивам.||(Minä) olen menossa.||This form is prevalent in English to express current action, but is absent or rarer in other Indo-European languages, which prefer the simple present tense. The continuous is more an aspect than a tense and is included here only because of its prevalence in English to substitute for the simple present. In Linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a Verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof in the described event or state|
|Present perfect||I have gone. The present perfect tense is a Perfect tense used to express action that has been completed with respect to the present||Jag har gått.||Tá me i ndiaidh dul.||(Io) sono andato.||(Yo) he ido.||Аз съм отишъл. |
Аз съм отивал.
|(Minä) olen mennyt.||Common past compound tense. In some languages indicates recent past, in others indicates an unknown past time.|
|Preterite/Aorist||I went. This article is about the grammatical term To see the article relating to Eschatology and the Book of Revelation, see Preterism.||Jag gick.||Chuaigh mé.||(Io) andai.||(Yo) fui.||(Аз) отидох. |
|(Minä) menin.||In English, unlike other languages with aorist tenses, this implies that the action took place in the past and that it is not taking place now.|
|Imperfect||I used to go. The imperfect tense, in the classical grammar of several Indo-European languages, denotes a Past tense with an Imperfective aspect.||Théinn.||(Io) andavo.||(Yo) iba.||(Аз) отивах. |
(Аз да) отидех.
|The English construction I used to go has a very restricted use, compared to the imperfect tenses of other languages, which often translate better as I was going, I would go, or even I went.|
|Past continuous||I was going. The continuous and progressive aspects are Grammatical aspects that express incomplete action in progress at a specific time they are non-habitual imperfective||Jag var gående2||Bhí mé ag dul.||(Io) stavo andando.||(Yo) estaba yendo.||(Аз) отивах.||(Minä) olin menossa.|
|Conditional||I would go. The conditional mood is the form of the verb used in Conditional sentences to refer to a hypothetical state of affairs or an uncertain event that is contingent on another set||Jag skulle gå||Rachainn.||(Io) andrei.||(Yo) iría.||(Аз) бих отишъл. |
(Аз) бих отивал.
|(Minä) menisin.||The conditional is regarded as a tense in the grammars of some languages, although others treat it as a mood. Grammatical mood is one of a set of distinctive Verb forms that are used to signal modality. Notice that it can refer to the past, for example in reported speech: I warned him that I would call the Police if he did not turn down the music.|
|Pluperfect (past perfect)||I had gone. The pluperfect tense (from Latin plus quam perfectum more than perfect also called past perfect in English, is a Perfective||Jag hade gått.||Bhí mé i ndiaidh dul.||(Io) ero andato.||(Yo) había ido.||(Аз) бях отишъл. |
(Аз) бях отивал.
|(Minä) olin mennyt.||This expresses a past action that was completed before some other past event.|
|Future||I will go. In Grammar, the future tense is a verb form that marks the event described by the verb as not having happened yet but expected to happen in the future (in an Absolute tense||Jag ska gå.||Rachaidh mé.||(Io) andrò.||(Yo) iré.||(Аз) ще отида. |
(Аз) ще отивам.
|This can be used to express intention, prediction, and other senses. In Finnish there is no future tense; when speaking of the future, the present tense is used; a telic object may implicitly communicate the time. In Linguistics, telicity is the property of a Verb or Verb phrase that presents an action or event as being complete in some sense|
|Future perfect||I will have gone. The perfect aspect is variously considered either an aspect or tense which calls a listener's attention to the consequences generated by an action rather than the||Jag kommer att ha gått.||Beidh mé i ndiaidh dul.||(Io) sarò andato.||(Yo) habré ido.||(Аз) ще съм отишъл. |
(Аз) ще съм отивал.
|This expresses a future action that will be completed before another future action. As Finnish has no future tense, the present perfect is used instead.|
The distinction between grammatical tense, aspect, and mood is fuzzy and at times controversial. In Linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a Verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof in the described event or state Grammatical mood is one of a set of distinctive Verb forms that are used to signal modality. The English continuous temporal constructions express an aspect as well as a tense, and some therefore consider that aspect to be separate from tense in English. In Linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a Verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof in the described event or state In Spanish the traditional verb tenses are also combinations of aspectual and temporal information.
Going even further, there's an ongoing dispute among modern English grammarians (see English grammar) regarding whether tense can only refer to inflected forms. English grammar is a body of rules ( Grammar) specifying how phrases and sentences are constructed in the English language. In Grammar, inflection or inflexion is the way language handles grammatical relations and relational categories such as tense, mood, voice In Germanic languages there are very few tenses (often only two) formed strictly by inflection, and one school contends that all complex or periphrastic time-formations are aspects rather than tenses. The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. In Linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a Verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof in the described event or state
The abbreviation TAM, T/A/M or TMA is sometimes found when dealing with verbal morphemes that combine tense, aspect and mood information.
In some languages, tense and other TAM information may be marked on a noun, rather than a verb. This is called nominal TAM. Nominal TAM is the indication of tense, aspect or mood by inflecting a noun rather than a verb
Tenses can be broadly classified as:
All of the following tenses may occur in either an absolute or a relative frame.
Tenses can be quite finely distinguished from one another, although no language will express simply all of these distinctions. As we will see, some of these tenses in fact involve elements of modality (e. g. predictive and not-yet tenses), but they are difficult to classify clearly as either tenses or moods.
Many languages define tense not just in terms of past/future/present, but also in terms of how far into the past or future they are. Thus they introduce concepts of closeness or remoteness, or tenses that are relevant to the measurement of time into days (hodiernal or hesternal tenses). A hodiernal tense is a Grammatical tense for the current day ( hodie is today in Latin) A hesternal tense is a Past tense for the previous day ( Hestern is Latin for yesterday
Some languages also distinguish not just between past, present, and future, but also nonpast, nonpresent, nonfuture. Each of these latter tenses incorporates two of the former, without specifying which.