Mastering Tenses


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Mastering Tenses

  1. 1. Mastering Tenses with TIME MARKERS
  2. 2. Time Markers <ul><li>They are adverbs or other words and phrases that can indicate which tense the clause is in. Seeing or hearing them can greatly improve your comprehension. Time markers may not appear in the sentence, but they might be implied. </li></ul>
  3. 3. I am leaving now . (present progressive) He drinks coffee every day . (simple present) I was eating dinner at five o'clock yesterday . (past progressive) I bought a computer yesterday (simple past) I haven't spoken to Audrey yet . (present perfect) By the time I was sixteen, I had learned to drive. (past perfect) Examples:
  4. 4. Time Markers by Tense* for major tenses * The lists in this presentation are by no means complete, and should only serve as suggestions for further study of time markers.
  5. 5. The Present Progressive <ul><li>The present progressive is used for actions that are ongoing at the moment or in life in general. Time markers in red . I am drinking coffee now . I am drinking a lot of coffee these days . The pres prog frequently follows an exclamation or imperative: Look! The baby is drooling. Be careful! A car is coming. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Simple Present <ul><li>The simple present is used for habit and custom: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I clean my rifle every week (day, month, year, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alfonse usually comes to class on Thursdays. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you ever speak to the teacher after class? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I never go to the south on the weekend. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I rarely eat fish. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I always read a little before I go to bed. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Past Progressive <ul><li>The past prog is used in two ways: To indicate an ongoing action at a specific time in the past. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Martha was watching TV at six o'clock last night. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To indicate an ongoing action in the past that was interrupted. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I was teaching a class when my mother called . </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Simple Past <ul><li>The simple past is used for completed actions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I saw Marcus yesterday . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I caught a cold last month (week, year, Friday, etc.). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I worked for IBM in 1998 . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I moved to Spain 5 years ago . </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Present Perfect - Intro <ul><li>The present perfect is rich in its use of time markers, and that is a good thing, because it seems to be the most difficult tense for intermediate students to master. There are some differences between the way the British use the pres. perf and the way the Americans do, but a discussion of that is beyond the scope of this presentation. More importantly, there seem to be key differences in the use of the pres. perf. in English and the comparable tense in other languages, hence some of the confusion. Time markers should help with this.... (continued on next slide). </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Present Perfect 1 <ul><li>The pres perf is used for actions that are unfinished, ones that started at an unspecified time in the past, have continued up to now and may or may not continue into the future. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I have enjoyed the classes up to now . (meaning that the circumstances may change soon) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I have enjoyed the classes so far . (meaning they've been good and I hope they're good in the future) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>continued on next slide </li></ul>
  11. 11. Present Perfect 2 <ul><li>Have you booted up your computer yet ? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, I’ve turned it on already . </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve only just gotten here. </li></ul><ul><li>What have you done for me lately ? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you read Time Magazine recently ? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the mail been delivered today ? (today is not finished) </li></ul><ul><li>continued on next slide </li></ul>
  12. 12. Present Perfect 3 <ul><li>I have kept a book log for 10 years . </li></ul><ul><li>I have played tennis for as long as I can remember . </li></ul><ul><li>(for + an amount of time) </li></ul><ul><li>I have lived in New York City since 1995 . </li></ul><ul><li>I have loved baseball since I was a boy . </li></ul><ul><li>(since + a point in time) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Past Perfect <ul><li>The past perfect is used when there are two actions and one action occurred before the other. The most recent action in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>By the time I get to Phoenix, she’ll be drinking (sic). </li></ul><ul><li>When I moved to Spain, I had already learned Spanish. </li></ul><ul><li>(two actions, the most recent in the past, the earlier one conjugated for past perfect) </li></ul>