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The Tense of Verbs: What Is It?
 
Past Present Future

    "Tense" is very easy to understand. It means the forms of verbs that refer to time.

Verbs in "past tense" show what happened in the past:

Sheila read a book.
Sheila was reading a book.
Sheila has been reading a book.
Sheila had been reading a book.
Verbs in "present tense" show was usually happens, or what is happening now:
Bob reads books.
Bob is reading a book.
Verbs in "future tense" show what will happen in the future:
They will read a book.
They will be reading a book.
They will have been reading a book.
This is what teachers (and other people) mean when they talk about grammatical "tense."