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February 20, 2012 / dlw43

Verb Tense and Aspect Chart – Verb Tense and Aspect Lesson (Part 1 of 13)

The English language has only two tenses, the past tense and the present tense. For the sake of simplicity, the chart below calls the future a tense as well.  The simple, perfect, progressive, and perfect progressive columns are called aspects.  It is important to understand that tense and aspect modify verbs in different ways.  Tense locates a situation in time, in the past, present, or future.  Aspect is concerned with the structure of time, from the speaker’s point of view. Aspect delineates the “fabric” of time.  Is time, from the speaker’s point of view, a single block, a continuous flow, or a repetitive occurrence? Aspect answers those questions for the listener. Don’t worry about it too much if you don’t quite understand aspect yet.  Just know that tense and aspect affect verbs differently, and you will do just fine.

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