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According in linguists there are 12 official tenses in the English language. When we are speaking of the past, present, and future there is a simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous aspect for each. Understand the differences between each tense and when they are used can be one of the most difficult hurdles for learners of English. The this unit explores basic sentence formation in the present tense, usages, typical errors/mistakes, and activate stage teaching ideas for each of the present tense aspects.
The present simple form involves just a few parts of speech. Students will learn the base form of the verb follows the subject. In its negative form the auxiliary verb ‘do’ and the adverb ‘not’ follow the subject however in question form the auxiliary verb precedes the noun. When speaking from the third person point of view in the affirmative present simple the base s or es is added to the base form of the verb. In the negative or question form of this point of view the auxiliary verb changes do does and it is not necessary to add s or es to the verb. In the present perfect the verb comes in its past participle form and in the present perfect continuous the ing is added to the verb.
In the present continuous form we see the use of the auxiliary verb ‘be’ in the form of am, is, or are along with the verb ending ing. Students must simply memorize which form goes with which point of view. In the contracted forms we do see a pattern as to their formation. When am, are, or is changes simply take off the first letter (a or i), add an apostrophe, and join it to its proceeding pronoun. In the negative form with are and is plus the adverb not, the o in not is replaced with an apostrophe and the remaining n’t is joined with the auxiliary verb is or are.
Both the present perfect and the present perfect continuous related the past with the present. The difference between the two tense aspects is where the emphasis of the sentence lies. The present perfect focuses more of the result while the present perfect continuous focuses on the activity goes on. Both tenses employ the use of the auxiliary verb ‘have’, though a present perfect continuous sentence can be distinguish by the use of the verb ‘be’ in its form been.
Although learners do not have to learn the contracted forms of auxiliary verbs to be able to speech grammatically correct, the frequency of its uses amongst natives speakers makes it necessary to be aware of how they are constructed. Pronunciation of these contracted forms can be more difficult than the non-contracted forms.