To write well, you need to know how to use English tenses correctly. Tenses are difficult to many because in many languages tenses are not used to express "time" or the "relationship of sequence"; instead, adverbs, such as "yesterday", "tomorrow", "soon" etc. are used.
To learn how to use English tenses correctly, you must have a perception of the "time" element.
Let's take a look at present tense, present continuous tense, present perfect tense, past tense, and past perfect tense with the following examples:
e.g. I am a
citizen. (present tense) U.S.
e.g. I haven been a
citizen for many years. (present perfect tense—I was and still
e.g. I live in the
. (present tense—a fact) United States
e.g. I am living in the
(present continuous tense—sometimes I live in other places,
but right now I am living in the United States ) United States
e.g. I lived in the
. (past tense—a fact
in the past) United States
e.g. I had lived in the
for many years, but now I no longer do. (past perfect tense—an action
that took place for some time in the past) United States
Can you now tell the differences between the following sentences?
e.g. I am still a student in this community college.
e.g. I was a student in this community college last year.
e.g. I have been a student in this community college since 2016.
Hopefully, the above examples have demonstrated how you should use some of the English tenses correctly.
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Stephen LauCopyright© by Stephen Lau