Introduction to Verb Tenses
Getting to grips with verb tenses is all about practice and repetition. In order to get a good understanding of verb tenses, our English grammar lesson on verb tenses takes a look at what a verb is and how it is used in the English language. These blogs on verb tenses are designed to supplement classroom learning for ESL students, and to reinforce what your lessons and coursework.
A verb is an action word, describing an action, a state of being or an occurrence.
English verbs are divided into three groups:
1) Normal Verbs. These are action verbs- like running or jumping
2) Non-continuous Verbs. These are state of being verbs -is,was, will be, seems, etc. “She has a sweet nature.”
3) Mixed Verbs or helping verbs – Sentence: I am going to the mall tonight. The helping verb is am. Let’s break this down a little more:
Normal Verbs The most common kind of verb such as: to run, to walk, to eat, to fly, to go, to talk, etc. Examples: I talk to the teacher. I am talking to the teacher.
Non-Continuous Verbs These verbs are usually things you cannot see somebody doing. They are rarely used in continuous tenses. They include: Abstract Verbs to be, to want, to cost, to seem, to need, to care, to contain, to owe, to exist… Possession Verbs to possess, to own, to belong… Emotion Verbs to like, to love, to hate, to dislike, to fear, to envy, to mind…
Mixed Verbs These verbs have more than one meaning. In a way, each meaning is a unique verb. Some meanings behave like non-continuous verbs, while other meanings behave like normal verbs.”
Mixed Verbs to appear, to feel, to have, to hear, to look, to see, to weigh…’ Example: to have: I have a dollar now.
Non-Continuous Verb – I possess a dollar. I am having fun now.
Normal Verb – I am experiencing fun now.
Now that we have a grip on the types of verbs that exist in the English language, we can proceed to our English grammar lesson on verb tenses. The lessons will be divided into a number of tutorials, each concentrating on the different categories of verb tenses. The first of these categories is called ‘Simple Present’ and that’s where we will pick up in the English grammar lesson. In the meantime, review, practice, repeat!