Tenses

دوره: IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic / فصل: Part 1 - Ingredients / درس 4

Tenses

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Welcome back.

In this first subsection of grammar we’re going to be talking about tenses so the first question that

you may have when looking at a writing task one question is which tense should I use so let’s talk about

that.

Basically if the year in the graph is before the present year.

So right now I’m recording this video in the year 2000 18 so if I see any date on my info graphic that

is before the year 2018 for example something like the year 1990 then I’m going to use the past tense.

On the other hand if the year in the info graphic is after the present year for example something like

20 50 then you have to use the future tense when writing your essay.

And finally if there is no year that is mentioned then you have to use the present simple tense.

In general when you write a sentence it should be in the same tense.

Okay.

This means that you should not change the tense of the sentence midway through the sentence.

However there are some exceptions to this.

There are certain rules for when to change the tense of a sentence.

Midway usually you only change the tense of a sentence if the timing of an action requires it.

If the timing of a certain action that is happening in a sentence requires that you change the tense

then you should change the tense.

Otherwise you should write the entire sentence in the same tense so let’s explore this concept in a

bit more detail.

First we’ll talk about when not to change the tense in general.

You should not change the tense of a sentence if there is no time change for the action.

So let’s look at an example of that.

So here we have an incorrect sentence.

The sentence reads during the lecture Jane stood up and drops her phone.

What I want you to notice here is that the word stood is in past tense whereas the word drops is in

present tense.

Why is this incorrect.

Because in the sentence we don’t have any time change for the action.

You see the action of Jane standing up and dropping her phone happened at the same time.

So because these actions happened at the same time we have to use the same tense so the correct version

of the sentence would read during the lecture.

Jane stood up and dropped her phone.

Okay.

Both actions are happening at the same time.

Therefore we use the same tense.

In this case both verbs are in past tense.

On the other hand you could also write during the lecture Jane stands up and drops her phone.

This is also correct because both verbs are happening in the same tense.

In this case they’re both in present tense.

Now let’s talk about when to actually change the tense.

Firstly you should only change the tense when there is a need to do so.

So when is there a need to change the tense.

Usually it’s the timing of the actions within a sentence that decide whether we need to change the tense

or not so let’s look at an example of that.

Here we have a correct version of a sentence the sentences when Jane comes here we will go to the movies.

Notice that we have two different tenses in this sentence.

Here we have a present simple tense.

And here we have a future simple tense.

Why is this correct.

Because the timing of the actions is different.

You see we have two different actions here.

So here is our first action.

Change comes here.

This action hasn’t yet happened.

It will happen in the future when Jane comes here.

We will go to the movies.

This is the second action.

I want you to notice that the second action will happen after the first action.

So since we have two different actions happening at different timings we need to change the tense midway

through the sentence let’s look at another example.

Here we have a sentence.

Sam reached for the Apple after he had already eaten two oranges so I want you to notice that we have

two different verbs here in two different tenses.

The first one is reached which is in past simple tense and or second tense.

Here is the past perfect tense.

I also want you to pay attention to the word after because this word tells us that there are two actions

that are happening.

One action happened after another action.

So here we have our first action which is what happened in the past.

The first action is that Sam had already eaten two oranges.

This is our first action and here here’s our second action Sam reached for the apple.

This is our second action which also happened in the past and it happened after the first action.

Okay so do you see how the timing of the actions is different in both of these examples.

So whenever you have a situation like this where you have to discuss two different events or actions

that are happening at different timings then you’re required to change the tense of a sentence.

Now let’s take a look at some infographics that you’re going to see on the writing task one question

and let us determine which trends we should use in each of these examples so the first example that

we have here is a comparative graph.

I want you to notice that we don’t have any dates here.

All we have are two pie charts with some data in this case since we don’t have any dates that are mentioned.

We have to write our essay in present tense.

Here is another example in this case we have a bar graph and you will notice that we have a range of

dates starting from the year 1995 all the way up to 2002.

Now I’m recording this video in the year 2018 so 2002 is a year which has already passed.

In fact all the years that are mentioned in this graph have already passed.

Therefore you have to use the past tense when writing this essay.

Here we have another example in this case.

We have a range of dates starting from the year 2020 all the way up to 2035.

Since all of these dates are in the future.

In this case when you’re writing your essay you have to use the Future Tense.

Now here’s our final example in this line graph.

We have a wide range of dates.

Now once again I’m recording this in the year 2018 so all the dates that are before the year 2018 are

in the past the year 2018 is of course the present and all the dates after the year 2018 are the future

so when you’re writing an essay on this graph if you’re discussing data that comes before the year 2018

you have to talk about it in past tense when you’re talking about data from the year 2018.

You have to talk about it in present tense and if you’re talking about any data after the year 2018

then you have to talk about it in the future tense.

So this is an example of a question where we have mixed tenses and which tends to use really depends

on which data type you’re talking about.

Now I’m going to refresh your memory on the different tenses as you may already know by now.

We have three main tenses the present tense the past tense and the Future Tense.

We’ll start off with the present tenses.

So first we have our present simple tense.

We usually use present simple tense to show repetition habit or generalization.

So here we have our timeline here is the past.

Here’s the present.

Right now and here’s the future if you were to look at the simple present tense visually what you would

find is that the action happens again and again at every point throughout the timeline.

This is because present simple tense is used to show actions that happen again and again due to repetition

habit or generalization so an example of this is I eat rice every day so I eat rice last month I eat

rice last week.

I eat rice yesterday I eat rice today or I will eat rice today I will eat rice tomorrow I will eat rice

next month and so on you get the idea.

Here we have the structure of the present simple tense subject plus the baseball.

Plus the object.

Now let’s move on to the next tense which is our present continuous tense we use the present continuous

tense to show an action that is happening right now.

OK so here’s our timeline and here’s right now and it’s happening in the moment it’s happening in the

moment for example I’m eating right right now or I’m recording this video for you right now the structure

of the present continuous tense is subject plus um is or are plus the continuous form of the verb plus

the object next we have the present perfect tense we use the present perfect tense when we want to show

that an action has happened once or many times before now so if we look at the timeline we’ll see that

an action has happened in the past and that it is somehow related to the present this action that has

happened in the past has happened in reference to right now.

One more thing about the present perfect tense is that the timing of this action is not important we

don’t really care when this action took place we know that it happened in the past but we don’t care

about when exactly did it happen.

For example I have eaten all of the rice in this sentence you know that I’ve eaten all of the rice and

that this is an action which has already happened in the past but you don’t know when exactly I eat

the rice so that’s how we use the present perfect tense and here’s the structure for writing this tense

we have the subject plus have or has plus the past participle of the verb plus object the last present

tense is the present perfect continuous tense we use this tends to show that an action started in the

past and has continued until now so if we look at our timeline here we can see that an action started

in the past.

OK this is where it started here’s right now and it has continued all the way from the past up until

this moment right now and it’s still happening so here we have an example.

I have been eating rice for two hours okay so I started eating rice two hours ago I was eating rice

one hour ago I was eating rice 30 minutes ago and I’m still eating rice right now.

All right now let’s talk about the past tenses.

We’re going to start with the past simple tense.

So this tense is used to show that some action was completed at some specific time in the past so here

we have our timeline.

And here’s the past.

And we can see that an action took place at some specific time in the past.

So for example I ate rice yesterday.

So here’s yesterday and this is when I eat rice to construct this tense.

You have to use this structure over here.

Next we have the past continuous tense and we use this tends to show that an action was ongoing for

some time in the past so in our timeline here is the past.

And here’s an action and this action continued for some time in the past.

I want you to notice that sometimes this action may be interrupted.

This means that it’s possible that in some cases there may be another action that happens right here

and interrupt this first action.

For example I was eating rice when you arrived.

So here’s the first action I was eating rice and I was eating rice for some time until another action

happened.

In this case the other action is that you arrived so just keep in mind that in some past continuous

tenses we may have a second action whereas in other past tenses we may not.

So depending on your sentence the first action in a past continuous tense may or may not be interrupted.

OK so here’s the structure to this tense.

Now let’s talk about the next tense which is the past perfect tense we use this tense to show that something

happened before another action in the past.

So here’s the past and we have two past actions.

Both of these actions took place in the past.

Note that one passed action took place before another passed action.

So here’s our example.

I had eaten all of the rice when you arrived.

So here’s the first action the first action is that I had eaten all of the rice and then we have the

second action.

You arrived so in the past perfect tense we describe to past events in reference to one another and

to construct this tense.

You have to use the structure provided here.

Next we have the past perfect continuous tense.

Now we use this tends to show that some event started in the past and this action continued for some

time until another action happened in the past so let’s look at our timeline here.

We have the first action the first action started in the past.

It continued for some time until another action happened.

So here is our example.

I had been eating rice for two hours.

When you arrived so this is when I started eating rice and I was eating rice for two hours and then

you arrived here’s the structure to this tense.

Finally we have the future tenses.

Let’s start with a future simple tense we use this tends to show that an action will happen in the future.

So here is our timeline and we expect that some action will take place at some point in the future.

For example I will eat rice tomorrow.

So this is tomorrow and this is when I will eat rice here’s the structure to this tense.

Next we have the future continuous tense and we use this tense to show that some action will continue

for some time in the future.

So here’s our timeline and here’s the future.

Some action is going to start in the future and it’s going to continue for some time I want you to notice

that this action may or may not be interrupted.

So basically in some cases this first action is going to be interrupted by another action.

For example I will be eating rice when you arrive.

So here’s the first action I will start eating rice in the future.

I will continue eating rice for some time until you arrive.

Okay so here’s the second action that may interrupt the first action in this case.

The second action is that you arrive so whether this first action will get interrupted or not just depends

on what sentence you have.

Here we have the structure to this tense.

Next we have the future perfect tense and we use this tends to show that some action in the future will

happen before another action in the future.

So here’s our timeline and here’s the future.

We have two different actions that are happening in the future.

And note that one future action happens before the other future action.

So for example I will have eaten the pizza by the time you arrive so the first action is that I will

have eaten the pizza in the future.

By the time you arrive this is the second future action to construct this tense.

You have to use this structure here.

Now let’s talk about our final tense which is the future perfect continuous tense we use this tends

to show that some future action will continue for some time until another future action happens so here

in our timeline we have an action which will start in the future and this action is going to continue

for some time until another action happens in the future.

For example I will have been eating pizza for two hours.

When you arrive so here’s the first action I will start eating pizza in the future I will continue eating

pizza for two hours until another action happens which is when you arrive.

This is the second future action so we use this tends to show that some future action will be finished

by a certain time in the future in this case.

This future action will be finished after 2 hours which is when you arrive.

Now this tense is very uncommon.

Okay so you’re probably not going to use it in your writing but I just wanted to mention it anyways

just for the sake of completion and for your knowledge to construct this tense you have to use this

structure over here so that concludes this video on tenses.

I’ll see you in the next grammar section in which we’re going to talk about articles and agreement.

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