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Tenses and Errors In Their Usage

The tense is the form of a verb that shows the time, continuance or completion of an action that is expressed by the verb. ‘He is’ is in the present tense, ‘He was’ is past tense and ‘He will be’ is future tense.
When ‘a permanent state’ or ‘work at present’ is expressed.
  • He lives in Mumbai. (Presently living)

Some Important Tips:

Please note that except I, we and you, all nouns and pronouns fall into the category of third person.
Conditional clauses may be put in three categories.
1. Main clause - future, “if” ....... present (likely or probable)
  • He will help you if you ask him.
2. Main clause - conditional, “if”... past (unlikely, imaginary)
  •  He would help you if your asked him.
3. Main clause - conditional, perfect “if”... past perfect (Impossible)
  •  He would have helped you if you had asked him.

Auxiliary Verbs

A verb that is used with another verb to form a particular tense or mood, for example - she was pleased, they have left. Sometimes more than one auxiliary verb is used to form a tense, for example - She will be going, They have been warned. Auxiliary verb are either modal verbs or primary verbs.
Can’ expresses ability
  • You can drive, can’t you?
May’ denotes permission, doubt or possibility.
  • You may be late, so call me tomorrow.
Might’ also expresses possibility but you are not at all certain
  • The train might be a few hours late.
Should’ is used to say what is the right thing to do.
  • You should have taken her along. You should not be so selfish.
Could’ is used as past tense of ‘Can’ to express ability about doing something in the past.
  • By the time he was 12, he could drive the car competently.
Must’ is followed by the bare-infinitive.
  • You must hurry up if you don’t want to miss your train.
Must’ also expresses strong advice or orders.
  • You must stop chewing tobacco if you want to avoid cancer.
Must’ is used to say that something is very likely to be true.
  • That elderly woman must be 90.
Should and ought have much the same meanings, but ‘ought’ is followed by to, ‘Ought to’ is used to say that ‘someone should do something because it is the best thing to do.
  • He really ought to stop drinking.
When you talk about things which actually did not happen, though they were likely to-
  • You should have been here before 11.
Do’ makes questions and negative forms of the ordinary verb.
  • Do you like apples?
Do’ is used to emphasize the main verb in a sentence.
  • Do be alert.
Do’ is also used with present participles ending in _ ing
  • She does shopping on Saturday.

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