Today fluency in English is a very valuable asset. For second language speakers, English creates better job opportunities abroad, and it is essential for living and working in foreign countries. Although tenses are only one small part of English language, they are nonetheless important to have mastered. One cannot run away from having to use the language in one way or another. China has come to realize the importance of mastering English, and have begun to learn the language in a serious way. We in Malaysia are very fortunate to have English taught as a subject in primary and secondary school.
Yet many students do not take advantage of it. After 11years of schooling, they can only communicate in Manglish. In many languages, tenses are not as important as in English. In the English language, tenses are especially important because they tell us not only about the time but also about the aspect of the verb. What are Tenses? Tenses are a set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time and sometimes also the continuance or completeness of the action in relation to the time of the utterance. Time can be split into three main tenses as present, future and past.
Everything that happens occurs in one of these three timeframes. The present is what you are doing, the past is what you have done and the future is what you will do. The verb is changed to express what tense you are speaking in. Additionally, there are variations on each tense, creating a total of 12 tenses, four variations each for present, past and future. PRESENT TENSE Start with the present tense. The most basic form of the present tense is Present Simple, used to express facts, habits and a permanent situation. Next is the Present Continuous.
We use the Present Continuous when talking about actions that are happening at the moment. Next there is the Present Perfect. The Present Perfect is used to express actions that happened at an indefinite time or that began in the past and continue in the present. Finally there is the Present Perfect Continuous. The Present Perfect Continuous shows that something started in the past and continues in the present. PAST TENSE Next is Past Tense, of which there are four forms as well. First is the Past Simple, actions that happened at a specific time in the past.
The actions can be short or long. Secondly is Past Continuous, activities that lasted for some time in the past. The actions can be interrupted by something or can be happening at the same time. There is also the Past Perfect, an action in the past finished before another action in the past started. Lastly we use the Past Perfect Continuous to show an actions or situations that were in progress before some other actions or situations. FUTURE TENSE Next is Future tense, used to express an action that will be finished before some point in the future.
Future continuous is to indicate that we will be in the middle of doing something in a specified time in the future. Future Perfect is a verb that expresses action completed by a specified time in the future. The last form is the Future Perfect Continuous, situations that will last for a specified period of time at a definite moment in the future. Must I learn tenses? It is a total yes for me to learn tenses because tenses are important in communication. If I don’t use a right tense in communication, then a reader or listener would not know if I have done something, doing something or happen to do something in future.
Besides that, when I am communicating with my friends using wrong tenses; they would not know whether I am talking about the past, present or the future. Tenses are also important to me because it depends how good my writing is. I can write a good amount of essays. Besides that, I have to learn tenses so that when others communicate with me, I can differentiate between the past n present. Moreover if I speak English with right tenses, the opportunity to get a job in foreign countries is high. How did I learn tenses in the past? I found tenses very difficult in my past.
Tenses were so hard till I got bored and not interested to study further. In another hand, the English teacher who taught me tenses has some problem with her health and she always absent to school. This was another problem that stopped me to learn tenses in secondary school. I got very poor in my tenses but I still didn’t put any effort to improve. There was this day when I started to realized how important tenses is to my essay. Test results were announced and I got very low marks. Most of the error came from tenses error. I challenged my self to improve tenses and started to attend extra English classes at night.
After attending extra classes I improved a little better and my parents encouraged me a lot in many ways. They tried their best to put me in better tuition centers. I also started to communicate in English to all my schoolmates and parents as well. This afford put me a little better in tenses because my parents and friends started correcting me when I’m wrong. Besides that, when I have plenty time, I will invite my friend to teach me tenses. Day-to-day I got better in tenses which made me to learn more on tenses and started reading all the articles, journal and interesting magazines.
Furthermore I took my own initiative to learn tenses on media where they provide compact information’s included with examples. Those are the ways I learn tenses in my past. How am I learning tenses in college? I learn tenses in college in a very efficient way. I have also started to put more effort on learning tenses since I joined college. I am having a confortable environment and a very talented and experience English lecturer who are able to provide me with more information’s about tenses. I am now learning many different tenses in college, which makes me to understand more.
Besides that, my lecturer will always correct us when we use some wrong tenses in our communication. This method helps me to remember what she have corrected and will not repeat the mistake. Furthermore, since my lecturer is a science person, she always teach English using some methods which made me to understand more faster in a easier way. Besides being only a lecturer she also advice us to put some effort, study hard and don’t give up easily which made me more encouraged in many ways. Other than that, whenever I’m having free time or break, I will start reading some storybooks which was influenced by my course mate.
By reading many storybooks I get some ideas of how to construct a good English sentences with a right tenses. I also start to communicate more using English with my parents and friends to improve in my English and tenses. Nevertheless I am also putting my own effort to search some information on tenses in media such as goggling and using Wikipedia. They also provide us with compact information including examples and also some videos on tenses. Lastly, I am now starting to write more essays using past and present tenses so that I can improve in my writing. I find learning English in college is much more interesting.