Sample Linguistics Paper on Present Tenses
Tenses are used for making reference to time and become evident when one is using certain verb forms. Accordingly, the latter are categorised into three groups: the past, present, and future tenses. The present tense illustrates a current event or the state of being. It can be used in negative, affirmative, or inquisitive sentences. Moreover, the present tense can be applied to narrate a past or future event, therefore, it does not only imply the present (Recine). Following are some examples:
I jump in the river every Sunday-present event
I am sad– present state of being
A woman walks into a church-past event.
The present tense is further classified into four categories to indicate whether an action is completed or still in progress. First category is the simple present tense, which is used to describe events planned in the future. It can also be used to narrate stories and describe a habit or a set of universal facts. Using the simple present tense might appear to be easy but becomes difficult when one is constructing a sentence (Uchiyama 18). The tense form finds its exceptional usage in classic literature such as Romeo and Juliet (Uchiyama 24). It is built using the base form of a simple verb (Recine). Following are a few examples:
My lecture will start tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m- planned activity scheduled in the future
John likes to eat at the school cafeteria- implies a habit
I like candy- a fact
I love the Titanic story-narration of opinions
Second category of the tense is the present progressive tense, which is commonly used for describing or explaining an ongoing current action (Recine). Affirmative sentences are formed using am/is/ are + verb-ing and negative sentences, by adding the word “not” (Uchiyama 33). Examples of the present progressive tense are as follows:
I am walking home.
Denis is searching for the latest Apple model.
Alternatively, this tense form can also be used in a negative version. For instance, Careen is not looking for James. However, the present continuous tense cannot use stative verbs such as to want, to understand, or to know (Uchiyama 34).
The present perfect tense is the third category. It denotes an action that started in the past and continues in the present. Examples of the present perfect tense include the following:
Rob has worked alongside four of America’s exemplary experts in constitutional law.
We have gone to the place earlier.
The present perfect tense differs from the present prefect progressive tense as it has several meanings as compared to the latter, which implies only one meaning (Uchiyama 137).
The present perfect progressive tense is mainly used on two conditions: with a continuous event that started in the past and continues in the present and with an activity that has been completed in the past but the results or after-effects of it are still evident in the present (Uchiyama 135). The present perfect progressive tense is formed by using have/has been + verb-ing (Uchiyama 136). The examples are as follows:
I have been washing my clothes since ten this morning.
I haven’t been getting enough sleep because of my exams.
Furthermore, the tense form is used for illustrating a continuous event that started in the past and has recently concluded. For instance, Mary has been relying on her salary hike to pay her mortgage.
Recine, David. “The Four Present Tenses and Their Ten Uses.” Magoosh TOEFL BLOG, 13 Apr. 2015, magoosh.com/toefl/2015/the-four-past-tenses-and-their-nine-uses/. Accessed 21 Apr. 2017.
Uchiyama, Kent. English Verb Tenses: An Informal but Extensive Reference for ESL Students, the Good Folks who Teach Them, the Idly Curious, and the Linguistically Perplexed. Chabot College, 2006, www.chabotcollege.edu/languagearts/esl/verb%20tense%20book–pdf.pdf.