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INDUVIDUAL TASK
THE USE OF THE INDEFINITE
TENSES
• Done by Natalia Vonitova
The aim of this individual task is to show
how the Indefinite tenses differ from the
others in use. I want one more time to
prove that the Indefinite form merely shows
that the action takes place in the present,
past or future. The form of the verb gives no
indication as to its duration or completion.
The use of The Present Indefinite
• To denote: customary,
repeated actions;
• actions and states
characterizing a given
person;
• universal truths.
• Of course I eat an apple
every evening. Every
Saturday night Mama sit
down by the kitchen table
and count… (p.412)
• She is very talented: she
sings and plays the piano
beautifully. “He is as
clever as his mother is…”
said Martha… (p.486)
• The Earth goes around the
sun.
The astronaut wear
a bulky suit…(p.80)
• With verbs which are not
used in the continuous
form.
• To denote future action:
a) in adverbial clauses of time
and condition (after
conjunctions when, till,
untill, before, after, as
soon as, if, unless);
b) as something fixed or
planned (with verbs of
motion, such as to go, to
come, to leave, to start).
• She understands English but
she does not speak it. The
boy does not know how…
(p.360)
• “You will change your mind,
I hope, when you grow
older”. “Well, if you stay
awake, you’ll find it’s only a
matter of time now.”
(p.107)
• The train leaves at 11
tomorrow.
The time expressions we use with the
present simple are: usually, often,
always, every day/week/year etc., in
the morning/afternoon/evening, at
night/the weekend, on Friday, etc.
The use of the Past Indefinite
• To denote: a definite single
complited action in the past
(indicated by yesterday, a
week ago, last year);
• They walked to school
yesterday. In the morning I
biked over to the
station,…(p.36)
•
• Sam walked his dog every day
last year. Each morning I
went alone for the witch hazel
leaves.(p.504)
habitual or repeated action in
the past;
• a succession of past actions;
• He threw down his spade and
entered the house. He put
the nose of the Gipsy down
and swung her dep into the
valley…(p.101)
• Past conditional or
imaginative events in the
subordinate clause.
• With stative verbs in the
past time.
• If he took care of himself, he
wouldn’t be absent so
often. “You would know
the heron if you saw it”,the
stranger continued
eagerly.(p.590)
• She loved daisies. “She
liked fresh flowers”, he
said.(p.549)
The time expressions we use with the
past simple are: yesterday, then,
when, How long ago…?, last
night/week/month/year/Friday/Octo
ber etc., three days/weeks ago, in
1999 etc.
The use of the Future Indefinite
• To denote: a future
action;
• a future habitual action
or future state;
• future conditionals;
• She will walk to school
tomorrow. “We’ll try
again tomorrow”.(p.33)
• I’m sure everything will
be fine. I shall come
along as often as
possible. (p.64)
• If you go, you’ll be
sorry. If you sit in the
draught you shall catch
cold.(p.368)
• an action which is
expected to take place
in the nearest future (to
be going + Infinitive).
• Look at this dark
clouds.It’s going to be
raining. “But what’s it
going to be like if more
and more soldiers quit
and go into …?(p.184)
The time expressions we use with the
future simple: tomorrow, the day
after tomorrow, tonight, soon, next
week/month/year/summer etc.
The use of the Future Indefinite in
the Past
• To express a future
action viewed from a
past moment.
• I said I should be
delighted to see her.
He was sure I should get
the job. (p.263)
In conclusion, examining Indefinite aspect
of tenses we have understood that this
kind of aspect is the simplest but very
important in communicating. People use it
to express some facts, feelings, habits,
repeated actions. Such items as now,
today, yesterday, tomorrow etc. express
location of action in time.
Reference
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В. Л. Каушанская. Граматика английского язика. (82-88)
Mariane Celce-Murci, Diane Larsen-Freeman. The Grammar
book an ESL/EFL Teacher’s course. (62, 64)
Virginia Evans. Round-up. English grammar Book .(3-16)
M. A. Ganshina, N. M. Vasilevskaya. English Grammar. (147157)
I. P. Krylova, E.M. Gordon. A Grammar of Present day. English
Practical Course. (17-22,39-44, 61, 62, 73)
Machmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company.
“Chrystal Stair”.
Raymond Murphy. English Grammar in use. Second Edition.
(4-7, 10)
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