Shifts in Tense Verb tense refers to when an action takes place. There are three simple tenses of a verb: the present, past, and future. The present tense indicates an action taking place at this moment. The past tense indicates an action that has occurred in the past. The future tense indicates an action that will occur in the future. PRESENT PAST FUTURE work worked will work talk talked will talk With the addition of auxiliary verbs and suffixes, perfect and progressive verb tenses can be formed, giving the writer countless ways to express time. The perfect tense allows the writer to “designate actions that were or will be completed before other actions or conditions”; whereas, the progressive tense “expresses continuous action”. Note: This means if using two actions in the same sentence, to portray which action was first you would use the perfect tense . You are also able to combine the perfect tense and progressive tense. For example:
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