Communication Skills

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Tenses–Some Basic Rules

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Tenses RULESPresent Tense (SIMPLE):

  • With singular- verb + (s)
  • With Plural- Verb only

I /They/ we/you work, He /she/ it (object, plan etc) works (1st form of verb)
am working, we/they/you are working, and he/she/it is working or it is being done
I /they/we/you do, He/she /it does.
I /we/they/you don’t, He/she/It doesn’t (NEGATION)
Do I/they/we/you? ……… Does he/she/it? (QUESTION)
I/we/ they/you- have/haven’t 
for e.g-I have done (3rd form of verb)
He/she/it- has/hasn’t 
for e.g-he has done (3rd form of verb)
I/we/ they/you- have / haven’t been …verb + ing
He/she/it– has/ hasn’t been…verb + ing
It has been done (3rd form of verb)
‘Have had’ and ‘has had’ are used when something/work is carried on from past in to the present.

(simple present)Isà Was (simple past)
I /he/she/ità was/ wasn’t 
I saw, ate, drank etc (2nd form of verb)
(simple present)Areà were (simple past)
We/you/theyà were/ weren’t 
We saw, ate, drank etc (2nd form of verb)
For question in simple past- Did you…..+ 1st form of verb?
e.g- Did Mary dance in a musical?
Past continuous – 
I /he/she/it– was/ wasn’t …verb+ ing
We/you/they– were/ weren’t… verb + ing
Past Perfect-when something/work started and ended in past tense only
I/we/you/they/he/she/it– had + 3rd form of verb
e.g I had done my homework yesterday. Sometimes we use “had had” when we are too sure about the happening.
Past Perfect Continuous- when something / work got started and went on in past tense but not ended.
I/we/you/they/he/she/it- Had been… verb+ ing.
For question- had you completed/ been completing your work……..?

Please study the will/shall & going to usage to know when and how we use these words.
I/we/you/they/he/she/it- will + 1st form of verb
They will do……I/we shall do (1st form of verb)
‘It’ will be done (3rd form of verb with IT)
For future continuous –
I/we/you/they/he/she/it- will be & verb+ ing
Future perfect- 
Note – we rarely use future perfect tense only when we are confident about future.
I/we- shall have + 3rd form of verb
You/they/he/she/it- Will have + 3rd form of verb
Future perfect continuous: will/ shall have been & verb + ing.


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