Aspective tense

From Teflpedia


An aspective tense (/æspektɪv tens/),[1] often referred to in pedagogic grammar simply as "a tense", is a combination of tense and aspect. In English there are eight of these, as both of the two tenses (i.e. present tense and past tense) can be used without additional aspect (i.e. simple), or can be used with one or both of the perfect and continuous aspects. These are listed in the table below:

Tense Aspect(s) Name(s) Example
Present tense Simple Present simple I do something.
Perfect Present perfect I have done something.
Progressive present continuous / present progressive I am doing something.
Perfect and progressive present perfect continuous / present perfect progressive I have been doing something.
Past tense Simple Past simple I did something.
Perfect Past perfect I had done something.
Progressive Past continuous / past progressive I was doing something.
Perfect and progressive Past perfect continuous / past perfect progressive I had been doing something.

It's worth thinking that the simple aspect is really a lack of a perfect or continuous aspect.

References[edit]

  1. This is the best name we can think of