Timpurile verbale in limba engleza

Trimis la data: 2014-08-16
Materia: Engleza
Nivel: Liceu
Pagini: 8
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Autor: lauram
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It is important not to confuse the words "tense" and "time". The notion of "time" is universal, and is independent of any particular language. "Time" is objective, chronological and is measured in minutes, hours, days, years. The notion of time can be divided into: present time, past time and future time. The word "tense" means the verbal constructions (verbal forms) expressing certain time relations. In other words, "tense" stands for the form of the verb and gives an indication of when something happens. The notion of "tense" is a grammatical category of the verb. There are only two tenses in English: present tense simple and past tense simple.
They are called tenses because they have endings and the endings are "-(e)s" for present tense simple and "-ed" for past tense simple. For example: He goes to church every Sunday (present tense simple); I crossed the street two minutes ago (past tense simple). The other ten constructions referring to present, past or future time cannot be called tenses because they don't have endings; they are simply called verbal constructions. For instance, present continuous is a verbal construction (e.g. What are you doing?).

In order to understand the tenses and the verbal constructions, we must define the grammatical category of "mood". "Mood" presents the attitude of the speaker towards the action or state expressed by the verb. English verbs have three moods: the indicative, the imperative, and the subjunctive. The tenses and verbal constructions mentioned above belong to the indicative mood. The indicative mood generally sees the action as real and is used for ordinary statements and questions.

Another important grammatical category of the verb is "aspect". Aspect reflects the action in relation to the ideas of duration and result. There are three types of aspects: the common aspect, the continuous aspect and the perfective aspect. The common aspect is used with the two tenses and expresses statements and facts (The sun rises in the east.) The continuous aspect is used with the continuous verbal constructions such as Present Continuous (She is sleeping now); the continuous aspect expresses a continuous action.

The perfective aspect is used with perfect verbal constructions such as Past Perfect Simple: I had done the homework before the teacher checked. Thus, the perfective aspect expresses anteriority which means an anterior action ("had done" before "checked").
In conclusion, when we say "Present Tense Simple", "Present" refers to time, "Tense" refers to the grammatical verbal form (construction), "Simple" refers to the common aspect. We must know that the continuous and perfect aspects can be combined when we say "Present Perfect Continuous" (e.g. I have been playing chess for three hours).
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