GYG. Day 3. 4 easy-to-remember tense names, your grammar book doesn’t use.

Everybody hates grammar!!!, right!?!?! However hard I try to embed it in a realistic situation or introduce it in an imaginary way, you always get the groans, see the eyes glaze over and the bodies slide down the chair when they even sniff a bit of grammar with exception, of course, of Hans and Heidi (sorry, if you are called Hans or Heidi – no offence) who let out a little “Yippy the present perfect progressive.”

Who the hell came up with the damn grammar names? They probably never worked in the trenches but in high towers, writing with a feather ink pen on parchment mumbling to themselves, “I’ll confuse these foreigners, you’ll see”.

So here’s my KISS guide to the confusing English tenses:

The NOW PRESENT = the present continuous = temporary (time of speaking)

“You ARE READING this post right now” Signal words include: at the moment, now

The GENERAL PRESENT = the present simple = permanent (facts/regular activities)

“You READ Teatime Titbits posts every day” Signal words include: every, always-never,

The PAST PRESENT = the present perfect = an action or event, which started in the past and continues until now

“You HAVE READ the Teatime Titbits post regularly for 3 months”

Signal words: How long, for, since, recently etc.

And the SUPER PAST = the past perfect. = a time further back in the past (than the past)

“I HAD never HEARD of Teatime Titbits before colleagues told me about them”

to embed (einbringen), to groan (Stöhnen), to glaze over (glasig werden), to sniff (hier: riechen), “no offence” (Nichts für ungut!), “Who the hell ..?” (Wer zur Hölle/zum Teufel), to come up with sth (sich etw ausdenken), to work in the trenches (hier: an der Front arbeiten), parchment (Pergament), to mumble to oneself (vor sich hin murmeln), tenses (Zeitformen), comprehensive (umfassend)

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