Introduction to Sequence of Tense


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about an introduction to a sequence of tense. Enjoy the class!

Introduction to Sequence of Tense

Sequence of Tense |

We use tense to indicate time of verbs in the sentence. In order words, tense is used to show what time the verb of the sentence refers to. It may show whether an action, event, or state is in the past, present, or future. Consider these conversations:

A:        Where does she live?

B:         She lives with relatives close to her workplace.

C:         She is presently living with her aunt close by.

In speaking or writing, the rules governing tenses have to do with paying particular attention to the verb sequence of your clauses and sentences to determine when an action takes place. For instance, an action in the future obviously cannot happen before an action in the past. The past must come before the present, and the present before the future. For example:

  • The man was begging because he had nothing left.
  • The robbers absconded after robbing the neighbourhood.

There are three main verb tenses in English. The present tense, past tense, and future tense.

The present tense is mostly used to express habitual actions, i.e an action that happened in the past, maybe happening now and will happen in the future. It also expresses statements of facts. See the following examples.

  1. Dogs eat
  2. Oil floats on water.
  3. The sun rises in the east and sets in the north.
  4. The plane leaves Lagos airport at eleven o’clock next week Friday.
  5. Mosquitoes suck
  6. Cats eat
  7. Mr Ade is a baker, he bakes almost all the loaves of bread you see around.

The past tense implies that an action happened in the past and was completed in the past. It is also used to describe a past habitual event that is no more occurring.  See examples below:

  1. The dogs ate his bone.
  2. The plane left Lagos airport at eleven o’clock last week Friday.
  3. She broke her wrist during her gymnastic training.
  4. Mr Ade was a baker, he baked almost all the loaves of bread you used to see around
  5. I represented my school in several sporting events during my elementary school days.

The future tense is used to express an action that is expected to happen in the future. It is often introduced by the auxiliary verb will, may, shall etc. For instance:

  1. Now that you have a large firm, you will need
  2. I will see you at school tomorrow.
  3. I may decide to come over to your place next week.


Write down five more examples each on the tenses of the verb discussed today.


In our next class, we will be talking about Possessive Apostrophe.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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