Wednesday, March 16, 2011

English for Agriculture: lesson 2 grammar verb tenses

Complete the reading excercise "farmers and the environment" in the prior entry. (for spanish speaking students, watch the following video)

Verb Tenses
This reading introduces the Present Simple Tense. This is one of the six most common verb tenses in English. Others include the Present Continuous tense, the Future Simple tense, the Future with ‘going to’, the Past Simple tense, and the Present Perfect tense. These tenses describe when something happens. All of the sentences in the reading are in the ‘Present Simple Tense’. They describe things that happen every year, always, every day, usually or sometimes.
The table below describes when to use each tense.

1. Present Simple
People eat rice
every day
2. Present Continuous
People are eating rice
3. Future Simple
People will eat rice
in the future
4. Future with ‘going to’
People are going to eat rice
in the future
5. Past Simple
People ate rice
in the past
6. Present Perfect
People have eaten rice
up to now

Present Simple
Used to describe things which happen every year, always, every day, usually or sometimes
  1. Most people in the Philippines eat rice.
  2. She cooks rice everyday.
Present Continuous
Used to express an action in the present; something that is currently happening.

  1. They are eating rice.
  2. He is cooking rice for dinner
Future Simple
Used to express the future.

  1. They will eat rice for breakfast.
  2. I will cook more rice tonight.
 Future ‘with going to’
Also used to express the future except you use the verb to be + going to. The meaning is the same as the future simple.

  1. They are going to eat rice for dinner.
  2. She is going to cook more rice tomorrow.
Past Simple
Used to express a completed action in the past.

  1. I ate rice for lunch.
  2. They cooked rice.
Present Perfect
Used to show that an action was completed sometime before the present time. Used to indicate that an action started in the past and continues to the present time.

  1. She has eaten rice every day of her life.
  2. They have cooked rice over a fire for years.

Writing Tips:

What are the commonly used tenses in scientific writing? 

When writing a typical paper, you will normally use both the past and present tenses.

When you refer to previously published work you should generally use the present tense. When you refer to your present results you should use the past tense.

When you are writing an abstract, most of it should be in the past tense because you are referring to your own present results. The Materials and Methods and Results sections should also be in the past tense because you are describing what you did and what you found. 

Most of the Introduction and Discussion should be in the present tense because you are usually talking about previously established knowledge.

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