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Subject (S) + Verb (V) + Complement (C) + Modifier (M)

1. Subject

The subject is the agent of the sentence in the active voice; it is the person or thing that performs or is responsible for the action of the sentence, and usually located before the verb.

Examples of subjects :

 She is not going to the office

 The Departemnt Store open at ten o’clock

I explain how to study English

 2. Verb

The verb follows the subject in a declarative sentence; it generally shows the action of the sentence.

Examples of verbs :

She will go to Bali next week

My sister is very clever

I am learning english


3. Complement

A complement completes the verb.  It is similar to the subject. A complement answers the question what? Or whom?.

Examples of complements :


>Nick was driving a new car                          > (what was Nick driving? -> a new car)

> Sarijon bought a cake yesterday               >  (What did Sarijon buy yesterday?  –> a cake)

 >He saw Tony at the movie                          > (Whom did he see at the movie? –> Tony)





4. Modifier

A modifier tells the time, place, or manner of the action.

Examples of modifier :

>Joe was swimming in the pool

>Where was Joe swimming? -> in the pool

>We ate dinner at seven o’clock

>When did we eat dinner? -> at seven o’clock




In grammar, tense is a category that locates a situation in time, to indicate when the situation takes place. Tense is the grammaticalisation of time reference, often using three basic categories of “before now”, i.e. the past; “now”, i.e. the present; and “after now”, i.e. the future. The “unmarked” reference for tense is the temporal distance from the time of utterance, the “here-and-now”, this being absolute-tense.

Relative-tense indicates temporal distance from a point of time established in the discourse that is not the present, i.e. reference to a point in the past or future, such as the future-in-future, or the future of the future (at some time in the future after the reference point, which is in the future) and future-in-past or future of the past (at some time after a point in the past, with the reference point being a point in the past).

Not all languages grammaticalise tense, and those that do differ in their grammaticalisation thereof. Languages without tense are called tenseless languages and include Burmese, Dyirbal and Chinese.

Not all grammaticalise the three-way system of past–present–future. For example, some two-tense languages such as English and Japanese express past and non-past, this latter covering both present and future in one verb form, whereas others such as Greenlandic and Quechua have future and non-future. Four-tense languages make finer distinctions either in the past (e.g. remote vs recent past), or the future (e.g. near vs remote future).

The six-tense language Kalaw Lagaw Ya of Australia has the remote past, the recent past, the today past, the present, the today/near future and the remote future. The differences between such finer distinctions are the distance on the timeline between the temporal reference points from the present.



Present Simple Tense

How do we make the Present Simple Tense?

How do we use the Present Simple Tense?

We use the present simple tense when:

>the action is general

>the action happens all the time, or habitually, in the past, present and future

>the action is not only happening now

>the statement is always true


Present Continuous Tense

The structure of the present continuous tense is:

Subject +auxiliary verb + main verb be base + ing

How do we use the Present Continuous Tense?

We use the present continuous tense to talk about:

>action happening now

>action in the future

 Look at these examples:

John is learning to drive.


Present Perfect Tense

The structure of the present perfect tense is:

Subject + auxiliary verb + main verb have past participle

How do we use the Present Perfect Tense?

This tense is called the present perfect tense. There is always a connection with the past and with thepresent.

There are basically three uses for the present perfect tense:





>Continuing situation


Simple Past Tense

The simple past is used for a completed action that happened at one specific time in the past.

Examples :

>Marry went to Deutch last year

>John washed the dishes after Lunch


Past Progressive (continuous)

Use of Past Progressive

a. Puts emphasis on the course of an action in the past

 Example: She was playing doll.

b. Two actions happening at the same time (in the past)

 Example: While he was preparing lunch, he was washing the dishes.

c. Action going on at a certain time in the past

Example: When I was having breakfast, the phone suddenly rang


 Present Perfect

Subject  +  [has/have]  +  [verb in past participle] …

Examples :

>I have seen that movie twenty times.

>We have already written our reports

>Renny hasn’t called her parents yet




 Present Perfect Progressive (continuous)

Subject  +  [has/have]  +  been  +  [verb+ing]

Use of Present Perfect Progressive


>She has been writing for two hours.

>I have been living here since 2001.

>I have been working all afternoon.


 Past Perfect

Subject  +  had  +  [verb in past participle]

Examples :

>You had studied hard before you moved to New York.

>John went home after he had gone to the book store


Past Perfect Progressive (continuous)

Subject  + had  + been  +  [verb+ing]

Examples :

>Nate had been working at the university forforty-five years before he retired










The Example of Grammar in Toefl Questions


Choose the best answer for each of the following questions. There is only one correct answer choice for each.

1. With the passing of time and the encroachment of people, the habitat of gorillas ______ to decrease.


b. Which continue

c. Continues

d. That it has continued

Answer :   c. Continues (Because this is sentence to use simple present tense)


 2.   Despite being basically arboreal in nature, koalas ________ to inhabit a specific territory and range of some 30 square miles.

a. Knowing

b .Which know

c. Are knowing

 d. Are known

Answer :   d. are known (Because this is sentence to use simple past tense)



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