Tense and Time

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The English tense system was developed to help people talk about events that happen during arbitrary intervals of time. This need to locate events accurately in time means that there is no real relationship between tense and time and they should therefore not be confused. Of course we can make statements that are only true of the past, present or future but we can also make statements like “I will have been learning English for ten years next month”. This statement is true for all three verb aspects. That is – were you learning English?, are you learning English? and will you be learning English next month?

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