Simple Tenses: Summary and Quiz

Written by Leny Ortega
Previously, we have discussed simple and compound tenses. To recapitulate, simple tenses consist of present tense, past tense and future tense. The simple present tense is formed using the base form of the verb such as talk, walk, etc. (for plural noun or pronoun) or the s-form of the verb (talks, walks, etc) for singular noun or pronoun. Other forms of the verbs like the “be” verb such as is/ are; auxiliary verbs like has / have, do / does can be used. These forms of the verb are used to express actions that are habitually done, to state a fact or general truth.
The past tense is formed with the following verbs like was (singular) / were (plural), had and did (both for singular and plural). For regular verbs you just add –ed (talked, walked, etc) or a change in spelling is needed for irregular verbs (eat = ate, write =wrote, etc). This tense of the verb is used for actions that happened or completed in a definite past time. Time expressions like yesterday, last month, few days ago, etc. are used.
For actions that are intended to be completed or done in a particular time in the future, Future tense of the verb is used. Here, expressions like tomorrow, next year, next summer, etc. will signify futurity. Though, will /shall + base form of the verb can be used most of the time will + base form of the verb is preferred by most people both in oral / written communication.
To evaluate mastery of these simple tenses, exercises below are designed for this purpose.
Choose the appropriate verb in the following sentences. Check your answers below.
  1. Citizens in a democratic country (has, have) to select a leader through election process.
  2. Pump prices (go, goes) up rapidly depending on the scarcity of supply.
  3. Terrorists groups (behead, beheaded) foreign journalists last year.
  4. Transport group (express, expresses) fare hike if oil prices (will continue, continues) to rise next week.
  5. Overseas workers (is expected, are expected) to increase in the coming years.
  6. Today’s youth (know, knows) the difference between real friendships from mere acquaintances.
  7. Typhoon Hayan (was, were) the most destructive typhoon last year.
  8. Merchandises from China (will continue, continue) to flock the global market.
  9. Persona non-grata (is, are) declared whenever a person / an individual utters or behaves inappropriately in a particular place or country.
  10. Global warming (become, becomes) an alarming problem worldwide.
Answer Key
  1. Have
  2. Go
  3. Beheaded
  4. Expresses
  5. Are expected
  6. Knows
  7. Was
  8. Will continue
  9. Is
  10. Becomes

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