Browse Tag: present tense

Grammar Rules: Past Tense

Written by Leny Ortega

In the last post, we talked about Present Tense. In this post, we continue our series on tenses with Past Tense.

Past tense is used to denote actions that are completed in the definite past time. This tense of the verb generally uses definite time expression when the action really took place or happened. These time expressions are: yesterday, last night, last month, two years ago, etc.

To form the verb in the past tense the following are observed:

  • For regular verbs you just add d or ed for example: talk = talked, walk = walked, etc
  • For irregular verb a change of spelling is necessary. Examples: Write= wrote, eat =ate
  • For auxiliary verb the following are the forms:

Singular = was, had, did

Plural = were, had, did


  1. Pope Francis visited the typhoon victims at Palo Leyte yesterday.
  2. The principal asked the teachers to submit their lesson plans for checking last Tuesday.
  3. He visited Davao last month.
  4. The Pope waved his hands at the people waiting for his arrival at the airport last Thursday.
  5. She had a bad encounter with the students last night.


Choose the correct form of the verb in the following sentences:

  1. News anchors (has, had) a hard time covering the Papal Visit in the Philippines last week.
  2. Strict security measures (was, were) implemented to secure the safety of Pope Francis.
  3. Filipinos (feels, felt) blessed with Pope’s visit in the country.
  4. The President (declares, declared) the entire NCR holiday for the coming of the Pope last month.
  5. Many families (take, took) time to have a glimpse of the Pope yesterday.


  1. The answer is Had because the subject is plural (news anchors) and the action happened last week.
  2. The correct answer is were.  Again, the subject is plural (security measures). Thus, it is wrong to use the verb was although it is in the past tense.
  3. In sentence number 3 the verb in the choices differs in tenses. Feels is in the present tense while the other one, Felt is past tense. Therefore, the correct answer is Felt.
  4. Likewise in sentence number 4, choices are in the present (declares) and Past tense (declared) respectively. So, the verb declared is the correct answer
  5. Number 5[i] options comprise of present and past tense of the verb. Here, the correct answer is took.

Grammar Rules: The Present Tense

Written by Leny Ortega

Tense of the verb indicates the time when the action is done or completed. Tenses are classified as Simple Tenses and Compound Tenses.  Each classification has three tenses. Present tense, Past Tense and Future Tense comprise the Simple Tense while the Compound Tenses have the Present Perfect Tense, Past Perfect Tense and the Future Perfect Tense.

Let us first discuss the Simple Tenses.

The Basic Forms


The present tense is used to express an action presently or habitually done. It is also used to state a fact or general truth.

The Verb forms are:

S-form = watches, listens, eats, etc. for singular subject ( noun or pronoun)
Base form = watch, listen, eat, etc. for plural subject (noun or pronoun)
Auxiliary Verbs = is (singular), are (plural)
          Has (singular), have (plural)
          Does (singular), Do (plural)
  • He plays basketball.  (present time)
  • Honesty is the best policy. (generally accepted truth)
  • I check my e-mails in the morning before going to school. (habitual action)
Pop Quiz
Answer the following sentences then, check your answer/s below.
  1. The earth (revolve, revolves, revolved) around the sun.
  2. Manny Pacquiao (is, am, been) a popular boxer worldwide.
  3. Maegan Young (is, am, was) the first Filipina to win the Miss World in 2013.
  4. The Philippines (has, have, had) more than seven thousand islands.
  5. Vigan City (is, am , been) one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ilocos, Norte.
  1. The earth revolves around the sun.
The answer uses the s-form of the verb because this is a statement of fact. In addition, the s-form is used when the subject is singular and is in the present time.
  1. Manny Pacquiao is a popular boxer worldwide.
The correct answer is the verb is because Manny Pacquiao is indeed a famous boxer not only in the Philippines but also internationally. Therefore, this is also a statement of fact.
  1. Maegan Young is the first Filipina to win the Miss World in 2013.
Again, this is a statement of fact that’s why the correct form of the verb is, is. Historically speaking, Maegan Young is indeed the only Filipina so far to win the Miss World Title.
  1. The Philippines has more than seven thousand islands.
The subject Philippines is singular. The auxiliary verb Has should be used. This is also a statement of fact.
  1. Vigan City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Ilocos province.
This number has also singular subject – Vigan City which is located in Ilocos province.This is not  an opinion but a fact.

Grammar Quiz – Past, Present, Future Tenses

English is more than 50% of the coverage of the Civil Service Exams. Most of the exam types are about grammar and correct usage. It is important that you master basic grammar in order to increase  your chance of passing the exam.

Below is a review of your knowledge of past, present, and future tenses.  We will be discussing verb tenses in detail in the near future, but you can try your stock knowledge for now. Good luck!

Grammar Quiz – Past, Present, Future Tenses

1. Tomorrow evening, I think Gemma is _____ a birthday party.

a.) attend
b.) will attending
c.) is going to attend
d.) has attended  Continue Reading