Concepts of Verb Tense

English tenses are used to express two concepts.

The first is the concept of time, which can be:

fixed points in time,
periods of time – duration,
indefinite time, where only past, present, or future is important. Perfect tenses are used to relate such time periods.

The second is the concept of aspect, which refers to

Situations in which an action or event occurs in a time frame, in which an additional function needs to be expressed.

This marriage of time and function allows greater clarity to be conveyed without using additional words.

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