This blog is managed by Song Hock Chye, author of Improve Your Thinking Skills in Maths (P1-P3 series), which is published and distributed by EPH.

## Monday, December 17, 2007

### The Present Tenses

There are 2 types of Present Tenses, the Simple Present Tense and the Continuous Present Tense.

1. Simple Present Tense –

This tense is used when we talk about permanent situations or events that happen regularly or all the time.

Examples –

a) Nurul lives in Toa Payoh.

b) Water freezes at 0 degree Celsius.

c) The sun sets in the West.

2. Continuous Present Tense -

This tense is used when we talk about a temporary or continuing action that is “currently happening”.

Examples –

a) Mother is cooking dinner.

b) Boon Keng is studying in his room.

3. Identifying the difference between Simple Present and Continuous Present Tenses –

a) Maniam works hard.

b) Maniam is working hard.

In the first example, the reader gets the impression that Maniam is a hardworking person. The Simple Present Tense, “works”, infers that Maniam works hard on a regularly basis.

In the second example, the reader gets the impression that Maniam is currently working hard. Whether he is working hard now because he has always been a hardworking person, or he is working hard now only and this is just a one-off action, the reader will not be able to tell.

4. Grammar Rules pertaining to the Simple Present Tense (Subject-Verb Agreement)

The singular noun goes with the singular verb while the plural noun goes with the plural verb.

Example of the singular noun, singular verb - Charlene dances gracefully.

Example of the plural noun, plural verb – The girls dance gracefully.

Identifying the singular noun -

Some students have difficulty in identifying the singular noun.

Collective nouns are considered singular nouns – eg a bouquet of flowers, a class of pupils etc.

- A class of pupils is going to the Botanical Gardens. (correct)

- A class of pupils are going to the Botanical Gardens (wrong)

Uncountable Nouns are considered singular nouns – eg water, sand, ice, air etc are considered singular nouns, and hence, will be followed with the singular verb.

- Air is important to all living things.

- Glass is fragile.

Abstract Nouns are considered singular nouns – eg anger, joy, envy.