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Tense and aspect

Tense and aspect

Tense and aspect are the most important grammatical categories for expressing time and temporal relations in English. For me, I will share my experience Now I am an English teacher at Udonthani Vocational College. I teach many English courses such as English for communication 2 , English Conversation , Business English .In each course I have taught 4 language skills such as listening skill, writing skill, speaking skill and reading skill. Students must learn every language skills because English is very important . If you want to communicate English very well you must practice 4 language skills. According to the topic “28 Tense and aspect” They are very necessary in teaching grammar. Students must learn how to use tense and aspect. I will teach every English course but I don’t teach them all at the same time. The aim of teaching tense and aspect is to study various linguistic approaches to the description of tense and aspect in English Moreover the course description will be the focus of the ways of expressing present, past, future time. Now I will explain you some English course that I teach in this semester. Before start teaching I will study the course discription from the Vocational Education Commission curriculum. After that I will construc the course syllabus follow the the curriculum. I do the course outline by myself. Then I will study the content and provide the lesson which related the course description from many textbooks. I choose some content and combine to one book. For example I teach English for Conversation 2 (2000-1202) for the first year student in accounting field. I teach 18 Weeks in each semester. I must plan my teaching 9 units (1 unit per 2 week) I will choose some tense and aspect to teach in each unit . In unit one I taught about family . I will choose Present Tense of verb to be and verb to do. Students must know the structure of Tense . How or when to use it? How to make Wh-question. In unit 2 I taught about keeping a diary. Students must know and understand Past Simple Tense. They can tell the story in the past . The most important thing before to teach teacher must prepare their teaching and lesson plan . Teacher must improve teaching method and strategies The teachers must know the meaning of tense and aspect and also had understanding .I will show you the content as follow:

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What is Tense?

The Definition of Tense (noun) : a form of a verb used to indicate the time . Tense is a method that we use in English to refer to time. There are three main principle of tenses . They are past tense , present tense and future tense. I will explain the meaning of each Tense. First, Present Tense verb show something is happening right now or at the present time. Second, Past tense verbs which tell about actions which happened some time ago are past tense verbs . Third, Future tense mean verbs which tell about actions which are going to happen are future tense verbs. Many languages use tenses to talk about time. Other language have no tenses, but of course they can still talk about time, using different methods. I will talk about time in English with tense. For example:

– Jirapon goes to temple. ( Present Tense)

– Udom went to school yesterday ( Past Tense)

– Suki will go to school tomorrow ( Future Tense)

What is aspect?

Aspect expresses a feature of the action related to time such as completion rod duration. Present simple and past simple tenses have no aspect. Aspect always include Perfect Tenses and Progressive or continuous Tense .For example:

Perfective aspect ( be+ ing)

  • My parents have lived in Udon Thani since last October.
  • I have studied English since last year.

Progressive aspect ( have+ past participle)

  • They are reading newspaper in the room.
  • David is washing his car at home.

There are many words that are time clues; some can be used to indicate a number of tenses, for instance that something happened in the past or that it will happen in the future. If you learn to recognize these time clues, you will find them very helpful. Note that some time clues can be used with more than one verb tense and also that this table is not a complete listing of all the time clues that can be used with all of the tenses

Lesson Plan

Subject: English For Communication 2 Level: Certificate 1 Instructor : Mrs. Sutida Intawai

Objectives : Students will be able to: inductively review both struture and names of basic tenses


Vocabulary : Food, nationalities, dates and time, restaurants

Structures :

  1. Present simple tense
  2. Present continuous tense
  3. Present perfect tense
  4. Present perfect continuous tense
  5. Past simple tense
  6. Past continuous tense
  7. Past perfect tense
  8. Past perfect continuous tense
  9. Future simple tense
  10. Future continuous tense
  11. Future perfect tense
  12. Future perfect continuous tense

Functions : 1. Talking about Tense and aspect

Teaching procedures /Activities:

Warm up / Lead in :

1. The teacher greets students and tell them that they are going to learn about outline goals for today’s class.


1.Teacher presents the charts of structure of tense and aspect .Let them guess the kind of tense and aspect.


  1. Teacher divide students into groups of 2 to 4
  2. Have students take personal information quiz in groups
  3. Check answers as a class, ask students to quickly speak about what they have learned about their fellow students


  1. Have groups identify tense names used in question
  2. Give auxiliary verb exercise to students to be done individually
  3. Correct auxiliary exercise in class

Wrap up:

  1. Teacher and students discuss and summarize about this unit together.
  2. Teacher suggests students for further study by searching for more information from other resources for example, internet , library , newspaper and Self Access Learning Center in the college.

Teaching aids/materials:

  1. Chart
  2. Authentic material; newspaper , food menu
  3. Textbook

Evaluation and measurement:

  1. Observing the participation in class
  2. Correcting the exercises

Personal note:

Language Points:

Affirmative Sentence:

Present Simple (I do, work, like etc.)

She works in the office. They talk about their project.

Subject Verb

I / We / You /They work talk use play watch do

He / She / It works talks uses plays watches does

Example: I live in Nakonnayok but my sister lives in Prachinburi.

( We use the present simple for things that are true in general, or for things that happen sometimes or all the times)

– I walk to school. – The museum open at 09.00 a.m. and closes at 05.30 p.m.

– Suda goes to work in the morning.

– He does everything that she asks.

(We use the present simple with always/ never/ often / usually / sometimes)

– We always travel by train. – I often try to fix my computer.

– He washes his car every weekend.

– She usually carries her note book computer to work.

Negative Sentences: Pattern: I don’t + verb (present simple negative)

Example: Santa doesn’t come. The racing car doesn’t slow.

Subject Auxiliary Verb + not Verb

I / You / We / They don’ t work

He / She / It doesn’t work

– I drink coffee but I don’t drink tea.

– The children don’t play in the park.

– Mary doesn’t go to the library.

– She drinks tea but she doesn’t drink coffee.

Question Sentence: Pattern: Do you….. (Present simple question)….?

Example: Do they work? Does she work?

Auxiliary Verb Subject Verb +?

Do I /we / you / they work?

Does He / she/ it work?

– Do you smoke? No, I don’t.

– Do they speak English? Yes, they do.

– Does she work hard? Yes, she does

– Does your brother live in Bangkok? No, he does.

Worksheet 1

Personal Information Quiz

1. When did you last see a film?

2. How many times have you been abroad?

3. What type of books do you like reading?

4. When were you born?

5. How long have you been learning English?

6. What will the weather be like tomorrow?

7. What were you doing at 7 o’clock yesterday evening?

8. What are your parents doing?

9. Where are your classes taught?

10. What are you going to do after this course finishes?

What are the names of the tenses used in the above question?

1. Present simple tense

2. Present continuous tense

3. Present perfect tense

4. Present perfect continuous tense

5. Past simple tense

6. Past continuous tense

7. Past perfect tense

8 Past perfect continuous tense

9. Future simple tense

10. Future continuous tense

11. Future perfect tense

12. Future perfect continuous tense


Worksheet 2

Complete the table using examples from the text in activity B1

Worksheet 3

Match the verb forms (1-6) with their main concepts (a-f)

Worksheet 4

Writing : Simple present Tense

In conclusion, Tense and aspect are still problem for Thai learners. There are many error when do they speak and confuse because they speak English similar Thai speaking. They have many problems such as word order and use tense mistake. For example:

– I am not enjoy this film. Let’s leave.

– What do you eating now?


So the teacher of English should develop their teaching and try to teach students learning by doing. Students will gain English language skill especially Tense and aspect from teacher as well.


Heather Jones & Ken Method Fast track 1 A communication Course

in Everyday English ( 20001201) Educated Co.,Ltd. 2003

Tawee Omak .English for communication 2 ( 2000-1202) Aimphan Press

Co.,Ltd. 2009

Tricia Hedge Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom .

Oxford University press.2008



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