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Verb tense is the way you can show whether an event takes place in the past, the present or the future. Figure 5 shows how this is achieved in English.
A line showing the continuum of tenses. The Past is at the left hand end of the line and the Future at the far right. Moving from left to right the following tenses are illustrated:
Under the line is the Present Simple (timeless present): e.g. I study French