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Guest:
How many tenses are there in English?
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As far as I know, there are these 13 tenses:

a) Past Perfect Progressive ........................had been + present participle
b) Past Perfect ..........................................had + past participle
c) Past Progressive ...................................was/were + present participle
d) Simple Past ..........................................past tense form

e) Present Perfect Progressive ...................have/has been + present participle
f) Present Perfect .....................................have/has + past participle

g)Present Progressive .................................am/is/are + present participle
h)Simple Present ........................................present tense form = almost same form as infinitive (except "to be"); when used with he/she/it: +(e)s (except modal helping verbs)

i)will-Future ...............................................will + infinitive
j)will-Future Progressive .............................will be + present participle
k)will-Future Perfect ...................................will have + past participle
l)will-Future Perfect Progressive ..................will have been + present participle

m)Going-to-Future ......................................am/is/are going to + infinitive

Sometimes, the Conditionals are also said to be tenses, but those are just modi of an actual tense, no tenses themselves.
Regular Member569
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good answer pemmican regarding the conditionals... the same can be said for the all but (sadly) extinct subjunctive in english (which is present tense, except for "were", the past subjunctive of "to be")
Full Member116
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The number of English tenses depends on how one defines "tense".

If one defines it as morphemes of verbs, English has only two tenses: past and present.

paco
Senior Member4,095
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Hi Pemmican ;-)
You could add:
m') Going-to-Future in the past ....................... was/were going to + infinitive
m) Going-to-Future ...................................... am/is/are going to + infinitive
m'') Going-to-Future in the future .................... will be going to + infinitive

We may add:
n)Habituality in the past ...............................used to + infinitive

Hi paco :)
I agree with your first sentence.
As to second one, I respectfully and faithfully disagree with you.

Dealing with some grammatical category of verb, we not necessarily have to confine "morphological (=grammaticalized) forms in "inflectional" one, I think.

And my argument is based on "Cours de morphologie générale." Vol.1, by Igor Mel'cuk (1993). (Translated from Russian. It's the best morphological theory ever, I think!)

See you later and have a good day.
Junior Member76
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QUOTE: we not necessarily have to...

We do not necessarily have to...

(No idea why, but that's how we would say it!)
Regular Member508
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
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Thank you Very Much, Eimai_Anglos. Writing this sentence, I wasn't sure at all about its correctness :), so I'm really glad to get your kind help!
Very cheery day or evening to you ;-)
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Hello Viognier

viognierDealing with some grammatical category of verb, we not necessarily have to confine "morphological (=grammaticalized) forms in "inflectional" one, I think.
I'm sorry but I couldn't get well what you are saying. Could you explain it in a more detailed way?

paco
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
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Hi paco. I would be pleased to explain to you what I wrote.
It is entirely based on Mel'čuk ( 1994)'s theory, though.
I find it rather complicated, so can I ask you some question about your view first?

You wrote:
........................................................................
 If one defines it as morphemes of verbs, English has only two tenses: past and present.
........................................................................
From this I thought you took "tense" as an opposition of inflectional forms of verb.

Don't you accept that English has a future 'tense' (I mean in particular will+inf. form here) ??

(As you know, this question is far more complicated than it looks.
Please give me some time.)
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