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How many tenses are there in English?
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I believe 3 tenses.

There is only

1. Past

2. Present

3. Future

If you add perfect, progressive etc, it gets too complicated.
There are only TWO basic tenses in the English language, present and past, we do not have a future tense so we use modals.

SR
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There are 12 active tenses. Imperatives and the use of going to are not tenses they are uses of the verbs.
There are a similar number of passive tenses where applicable. So all in all there should be 24 tenses 12 active and 12 passive. The rest is all a smoke screen.
I'm having to answer an exam question on this and the truth is very simple - there are 2 tenses in English - the past and the present - this subject has been covered many times on the site and many people are "muddying the waters" or seem to be confused re. definition (in linguistic terms) of the word Tense as it relates to verb usage.
There is no future tense in English because we can not know the future. We can only predict or expect it - based on our knowledge/understanding of the world and events/actions in a time not yet experienced - we express this future in aspects,voices and moods.
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bettina_tragenThere is no future tense in English because we can not know the future.
The Romans, on the other hand, were considerably more clairvoyant, because Latin has a future tense.

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CJ
if you include passive forms, conditionals, past tense forms, present simple for hte future etc eg-'timetable' present tense for the future etc etc all things considered I would estimates 42 tenses are used in everyday English....................that is why most people find it difficult to learn.....and with respect even the americans have given up on the present perfect tense
There are 3 type of tense which can be subdivided into another 4 types.
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"going to" form is not really a tense, just as "used to" or "about to" are not treated as tenses. So structurally there are 12 pure tenses.
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