tense

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tense

Grammatical tense refers to the conjugation of a verb to reflect its place in time—that is, when the action occurred.
There are technically only two grammatical tenses in English: the past and the present. Verbs in their basic form inherently describe the present time, and they can be conjugated into a unique form that describes the past. We can then use auxiliary verbs and verb participles to create different aspects of the past and present tenses, which describe if an action is or was continuous, or if it began at an earlier point in the past.
However, verbs do not have a specific conjugated form to reflect the future, and, for this reason, English is considered not to have a true future tense.
Nevertheless, although English has no future tense in the strict sense, we commonly refer to several structures that are used for future meaning as belonging to the “future tense.” The most common of these structures begin with will or be going to.
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tense

[O.Fr., from Lat.,=time], in the grammargrammar,
description of the structure of a language, consisting of the sounds (see phonology); the meaningful combinations of these sounds into words or parts of words, called morphemes; and the arrangement of the morphemes into phrases and sentences, called syntax.
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 of many languages, a category of time distinctions expressed by any conjugated form of a verb. In Latin inflectioninflection,
in grammar. In many languages, words or parts of words are arranged in formally similar sets consisting of a root, or base, and various affixes. Thus walking, walks, walker have in common the root walk and the affixes -ing, -s, and -er.
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 the tense of a verb is indicated by a suffix that also indicates the verb's voicevoice,
grammatical category according to which an action is referred to as done by the subject (active, e.g., men shoot bears) or to the subject (passive, e.g., bears are shot by men). In Latin, voice is a category of inflection like mood or tense.
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, moodmood
or mode,
in verb inflection, the forms of a verb that indicate its manner of doing or being. In English the forms are called indicative (for direct statement or question or to express an uncertain condition, e.g.
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, person, and number. Tense specifies whether the verb refers to action in the past, present, or future. A tenselike distinction found in many languages (e.g., Russian and Hebrew) is that of aspect, by which verbs specify whether or not the action has been completed; thus, he is risen might be translated by a verb in the perfective aspect, and he is rising by the same verb in the imperfective aspect. Aspect also refers to the distinction that a verb can make between repeated or ongoing action (he ran daily) and an event represented as occurring at a single point in time (he ran that race). Some terms borrowed from Greek grammar into English suggest aspectlike differences of meaning; these are imperfect (I was reading when …), perfect (I've read the book), and aorist (I read it last year). English tenses can also be classified as simple (e.g., look and looked) or compound (e.g., have looked, am looking, and will look). Any conjugated form of a verb that indicates tense is said to be finite; the infinitive is a special verb form that lacks all tense (as well as mood, person, and number), although it may indicate the active (to read) or passive (to be read) voice.

tense

Of programs, very clever and efficient. A tense piece of code often got that way because it was highly bummed, but sometimes it was just based on a great idea. A comment in a clever routine by Mike Kazar, once a grad-student hacker at CMU: "This routine is so tense it will bring tears to your eyes." A tense programmer is one who produces tense code.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's only in the final 40 minutes that Zero Dark Thirty switches tone to full-on war zone action as it tensely tracks the Navy SEAL unit that found and killed Bin Laden.
The action becomes tensely dramatic as Ben and Caesar become involved in a bloody battle in which Ben and his best friend Charlie are wounded and Caesar is taken captive.
Following Friday's massive explosion, officials are tensely awaiting the results of investigations that may reveal whether the car bomb in Ashrafiyeh was another symptom of Syrian spillover.
At Yellow Peril, the LARVAE sculptures will inhabit the exhibition space in unexpected ways -- with forms alternately touching the floor and walls or suspended tensely just inches from them.
As the bus lurched its way toward Haifa, we all sat tensely listening to pop music until the radio was interrupted by sirens, warning us of incoming rockets from southern Lebanon.
He's watching England like everyone else, tensely hoping for the best, and so far so good, fingers crossed," she said.
They watched tensely as police negotiators attempted to coax the man out of the minibus.
The compelling story of such an unusual and headstrong character is one that makes a lasting impression as Farooki excels in her depiction of his tensely fraught relationships.
Farooki excels in her depiction of his tensely fraught relationships, in particular the difficult bond between Majid and his daughter, Mika.
Netherley Wood Lane Legion, with goals from Emmerson Kenny, Alex Sullivan, Alfie Archer, Ethan Brown and Harrison Worden, are on the verge of clinching the under-10s league title as they comfortably defeated Burford Boys 5-0, but their nearest challengers Ash Celtic, who scored through Anthony Wright, and Burford, with Dean Taylor scoring, met and shared the points in a tensely and closely-fought 1-1 drew.
Pasko Kuzman, director of the Directorate for Protection of Cultural Heritage, tensely said that they are building the museum on Kale and not something else.
The North will likely respond by holding a live fire drill on its side of the tensely guarded sea border, if the South goes ahead with its exercise, they said.