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 ?
This mildly tense situation is about to get a whole lot tenser with some difficult-to-foresce IT disasters.
As Laine made friends with other school classmates, the time with Leah became tenser.
Michelle and Brian were tenser but more cheerful again as both pointed to the peaks of their seasons.
We had arrived in Germany at a tense moment, and it got tenser by the day.
carefully traces the effects of that outer world upon the one projected in the dark of the theater, from the melodramas and comedies to the Sittenfilme ("enlightenment film") that followed, to the crash of 1929 that led to ironic realism, confrontations, tense comedies and even tenser musicals.
There was a much tenser finish in the other Division One clash between Sussex and Middlesex at Hove with both side's getting close to their second win of the season.
It can be brilliantly used: for example, in the tenser and more dramatic passages of David Jones's magnificent In Parenthesis, the best book produced by World War I (though we may note that Jones did not call his work poetry but just a "writing").
Please try not to worry too much about the sexual side of your relationship; the more you worry, the tenser you will be and the greater the likelihood of it being uncomfortable.
We did not want it to be like that at the end and I kept looking up at Natalie's dad and saw he was getting even tenser.
Since the tenser kind of vowel underwent lengthening as well (3 above) it is plain that on two counts the geminate that followed it did not "behave" like a geminate.
Midwives in the region are often trying to look after more than one woman giving birth at a time and this is making maternity wards a much tenser, more aggressive place.
The mid-Sixties marked a time when the "sexploitation" horror film was at its height: after making Revenge of the Blood Beast (1966) in Italy, Reeves fell in with a tough Soho huckster called Tony Tenser, and directed The Sorcerers (1967), a tale of psychedelic mind control starring the elderly Boris Karloff.