Simple Tenses on GMAT

Watch this short video to understand the concept of simple tenses, particularly from the perspective of the GMAT sentence correction questions.

Simple Tenses on GMAT

Simple Tenses on GMAT

Tenses are a highly nuanced and complicated part of grammar that often poses a challenge to GMAT aspirants. In order to perform well in the sentence correction portion of the GMAT, a very high scoring section of the exam, developing a proper understanding of tenses is vital. In this short article, we will cover the nature and use of the three simple tenses of the English language, Simple Past, Simple Present, and Simple Future. Let us begin by first taking a look at the difference between simple tenses and perfect tenses.

Simple Tense Vs Perfect Tense on the GMAT

The one fundamental difference between the simple tense and perfect tense on the GMAT that you must keep in mind while attempting the sentence correction questions is that the simple tense is the preferred tense, meaning that by default the simple tense of the appropriate word is used. Therefore, the perfect tense must only be used in certain peculiar cases. We will discuss these peculiar cases at length when we focus on the perfect tense. Understanding these peculiar cases will make your life much easier on the GMAT. For now, however, we will focus on the three simple tenses.

Simple Present Tense

The simple present tense is the most common tense, as it has the most number of uses. These are the purposes for which the simple present tense is used.

1. To indicate actions taking place in the current time frame.

Example 1 - John is a student of geography.

2. To indicate habitual actions.

Example 2 - John plays squash after college.

3. To state universal truth.

Example 3 - The moon revolves around the Earth.

Simple Past Tense

The simple past tense is a rarer form than the simple present tense. This tense form is used for only one purpose, to indicate actions that have already concluded by the time of speaking.

Example 4 - John studied at the Harvard Business School.

Simple Future Tense

Similar to the simple past tense, the simple future tense is used for one purpose, to denote actions that are supposed to take place in the future.

Example 5 - Jack will join his family business.

By understanding these concepts, you will be able to better grasp the correct tense forms in GMAT sentence correction questions and more effectively eliminate incorrect answer choices.

This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Sentence Correction videos.

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