Common mistakes in English Grammar Tenses

Common mistakes in English Grammar Tenses are quite commonly committed. But if you practice daily, your grammatical skills can be drastically improved. Mostly, mistakes are committed when it comes to the usage of verb tenses and this is quite common. Languages other than English have only one past tense and one future tense. But, English has many tenses and so it might come across as a very difficult language. Even British English varies from American English. People make mistakes mostly in the usage of present perfect and simple past tenses.


The tense called as the present perfect is mostly used in British English. Apart from this tense, there are other tenses like the present continuous and the present perfect continuous tense. For example, you can check out this sentence:


I am working for the last two hours. This is an incorrect sentence.

The correct sentence can be: I have been working since the past two hours.


The common mistake here is with the tenses in English; the present continuous and present perfect continuous have different roles. So, you must know where to use the present continuous and when to use the present perfect continuous. Students normally get confused between these two tenses when it comes to where they should use the present perfect continuous tense.


The present continuous tense talks about an action going on at the time of speaking and the present perfect continuous tense talks about an action performed in the past, going on in present and is still going on. Adverbs like ‘since’ and ‘for’ are used more. Other tenses in English like ‘future simple’ and ‘future perfect’ have lot more dissimilarity. An example of the future simple tense is:


She will make more money.

An example of the future perfect tense is: At the end of the year, she will have made money.

So there is a lot of difference in this sentence.


Students get confused while using these tenses and some take English grammar lessons from teachers to learn perfect English. There is a lot of difference among the present perfect, simple past and the future tenses. The present perfect tells about the present, simple past about the past and future tense about the future. In the same way, be careful while using simple past and past perfect tenses. Students do change past with perfect tenses and the meaning of the sentence becomes different. The process of interchanging the tenses while writing about the same topic can be called as ‘tense shift’.  


These errors are quite common in schools and colleges. They can be corrected by reading loudly and polishing your grammar. Another problem in English language has articles. Articles are of two types: definite and indefinite. The main rule is that the noun should be a singular and not a plural. You should know where to use ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘an’. So when you form a sentence, you should use the perfect article along with using the right English grammar tenses to get the perfect sentence.


Practice your skills by writing and reading English books. In today’s world, English is used everywhere. The main language in schools, colleges and other educational institutes is English. English is mainly used for communicating with foreign people. So, the use of English grammar tenses in a proper way can make your English perfect. People speaking British or any other foreign language may not know how to speak proper American English as the tenses are a lot more different. Indian people prefer American English compared to British English language.