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What are the functional aspects of the tenses?

English is a language system consisting of twelve verb tenses in the active voice. Each tense consists of two components: time and aspect. The basic tenses (time frames) are 'present,' 'past', and 'future'. The variations (aspects) on them are 'simple', 'perfect', 'progressive', and 'perfect-progressive' and they tell when an action takes place, took place, will take place, etc. The 'participial forms' - present and past - are important when conjugating verbs. Examples of the present participle are: going, running, jumping etc. Examples of the past participle are: gone, run, jumped, played. We are always telling time with verbs since the use of tenses builds in the when factor.

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