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English Language

Tenses occur only in verbs. Tense refers to the changes that take place in the form of the verb to indicate time. Only two tenses, namely the present and the past, can be identified.

  1. The Present Tense: The only change that takes place in the form of the verb to indicate the present tense occurs when the verb agrees with a third person singular subject.


Singular                                I sleep, wake and eat

You sleep, wake and eat

He sleeps, wake and eat


Plural                     We sleep, wake and eat

You sleep, wake and eat

They sleep, wake and eat


  1. The Past Tense: Regular verbs form their past by adding. ‘ed’ to the simple form of the verb, while irregular verbs from their past tense in different ways.


Ume worked in the farm yesterday. (regular)

Ada spoke to me on the telephone (irregular)

Evaluation: Exercise 1, Question 1, page 205, countdown to English.


Further Hints on how to answer comprehension questions.

As has been discussed previously, candidates are advised to obey the instructions to the letter. Other hints are:

  1. If you are told to give a one-word answer, do not give more than one word. Or if a question demands that you write sentences, do not write phrases or clauses.
  2. Be very conscious of time so that you do not use more than the time allotted to this section. You should also be careful not to rush over the exercise.
  3. No information which is not required should be given. Keep your personal opinion to yourself.
  4. Never give two answers where one is demanded. This would suggest guesswork, andif one of the answers is wrong, no credit will be earned even for the correct one.
  5. Lastly, make sure that you understand what precisely the passage is about and what you are required to do.

Evaluation: Exercise III, page 78, countdown to English.

Weekend Assignment: Revision and test, part 1 page 161, Effective  English.


See also

Vowel and the Consonants

Requirement of the Examination on Orals

Nominalization of Infinitives | Nouns, Verbs & Clauses

Formal & Informal Letters

Contrasting stress


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