Past Perfect Tense – 10 Minute English Grammar

The sentence formation follows:

  Singular Number Plural Number
1st Person I had eaten = I’d eaten We had eaten = We’d eaten
2nd Person You had eaten = You’d eaten You had eaten = You’d eaten
3rd Person He had eaten = He’d eaten  
  She had eaten = She’d eaten They had eaten = They’d eaten
  It had eaten = It’d eaten  

Uses of The Past Perfect Tense:

  1. The past perfect tense is used for actions completed before a certain moment in the past:

Present: My brother has just left for airport. If you hurry you will catch him.

Past: When he arrived, my brother had just left for airport.

I met her father in Canada last year. I had seen him the last ten years before.

  • When two actions happen in the past, it may be necessary to describe which action happened earlier than the other.

When he arrived, my brother had just left for airport.

The child had begun crying before her mother reached the nursery school.

  • The past perfect tense can be used with since/for/always etc. for an action which began the time of speaking in the past, and
    • was still in progression at that time or
    • ended at that time or just before it.
  • He had been a police officer for ten years, and decided to stay in the police department till he reached the retirement.

We had lived in this small village for five years before moving to a big city.

  • The old banyan tree, which had stood in the middle of the garden for 40 years/since before the garden was developed, suddenly crashed to the ground.

Present Perfect Tense – 10 Minute English Grammar

The sentence formation follows:

  Singular Number Plural Number
1st Person I have eaten = I’ve eaten We have eaten = We’ve eaten
2nd Person You have eaten = You’ve eaten You have eaten = You’ve eaten
3rd Person He has eaten = He’s eaten  
  She has eaten = She’s eaten They have eaten = They’ve eaten
  It has eaten = It’s eaten  

Uses of The Present Perfect Tense:

  1. It indicates completed actions in the immediate past: She has just gone out = She went out a few minutes ago.   We have just had supper = We had supper a few minutes ago.
  2. It is also used for an action which happened in the past, and its connection with the present is still maintained and possibly they could repeat in the present time, too: I have seen coyotes in that jungle. This implies that we could also see them in the present time. Daler Mehandi has sung many popular songs. This implies that Daler Mehandi is alive and can sing more.

In some case, the impact of action/result could stretch to the future: You have lost this golden opportunity. It implies that you may never get the same opportunity in the future.

3. Some actions that take place in the present perfect often results in the present: She has had a nightmare. (She is probably still in that trauma).

My car has broken down. (I have to call a taxi for my commuting).

I have completed my report for you. (It means my job is done, and you could now start yours by analyzing it).

4. It is used for an action beginning at some point of time in the past and continuing up to the present moment: We have not met for ages.   I have not received the repeat order for my produce since last month.   She has been sick since last two days.

5. The following adverb or adverb phrases can be used with the Present Perfect Tense:




Ever (in question only)

So far

Till now

Yet (in question and negatives)





This week

This month



All day

All my life

All the time

Always, etc.

IELTS Grammar

It is a common sight that students (in some cases, teachers, too) worry about the ‘complex structures’ aspect of grammar score in their writing tests. It is nothing but a waste of time.

It makes no sense when students have several complex structures (joining clauses in one sentence using linkers) with full of errors. In the IELTS test, error-free sentences are of great importance if someone wants to achieve an 8-band score. Let us look at the marking parameters here:

Band 8: most sentences are error-free
Band 7: frequent error-free sentences

I explain this fact to students, and yet, they fall in the trap. I can see that most students can write sentences with more than one clause using linkers, such as while, where, when, because, yet and as among others. They are perfectly be categorized as complex structures and do connect ideas. So, why do we need to press the need for more complex structures? I guess we do not need more than that.

Test takers must concentrate on error-free sentences, and should focus on this aspect carefully rather than being experimental on something on which they may mess up their write-up. And, if someone is not able to produce such error-free sentences, they should rely on simple sentences. In the end, your grammar mistakes count!

Future Progressive Tense – 10 Minute English Grammar

Future Progressive Tense

The sentence formation follows:

  Singular Number Plural Number
1st Person I will/shall be eating We will/shall be eating
2nd Person You will be eating You will be eating
3rd Person He will be eating  
  She will be eating They will be eating
  It will be eating  

Uses of The Future Progressive (Continuous) Tense:

  1. It is used as an ordinary progressive tense. Generally, it has a time reference:
    1. There is no IELTS class on Sunday. So, on Sunday students will not be sitting in the classroom.
    1. By this time, I will be traveling to Mumbai
  2. It expresses the future with or without intention.
    1. I will be seeing my professor tomorrow.
    1. I guess he will not be coming with us tomorrow.
    1. I will be writing an email to my boss and tell him about this update.

Past Progressive Tense – 10 Minute English Grammar

The sentence formation follows:

  Singular Number Plural Number
1st Person I was eating We were eating = We’re eating
2nd Person You were eating = You’re eating You were eating = You’re eating
3rd Person He was eating = He’s eating  
  She was eating = She’s eating They were eating = They’re eating
  It was eating = It’s eating  

Uses of The Past Progressive (Continuous) Tense:

  1. The past progressive tense is mainly used for past actions which continued for some time, but we may not have an idea about their exact limits. In other words, it is not important to learn the fact how long it went on. Look at the below-mentioned diagram:

. . . . . . ———————-. . . . . .

  • It can be used without a time reference; indicates gradual development.: It was getting difficult.   The temperature was rising.
  • It can also be used with a time reference; denotes that an action which began prior to that time and probably continued then after, too.
    • At nine I was having breakfast says indirectly that I was in the middle of breakfast at nine, i.e. that I started it before nine.
    • I had breakfast at nine would indicate that I started it at nine.
  • With when and while time expression:
    • When I entered the room, my cat was whining.
  • It is used in the indirect narration; a past equivalent of the present progressive tense:
    • Direct speech: She said, ‘I am leaving this place’.

Indirect speech: She said she was leaving that place.

Present Progressive Tense – 10 Minute English Grammar

The sentence formation follows:

  Singular Number Plural Number
1st Person I am eating = I’m eating We are eating = We’re eating
2nd Person You are eating = You’re eating You are eating = You’re eating
3rd Person He is eating = He’s eating  
  She is eating = She’s eating They are eating = They’re eating
  It is eating = It’s eating  

Uses of The Present Progressive (Continuous) Tense:

  1. For an action happening at the time of speaking: She is weeping.   I am wearing a scarf as it will look good.    Why are you complaining me for the act which I did not do?
  2. For an action happening now, but not necessarily at the time of speaking: I am reading a novel in which the girl marries her bodyguard. (I may not be reading at the moment of speaking, but it means ‘now’ in a more general sense.)      My sister is learning French and teaching English. (She may not be doing either at the time of speaking)
  3. For a definite arrangement taking place in the near future (it refers to the immediate plans): Our company is opening up a new branch in Toronto next month.  My friends are coming tonight, and I am taking them to the theatre.
  4. With always, especially for obstinate habits – something which persists and annoys: My dog, Jericho is very silly; he is always jumping on the kitchen platform for human food.   I know you very well. You are always losing your keys.
  5. Certain involuntary actions are not usually used in the continuous tenses:
    1. Verbs of senses/perception: hear, notice, recognize, see, smell

However, there is certain deliberate use of senses, such as listen, gaze, look (at), observe (= watch), watch and stare and of course, we can use them in the progressive tense:

I am watching this place carefully, but don’t see anything unusual.

Rita is listening to the IELTS tape, but she has put on the headphones so nobody else hears it.

  • Verbs of emotions and feelings: admire (= respect), adore, appreciate (= value), care for, desire, detest, dislike, fear, feel, hate, hope, loathe, love, mind (= care), respect, prefer, refuse, value, want, wish

Some verbs can also be used in the progressive tense depending upon the context (deliberate actions). For example, admire means to look at with admiration, value means to decide the worth, appreciate means to increase in value over a period of time, enjoy and at times love/like means to enjoy, and hate means the opposite. Yet it is safer to use the simple tense with love, like and hate:

Do you like your new job? How are you liking your new job?

I hate touristy places, but I am enjoying this place for some unexplained reasons.

I love eating burgers, but I don’t know why I am not loving it today.

  • Verbs of appearing: seem, look, appear

It seems acceptable, so you are good to go.

She looks beautiful, but today she is looking stunningly a knockout girl.

  • Verbs of thinking: agree, appreciate (= understand), assume, believe, expect (= think), feel (= think), feel sure/certain, forget, know, mean, perceive, realize, recall, recognize, recollect, remember, see (= understand) see through someone (= penetrated his attempt to deceive) suppose, think (= have an opinion), trust (= believe/have confidence in), understand

I do not agree with you on this point. And I assume you have a long way to go yet.

I see through his devious plan and also feel certain that he won’t be successful in it.

  • Verbs of possession: possess, own, owe, belong

How much does she owe you?

Do you own this bungalow?

Did you know?

Some native speakers and singers do not pronounce ‘ing’ entirely, but they pronounce only ‘in’ and omit ‘g’. For example, “Quit playin games with me” instead of “Quit playing games with me.”

There is also a non-standard short form for am not, is not, are not, have not and has not. It is ain’t.  For example, “Quit playin games with me.”  ~ “No, I ain’t.”


A pleonasm refers to the use of more words than they are necessary to express an idea i.e., redundancy. It is derived from a Greek word that means ‘excess’. Some people complicate the language for no reason. They have a habit of using redundant in sentences or with the combination of unwanted words.

In other words, a pleonasm is a redundant and tautological phrase or clause.

For example,

Judy is the cousin of Joshua.

Not: Judy is the cousin sister of Joshua.

  • Tuna fish burger: We ordered a fish burger last night.
  • My own eyes: I saw him with my eyes and confirm that he was behind this crime.
  • Free gift: Every child loves to have a gift.
  • Foreign imports: Most reading glasses are imports from Germany.
  • ATM machines: you will have many ATMs in the vicinity, but a couple of them are out of operation today.
  • Actual facts: It is always unwise to judge anyone until all facts are in.
  • Busy in: James was busy gathering the required papers the other day.
  • Circle around: When you circle the building, you will see a puppy near the bench.
  • Could possibly: You could either accept or reject the validity of this paper.
  • Current incumbent: The higher voting percentage suggests that the incumbent government will be defeated in this election.
  • Crisis situation: during the financial crisis in the USA, there was a ripple effect on the banks worldwide.
  • Confused state: I am confused about whether to accept this proposal or not.
  • Cope up with something: he was not able to cope with the stress and the strains of the job, and hence he quit.
  • Discuss on/about: We discussed this matter at length.
  • Drop down: the topline revenues dropped to $13 million last year.
  • Down south/ up north: As you move towards the north, the temperature will get cooler.
  • Empty out: ‘Empty his pocket’ was a scream from the back.
  • False pretense: Politicians are masters in engineering falsehoods and pretenses.
  • Frozen tundra: North Asia is an arctic tundra in the winter time and therefore it is not a recommended neighborhood to live in.
  • Hear with my own ears: I heard him clearly owning up to his few mistakes.
  • Gather together: We gathered to discuss this matter last evening.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again: A shiver crept down my spine as I experienced a sense of déjà vu.  
  • Join together: Why don’t you join us tonight?
  • Lift up: The US fed lifted the interest rate this month and cleared the uncertainties in the stock market.
  • Meet together: Let’s all meet this weekend and have fun.
  • New innovation: This innovation will disrupt the Information Technology world.
  • Open up: Open the door. (open up means begin shooting).
  • PIN number: Don’t ever share your PIN with anyone.
  • Pursue after: I pursued this plan wholeheartedly so I don’t think that I can disown it.
  • Raise up: It is time that the company has to raise the salary package of seniors.
  • Revert back: Once you receive the email, please revert immediately.
  • Safe haven: Some countries are a tax haven for tax evaders.
  • Total destruction: The earthquake wreaked havoc and the city witnessed destruction at every corner of it.
  • True fact: The fact remains unchallenged forever.
  • Ultimate goal: my goal is to train students for a good score in the IELTS exam.
  • Visible to the eyes: It is visible; one does not need to put efforts for the same.

New Zealand cuts back work permit rights for international students

Over the months there have been a lot much speculation doing rounds over student work permit rights for international students studying in New Zealand. Today, the Immigration NZ has finally put an end to the extended work rights i.e. 3 years for international students, and has cut back to one to two years now.

Beyond doubt, the Immigration NZ has tried to make the trade-off between advantages of studying in Auckland and out of it. International students studying diploma or advanced diploma degree will only be able to work for a maximum time period of two years after their course completion, and only one year if they have chosen a university located in Auckland. This clearly suggests that the government wants international students to populate other regions than Auckland.

In the past or right now we can say that international students are offered post study work permits up to three years regardless of the region they have chosen for their studies. These new regulations will be effective from November this year. The existing students will see no impeding effects on their work rights as these regulations are of no retrospective nature.

Artificial Intelligence arrives earlier than anticipation

Two decades back when the idea of self-driving car was taking place, perhaps most people doubted saying it was just a Science fiction. Hollywood movies off and on showed and glorified this incredible idea in movies, such as the Bond series and MIB, but we refused to accept it – or some might have accepted it for the later stage. Did they realize that this technology would become a reality – earlier than anticipation?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has arrived and gradually making some space in our day-to-day life. In fact, AI-dominated landscape is approaching fast, even accelerating. I would say it is already here: we use Google’s assistant, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Amazon’s low-latency Alexa plays music of my choice and helps me go back to my world.

AI seems to be a big industry which could propel the growth engine for many countries. As usual, the US and European countries are the first in the race to embrace this life-changing technology we could certainly expect the updated academic curriculum from them for students – potential innovators of the world. A career in AI would be challenging and fun for students, but it would keep them on their toes.

Considering the ever-growing significance of AI and robotics, we have rounded up a few American Schools for this course:

Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) Stanford University (Stand
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Cambridge, MA) University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
Columbia University (New York City, NY) University of Texas (Austin, TX)
University of California, Los Angeles

(Los Angeles, CA)

University of Michigan (Ann Harbor, MI)
Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA)
University of Illinois (Urbana/Champaign, IL) University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI) University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
University of Washington (Seattle, WA) Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)
University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Rapid City, SD)
Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI)  


Don’t be a victim of the marriage fraud

It is not an entirely new sensation to come across the stories of marriage-fraud victims intending to immigrate to various countries; most popular destinations are USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and other European countries.

Some people know about their ineligibility to immigrate to such countries or others might realize hard to navigate the official channels to make their new homes. So, what happens then? There are many scammers who would advise them to marry someone to jump the immigration line.

Those who have craze of settling in these countries, they go to any lengths to fulfill their desires. And more often they get entangled into a vicious circle of deceit, crime and loss of their hard-earned money. At worst, they are banned to enter some countries forever or for some years. I have arranged a video with such stories from the official website of the Government of Canada. Think twice before committing such immigration frauds.