Sometimes, there is much confusion regarding the difference between 'tense', 'aspect' and 'time'. Would you please clarify the difference among these three?
We say, "The difference between' any number of things.
Originally Posted by tipu s
Although in some languages the same word is used for both 'tense' and 'time', there is a clear difference in English.
Time is a concept familiar to everybody, regardless of their language. It has to do with the duration of activities (an hour, three years, etc), and of their sequencing: before the moment in which we find ourselves, past time; after the moment in which we find ourselves, future time; and at or around the moment in which we find ourselves - present time.
Tense is a the name given to a form of the verb that, in many languages, shows the relationship of the action or state denoted by the verb to time. Thus, in Latin, portavi means "I carried (in the past)"; portabo means "I will/am going to carry (in the future)" and porto means "I am carrying"(present moment)/I carry (general present)".
Most grammarians today consider that English verbs have only two tenses, as exemplified in I carry and I carried. The first of these is generally known as the "Present Simple", and the second as the "Past Simple". Despite their names, both tense forms are can be used to describe past, present and future actions and states.
Aspect is the name given to a form of the verb that shows how the action or state is viewed by the speaker - whether it is on-going, repeated, habitual, momentary, completed, able to be completed, etc. Although such forms as the "Continuous" (as in: "I am carrying") and the "Perfect" (as in: "I have carried") were traditionally known as tenses in English, many modern grammarians prefer to consider them as aspects.
That's a great summary by curates-egg.
Time is not a grammatical category, tense is. Tense is a grammatical way of locating something in time. But it does not necessarily correlate to the "real experience" of time. That is, we can talk about past in present tense, for example.
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