Well, the simple answer is "yes", but there isn't a 100% correlation.Originally Posted by aseel
A tense is a structure/construction and it is different from a time. The number of tenses in English is debated. Some accept only two tenses (present and past); others accept three (past, present, and future), six (add the three perfect tenses), or nine (add the three progressive tenses) tenses; and others see even more (add conditional tenses, emphatic tenses, etc.). The terminology is so variable that it confuses everyone.
Even "time" gets debated and one often finds that this debate ends up being more about physics and philosophy than it does about language. For purposes of language, it seems to me that keeping things simple is better.
Past time: applies to events/actions that have already happened
Present time: applies to events/actions that are happening
Future time: applies to events/actions that have not yet happened
People will come by with some examples of things that are a bit fuzzy with respect to time, but those should be seen as gray areas rather than a reason to make the entire scheme endlessly complicated.
Each of the tenses (constructions) can be used to make reference to times other than the time in the name of the tense. Therefore, producing an example of the present tense used for future time reference does not invalidate the present tense. It simply provides an example of a use of the present tense. Similarly, producing examples of the future tense used for present time reference does not invalidate the future tense. It simply provides an example of a use of the future tense.