Grammatical Categories in English

Grammatical Categories

1.       Tense

A feature of verbs, associated with time.


i) Present

ii) Past

iii) Future

The tense of a verb indicates whether the action denoted by the verb takes place in present, took place in the past and will take place in the future

Tense also indicates wheter the action denoted by the verb, is simple, countinues or completed.

Types of Tenses:

i) Simple Tense

ii) Continuous Tense

iii) Perfect Tense

  •  Simple Tense

A simple tense is a tense “without complication”. It denotes present, past or future in a direct way. It makes a simple statement about time of action.

For Example;

I eat.

He eats.

I and the he are the first and third person singular of the present simple tense of the verb to eat.

  • Past Simple Tense

                                I ate

He ate.

These are the 1st and 3rd person singular of the past tense.

  • Future Simple Tense

                                I shall eat.

He will eat.

These are the 1st and 3rd person singular of the future simple tense.

Continous Tense

The continuos tense, indiacting is, was or will be continuing, are fromed the auxiliary verb to be eith the present participle.

  • Present Continuous Tense

I am going.

She is going.

  • Past Continuous Tense

I was going.

She was going.

  • Future Continuous Tense

I shall be going.

He will be going.

Perfect Tense:

Perfect tense, indicating that an action is, was or will be completed.


I have ridden

I had ridden

I shall have ridden

2.       Mood

Different moods or manners in which verb may be used to express an action are called moods.

Mood is the mode as manner in which the action denoted by verb is represented.

These are three moods in English.

i) Indicative

ii) Imperative

iii) Subjective

  • Indicative Mood

Indicative mood is used

–> To make a statement of fact

–> To ask a question

For Example

Rabia goes to school daily.

Have you found your book?

Indicative mood is also used in expressing a supposition which is assumed as a fact, as

If he comes, then I will go.

  • Imperative Mood

A verb which expresses a commond, an exhotation, a prayer, is in the imperative mood.


A commond or “come here”

An exhortation, as “Try to do better”


i)                    The imperative mood can strictly be used only in the second person.

ii)                   The subject of a verb in the imperative mood (you) is usually omitted.

For Example

Stop! In this sentence, you is hidden.

  • Subjective Mood

The mood of a verb that express a wish, a supposition, hope, condition, or a doubt.


–> God bless you.

–> I wish I knew his name.

 3.       Voice

The object of the active becoming the subject of the passive. The active voice indicates that the subject of the verb acts. The passive voice indicates that the subject of verb is acted upon.

Active Voice

The predicate comes after the subject

Sara Helps Nadia

In this sentence, the form of verb shows that person denoted by the subject does something.

Passive Voice

The predicates comes before the subject as

Nadia is helped by Sara.

In this sentence the form of the verb shows that something is done to the person denoted by the subject.

–> A verb in the active voice shows that the action it denotes is performed by subject.

–> A verb in the passive voice shows that the action it denotes is performed upon the subject.

 4.       Case

A feature of naun, associated with a variety of largely unrelated semantic and grammatical features.

  • Nominative

When the noun and pronoun are used as a subject of verb

John threw a ball (John is nominative)

  • Accusative

When the noun and pronoun are used as an object of verb.

She broke the window. (Window is accusitive)

  • Genitive or Possessive

Case which normaly denotes possession or shows ownership.

John’s school is very good. (‘s is genitive)

  • Dative

The case of the indirect object word.

We gave the beggar a meal. (The beggar is dative)

  • Vocative

The Case of person or thing addressed.

John, I want to see you (John os vocative)

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