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Section 1: Verbs in academic writing


Key verb tenses in academic writing are simple present, simple past, and present perfect with some use of present continuous and present perfect continuous.

We speak about simple forms of verbs but verbs are not that simple. Each simple tense also has continuous and perfect forms. Generally, however, verb tenses relate to the time when a certain event takes place. The event might be in the present, the past or the future. The event might also be real or what we call unreal. Because we place so much importance on time (and on sequence in academic writing) it is necessary to know all the forms of the English verb tenses. The following section presents the main verb tenses.


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