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Tense is a method for dividing up the temporal space. The common categories are present, past, and future, although sometimes more or fewer categories are expressed. Different tenses are not always formed in the same way as each other; for example English only distinguishes past and present morphologically, and uses auxiliary verbs such as will for the future.

Examples of tenses and tense systems:

  • past/nonpast (English)
  • past-present-future (Romance languages)
  • distant past / within the past year / the past month / the past day / now / soon / later (Yagua)