tense


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Related to tense: future tense, past tense, perfect tense, present perfect tense, present tense, Verb tense

tense

Grammatical tense refers to the conjugation of a verb to reflect its place in time—that is, when the action occurred.

There are technically only two grammatical tenses in English: the past and the present. Verbs in their basic form inherently describe the present time, and they can be conjugated into a unique form that describes the past. We can then use auxiliary verbs and verb participles to create different aspects of the past and present tenses, which describe if an action is or was continuous, or if it began at an earlier point in the past.

However, verbs do not have a specific conjugated form to reflect the future, and, for this reason, English is considered not to have a true future tense.

Nevertheless, although English has no future tense in the strict sense, we commonly refer to several structures that are used for future meaning as belonging to the “future tense.” The most common of these structures begin with will or be going to.

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tense 1

 (tĕns)
adj. tens·er, tens·est
1. Tightly stretched; taut. See Synonyms at stiff, tight.
2.
a. In a state of nervous tension or mental strain: was very tense before the exam.
b. Causing or characterized by nervous tension or mental strain: a tense standoff between border patrols.
3. Linguistics Enunciated with taut muscles, as the sound (ē) in keen.
tr. & intr.v. tensed, tens·ing, tens·es
To make or become tense.

[Latin tēnsus, past participle of tendere, to stretch; see ten- in Indo-European roots.]

tense′ly adv.
tense′ness n.

tense 2

 (tĕns)
n. Grammar
1. A property of verbs in which the time of the action or state, as well as its continuance or completion, is indicated or expressed.
2. A category or set of verb forms that indicate or express the time, such as past, present, or future, of the action or state.

[Middle English tens, from Old French, time, from Latin tempus.]

tense

(tɛns)
adj
1. stretched or stressed tightly; taut or rigid
2. under mental or emotional strain
3. producing mental or emotional strain: a tense day.
4. (Phonetics & Phonology) (of a speech sound) pronounced with considerable muscular effort and having relatively precise accuracy of articulation and considerable duration: in English the vowel () in 'beam' is tense. Compare lax4
vb
(often foll by up) to make or become tense
[C17: from Latin tensus taut, from tendere to stretch]
ˈtensely adv
ˈtenseness n

tense

(tɛns)
n
(Grammar) grammar a category of the verb or verbal inflections, such as present, past, and future, that expresses the temporal relations between what is reported in a sentence and the time of its utterance
[C14: from Old French tens time, from Latin tempus]
ˈtenseless adj

tense1

(tɛns)

adj. tens•er, tens•est, adj.
1. stretched tight, as a cord, fiber, etc.; drawn taut; rigid.
2. in a state of mental or nervous strain; high-strung: a tense person.
3. characterized by a strain upon the nerves or feelings: a tense moment.
4. (of a speech sound) pronounced with the muscles of the speech organs relatively tense, as the vowel (ē) in seat. Compare lax (def. 7).
v.t., v.i.
5. to make or become tense.
[1660–70; < Latin tēnsus, past participle of tendere to stretch; compare tend1]
tense′ly, adv.
tense′ness, n.

tense2

(tɛns)

n.
1. a category of verbs or verbal inflection serving chiefly to specify the time of the action or state expressed by the verb.
2. a set of such categories or constructions in a particular language.
3. the time, as past, present, or future, expressed by such a category.
[1275–1325; Middle English tens < Middle French < Latin tempus time, tense]

tense


Past participle: tensed
Gerund: tensing

Imperative
tense
tense
Present
I tense
you tense
he/she/it tenses
we tense
you tense
they tense
Preterite
I tensed
you tensed
he/she/it tensed
we tensed
you tensed
they tensed
Present Continuous
I am tensing
you are tensing
he/she/it is tensing
we are tensing
you are tensing
they are tensing
Present Perfect
I have tensed
you have tensed
he/she/it has tensed
we have tensed
you have tensed
they have tensed
Past Continuous
I was tensing
you were tensing
he/she/it was tensing
we were tensing
you were tensing
they were tensing
Past Perfect
I had tensed
you had tensed
he/she/it had tensed
we had tensed
you had tensed
they had tensed
Future
I will tense
you will tense
he/she/it will tense
we will tense
you will tense
they will tense
Future Perfect
I will have tensed
you will have tensed
he/she/it will have tensed
we will have tensed
you will have tensed
they will have tensed
Future Continuous
I will be tensing
you will be tensing
he/she/it will be tensing
we will be tensing
you will be tensing
they will be tensing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been tensing
you have been tensing
he/she/it has been tensing
we have been tensing
you have been tensing
they have been tensing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been tensing
you will have been tensing
he/she/it will have been tensing
we will have been tensing
you will have been tensing
they will have been tensing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been tensing
you had been tensing
he/she/it had been tensing
we had been tensing
you had been tensing
they had been tensing
Conditional
I would tense
you would tense
he/she/it would tense
we would tense
you would tense
they would tense
Past Conditional
I would have tensed
you would have tensed
he/she/it would have tensed
we would have tensed
you would have tensed
they would have tensed

tense

The form of a verb that indicates the time of an action, such as present, past, or future.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tense - a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
grammatical category, syntactic category - (grammar) a category of words having the same grammatical properties
present tense, present - a verb tense that expresses actions or states at the time of speaking
aorist - a verb tense in some languages (classical Greek and Sanskrit) expressing action (especially past action) without indicating its completion or continuation
past tense, past - a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past
future tense, future - a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the future
continuous tense, imperfect, imperfect tense, progressive, progressive tense - a tense of verbs used in describing action that is on-going
perfect, perfect tense, perfective, perfective tense - a tense of verbs used in describing action that has been completed (sometimes regarded as perfective aspect)
Verb1.tense - become stretched or tense or taut; "the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed;" "the rope strained when the weight was attached"
tighten - become tight or tighter; "The rope tightened"
2.tense - increase the tension on; "alternately relax and tense your calf muscle"; "tense the rope manually before tensing the spring"
alter, change, modify - cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city"; "The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue"
3.tense - become tense, nervous, or uneasy; "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
change state, turn - undergo a transformation or a change of position or action; "We turned from Socialism to Capitalism"; "The people turned against the President when he stole the election"
relax, decompress, unwind, loosen up, slow down, unbend - become less tense, rest, or take one's ease; "He relaxed in the hot tub"; "Let's all relax after a hard day's work"
4.tense - cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious; "he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up"
affect - act physically on; have an effect upon; "the medicine affects my heart rate"
stretch, extend - extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body; "Stretch your legs!"; "Extend your right arm above your head"
make relaxed, unlax, unstrain, unwind, relax, loosen up - cause to feel relaxed; "A hot bath always relaxes me"
Adj.1.tense - in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
agitated - troubled emotionally and usually deeply; "agitated parents"
uneasy - lacking a sense of security or affording no ease or reassurance; "farmers were uneasy until rain finally came"; "uneasy about his health"; "gave an uneasy laugh"; "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown"; "an uneasy coalition government"; "an uneasy calm"; "an uneasy silence fell on the group"
relaxed - without strain or anxiety; "gave the impression of being quite relaxed"; "a relaxed and informal discussion"
2.tense - pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')
phonetics - the branch of acoustics concerned with speech processes including its production and perception and acoustic analysis
lax - pronounced with muscles of the tongue and jaw relatively relaxed (e.g., the vowel sound in `bet')
3.tense - taut or rigid; stretched tight; "tense piano strings"
tight - closely constrained or constricted or constricting; "tight skirts"; "he hated tight starched collars"; "fingers closed in a tight fist"; "a tight feeling in his chest"
lax - lacking in strength or firmness or resilience; "a lax rope"; "a limp handshake"

tense

adjective
2. nervous, wound up (informal), edgy, strained, wired (slang), anxious, under pressure, restless, apprehensive, jittery (informal), uptight (informal), on edge, jumpy, twitchy (informal), overwrought, strung up (informal), on tenterhooks, fidgety, keyed up, antsy (informal), wrought up He had been very tense, but he finally relaxed.
nervous collected, calm, serene, easy-going, unconcerned, cool-headed, unruffled, self-possessed, unworried
3. rigid, strained, taut, stretched, tight She lay, eyes shut, body tense.
rigid relaxed, loose, limp, flexible, flaccid, pliant
verb
1. tighten, strain, brace, tauten, stretch, flex, stiffen His stomach muscles tensed.
tighten relax, loosen, slacken

tense

adjective
1. Stretched tightly:
2. Feeling or exhibiting nervous tension:
Slang: uptight.
Idioms: a bundle of nerves, all wound up, on edge.
verb
To make or become tense:
Translations
صِيْغَةصيغَة تَدُل على زَمان حُدوث الفِعْلمُتَوَتِّرمُتَوَتِّر، عَصَبيمَشْدود
napjatýnapnoutčasnapnutý
tidanspændtnervøsspændespændt
aikamuotokireähermostunutjännitettyjännittää
napetvrijeme
órólegurspennaspennturstrekkturtíð
時制緊張した
긴장한시제
laiksnervozsnospriegotssaspīlētssasprindzināt
napnutý
glagolski časnapet
tempusspänd
เคร่งเครียดกาล
gergingerilikas makkipsinirli
căng thẳngthời của động từ

tense

1 [tens] N (Ling) → tiempo m
in the present tenseen presente

tense

2 [tens]
A. ADJ (tenser (compar) (tensest (superl)))
1. (= nervous) [person, expression] → tenso
her voice was tensese le notaba la tensión en la voz
to feel tensesentirse tenso
to get or grow tenseponerse tenso
2. (= stiff) [body, muscles, neck] → tenso, en tensión
my shoulders are tensetengo los hombros tensos or en tensión
3. (= strained) [atmosphere, silence] → tenso; [relations] → tenso, tirante; [period, moment] → de tensión
the tense situation in the Persian Gulfla situación de tensión en el Golfo Pérsico
4. (= taut) [rope, wire] → tenso, tirante
B. VI (also tense up) [person] → ponerse tenso; [muscle, body] → ponerse tenso, ponerse en tensión
C. VT (also tense up) → tensar, poner tenso
she tensed her musclestensó or puso tensos los músculos
tense up
A. VI + ADV
see tense 2 B
B. VT + ADV
see tense 2 C

tense

[ˈtɛns]
adj
[atmosphere, situation, time, period, silence] → tendu(e)
[person] → tendu(e)
[muscles, body] → tendu(e), contracté(e)
n (LINGUISTICS) [verb] → temps m
the present tense → le présent
the future tense → le futur
the past tense → le passé
vt [+ muscles] → tendre, contracter
vi (also tense up) [muscles] → se contracter, se tendre; [person] → se crisper

tense

1
n (Gram) → Zeit f, → Tempus nt; present tenseGegenwart f; past tenseVergangenheit f; future tenseZukunft f

tense

2
adj (+er) ropegespannt, straff; muscles(an)gespannt; neckverspannt; person, expression, bearing (through stress, worry etc) → angespannt; (through nervousness, fear etc) → verkrampft; voicenervös; silence, atmospheregespannt; situation(an)gespannt; timegespannt, spannungsgeladen; negotiationsspannungsgeladen; relationsangespannt; (= thrilling) scenespannungsgeladen; tense headacheSpannungskopfschmerz m; to grow or become or get tense (person) → nervös werden; to make somebody tensejdn in Anspannung versetzen; I’ve been feeling rather tense all dayich bin schon den ganzen Tag so nervös; in a voice tense with emotionmit erregter Stimme; things are getting rather tensedie Lage wird gespannter
vtanspannen; to tense oneself to do somethingsich darauf konzentrieren, etw zu tun
visich (an)spannen, sich straffen

tense

1 [tɛns] n (Gram) → tempo
in the present tense → al presente

tense

2 [tɛns]
1. adj (-r (comp) (-st (superl))) → teso/a
tense with fear → teso/a dalla paura
2. vt (tighten, muscles) → tendere

tense1

(tens) noun
a form of a verb that shows the time of its action in relation to the time of speaking. a verb in the past/future/present tense.

tense2

(tens) adjective
1. strained; nervous. The crowd was tense with excitement; a tense situation.
2. tight; tightly stretched.
verb
to make or become tense. He tensed his muscles.
ˈtensely adverb
ˈtenseness noun
ˈtension (-ʃən) noun
1. the state of being stretched, or the degree to which something is stretched. the tension of the rope.
2. mental strain; anxiety. She is suffering from nervous tension; the tensions of modern life.

tense

صِيْغَة, مُتَوَتِّر čas, napjatý anspændt, tid angespannt, Tempus τεντωμένος, χρόνος ρήματος tenso, tiempo verbal aikamuoto, kireä temps, tendu napet, vrijeme tempo, teso 時制, 緊張した 긴장한, 시제 gespannen, tijdsvorm anspent, verbtid czas, napięty tempo verbal, tenso время, натянутый spänd, tempus เคร่งเครียด, กาล gergin, zaman căng thẳng, thời của động từ 时态, 紧张的

tense

a. tenso-a, rígido-a, tirante, en estado de tensión.

tense

adj tenso; vt (one's muscles) tensar (los músculos); vi to — up ponerse tenso; Try not to tense up..Trate de no ponerse tenso.
References in classic literature ?
The voice of the sick man became tense with ear- nestness.
Before we reached the stable, I felt something tense in her silence, and glancing up I saw that she was crying.
In the midst of the mist, however, the visitor would suddenly notice the tense set face, with the two wrinkles graven in the forehead, and the ghastly pallor of the cheeks; and then he would suddenly recollect that it was time he was going on.
Clare, like most men of his class of mind, cordially hated the present tense of action, generally; and, therefore, he was considerably annoyed by Miss Ophelia's downrightness.
He said that as he was sinking deliciously to sleep, the moon lifted away the shadows and developed a huge cat, on a bracket, dead and stuffed, but crouching, with every muscle tense, for a spring, and with its glittering glass eyes aimed straight at him.
When the audience recognized these familiar mementos of Pudd'nhead's old time childish "puttering" and folly, the tense and funereal interest vanished out of their faces, and the house burst into volleys of relieving and refreshing laughter, and Tom chirked up and joined in the fun himself; but Wilson was apparently not disturbed.
They presently entered, softly, with quickened pulses, talking in whispers, ears alert to catch the slightest sound, and muscles tense and ready for instant retreat.
Give me the verb `to be,' potential mood, past perfect tense.
He felt his muscles tightening into bands of steel, tense and true.
After I ceased there was tense silence, as all eyes were riveted upon Tal Hajus.
Instead, terror, stark, paralyzing terror, was mirrored in her eyes, in the expression of her mouth, in the tense, cowering attitude of her body.
The patched and dirty spankers were tense before the wind, and up aloft the little ship seemed carrying every sail she had.