Impress listeners by using two verb tenses

She is tired because she has been studying so much.

In the G.B.C. exam, using advanced grammar and sophisticated logic will improve your score significantly. In this post, you'll learn a really simple trick using the relation between two tenses. With it, you can create longer and more complex answers.

To start with, you must understand an important rule: we can categorise verbs as state verbs or action verbs

Some examples of state verbs: I am happy, I believe in God, and I like cheese. No action is being performed; nothing is happening; I’m not moving or doing anything; I’m just being something. State verbs are almost always in the simple tense.

Action verbs, of course, are active: I walked to work, I'm eating cheese, and I will write a letter. Here, an action is happening. Action verbs can be in any tense, but the tense I want to focus on is, "...have been + verb-ing" (also known as the present perfect continuous) to describe a recent action that took some time.

  • I am tired because I have been working hard.

You can also move this into the past by simply moving the tenses ‘one back’:

  • Last weekend, I was tired because I had been working hard.

Now, let’s look at logic. In this post, it is confined to causation—how one thing causes or is caused by another. In this case, the key is to use language such as because, so, the effect of, and that's why. We use the two tenses above with that language to express the relationship. Here are some examples:

  • I am hungry now because I didn’t eat yesterday.
  • The reason I am hungry today is because I didn’t eat yesterday.
  • I didn't eat yesterday, so I am hungry now.
  • The effect of not eating yesterday is me being hungry today.
  • I didn’t eat yesterday and that’s why I am hungry now.

To score well on the grammar section, you have to show that you are skillful at using a wide range of grammar.

Here’s how it might look in an answer:

Q: Describe your job.

A: I have been working here for ten years, and I love it. I suppose the main reason I am happy at my company is that since I joined, I have been dealing with a lot of engineering companies. Recently, in fact, I have been advising a company on a very interesting project, which means I have been using my knowledge to help them, and that makes me feel very good.