Simple aspect definition: The simple aspect is the verb form used to express a fact.
What is the Simple Aspect?
The simple aspect includes all verbs in the simple tense (past, present, or future). It is the verb form used to express a fact.
The simple aspect can be confusing because it does not make clear if the action is a completed action or a habitual action.
The audience must use context clues to determine the nature of the fact.
- She dances.
- This is a fact; however, it is unclear whether this action is habitual or just a fact.
- To provide more context,
- On Mondays, she dances.
- Now it is clear that this is a habitual action, not just a fact. It is not a complete action since it happens every Monday.
Verbs in the Simple Aspect
The simple aspect is made up of the following three simple tenses: the simple past, the simple present, and the simple future tenses.
Simple Past Tense
What is the simple past tense? The simple past tense is used to express actions that are completed at any time (recent or distant past) or for any duration (length of event).
For regular verbs, add “-ed” to the end of the verb to create the simple past tense.
- I walked the dog.
- He played music.
- We painted the house.
Simple Present Tense
What is the simple present tense? The simple present tense is used to express action that is true, normal, or regular. Some examples of actions the present tense expresses include: habits, directions, general truths, and unchanging situations.
For regular verbs, add “-s” to the end of third person singular conjugation.
- I walk the dog.
- He plays music.
- We paint the house.
Simple Future Tense
What is the simple future tense? The simple future tense is used to express action that will certainly occur at any time later than now.
Add “will” or “shall” between the subject and the base/infinitive form of the verb to create the simple future tense.
- I will walk the dog.
- He will play music.
- We will paint the house.
Other English Verb Aspects
The other primary verb aspects are the continuous aspect and the perfect aspect.
The continuous aspect (also called the progressive aspect) is the verb form used to express ongoing actions.
The perfect aspect is the verb form used to express completed actions.
See below for more information.
What is the continuous aspect? The continuous aspect (also called the progressive aspect) refers to actions that are ongoing and in the process of being completed.
- He is working on a project.
- This is on ongoing action. He is “progressing towards” the completion of his project.
What is the perfect aspect? The perfect aspect refers to completed actions.
- She has gone to the museum.
- This is a completed action. She has left to go to the museum.
Summary: What is the Simple Aspect?
Define simple aspect: the simple grammatical aspect is used to express facts.
- The simple aspect refers to all verbs in the simple tense.
- The simple aspect does not make clear if actions are habitual or completed.