Tense allows us to more effectively communicate information related to when something occurs, occurred, or will occur, as well as more effectively understand if the occurrence has been completed, is in progress, or will occur continuously. Some key points include:
- Research suggests that omission of tense marker (zero marking) is the most prevalent kind of tense error in children with SLI (Marchman, Wulfeck, Weimer, 1999).
- Different languages use various techniques to express differences in tense. Latinate languages, in particular, use a variety of morphological endings to express when something happens (David Crystal, 1995).
- English only uses three morphological endings: -s, -ed, and -ing. Other tenses are communicated through irregular forms, auxiliary verbs, and adverbs.