What makes a verb have a tense? I need help with the example below.

How come in the sentence "Jackie hit the ball" "hit" has a subject and a tense but in the sentence "Jackie, hitting the ball" there is no tense for hitting?

2 Answers
Apr 9, 2016

Hitting doesn't have a tense because it isn't exactly a verb - it is a gerund, so acts like a noun.


A tense is simply when the verb takes place. For example, in future tense, the verb will happen in the future. In past tense, the verb happened in the past.

In the sentence above, hitting doesn't really have a tense. It is in the gerundive mood, which is when a verb is used as a noun, so doesn't really have a tense - it has a mood.

Apr 9, 2016

All verbs have tenses: past, present, future, plus perfect, imperfect, etc.


The sequence of words: "Jackie, hitting the ball" is not a sentence; it does not contain a verb.

An extension of this:
#color(white)("XXX")#"Jackie, hitting the ball, screamed in delight."
has a verb: "screamed", which has the simple past tense.