Sunday, September 24, 2017

What Writers Say, Part 25: William Faulkner on What Makes a Good Novelist

Since English tenses are pretty particular, let's start this series with the 12 standard tenses, which we use to indicate a specific time that an action or state of being occurs:

1. Simple Past (action that happened, or state that existed)
I wrote a book.
I was happy.
2. Simple Present (action that habitually happens, or state that exists)
I write books.
I am happy.
3. Simple Future (action that has not ye happened, or state that does not yet exist)
I will write a book.
I will be happy. 
4. Past Perfect (action that happened before another past action, or state that existed before another past action or state that existed)
I had written a book when the publisher contacted me.
I had been happy until I wrote a book.
I had been happy before I became a writer. 
5. Present Perfect (action that started and is just completed or is continuing, or state that started and still exists)
I have written a book.
I have been happy for years. 
6. Future Perfect (action that will happen before another action will happen, or state that will exist before another action will happen or state will exist)
I will have written a book before you will write one.
will have been happy for years when I am old.
7. Past Continuous (action that was happening or state that was existing)
I was writing a book.
I was feeling happy.
8. Present Continuous (action that is happening or state that is existing)
I am writing a book.
I am feeling happy.  
9. Future Continuous (action that will be happening or state that will be existing)
I will be writing a book.
I will be feeling happy. 
10. Past Perfect Continuous (action that was happening before a certain past time)
I was writing a book until I grew tired.
11. Present Perfect Continuous (action that started and has been happening from a certain time to the present) 
I have been writing a book since last month.
12. Future Perfect Continuous (action continuing up to a certain future time)
I will have been writing a book for a year on October 23.