Exercise 1. Let us try to feature the verbs to be to, have, and to do for the PRESENT, PAST, and FUTURE (we refer to chapter 1).
With the pronouns I, you, he, she, and it, we may speak about single individuals or objects. We name this the singular, in grammar. If we already know the forms well, we can take the exercise as a mild brainteaser. We can practice thinking about the Field (grammatical time) first.
Example: PRESENT, (be), she
1. PRESENT, (do), I
2. FUTURE, (do), you
3. PAST, (have), I
4. PRESENT, (be), he
5. PAST, (be), you
6. FUTURE, (have), she
7. PAST, (have), it
8. PRESENT, (be), you
9. FUTURE, (do), he
10. PAST, (have), you
Much has been written and said on what great difference it is, if we speak a language natively or as a foreign tongue, or how peculiar foreign language learning is, in comparison with learning the first tongue, in childhood.
Let us remember, there are no inborn language habits. There are no inborn grammar books either, and learning a language always requires thinking. To learn, we could not just follow other people on examples, whatever the language. Would we say we use the verb to be because Mr. Y, a grammarian, says so? It might not stand for a good reason.
“Outlandish” or indigenous, language allows communication as well as pleasant spending time, reading or writing. For this, language patterns as the Simple, Progressive, Perfect, and Perfect Progressive are essential. The verbs to be, to have, and to do can build these patterns.
There are not as many languages as there are grammar books. Repeating rules after grammar books may not be useful. We will be best off, learning to think about grammatical time independently, right at the language foundation, which is our consciousness.
Exercise 2. In this exercise, we also can use the persons we, you, and they. This means we can speak about more than one individual or object.
In grammar, we name this the plural. We can use the pronoun “you” for the singular and the plural, compare subchapter 3.2.
We may think about real people ― our acquaintances, friends as well as foes ― to do this exercise.
1. PAST, (do), they
2. PRESENT, (do), I
3. PRESENT, (have), he
4. FUTURE, (be), it
5. FUTURE, (be), we
6. PRESENT, (have), you
7. FUTURE, (have), we
8. PRESENT, (be), she
9. PAST, (do), they
10. FUTURE, (have), you
Exercise 3. We can try to tell the time extent (PRESENT, PAST, or FUTURE) and the person for the verb forms below. We can note “all persons”, where the form stays the same for all of them. We can continue to think time first.
Answer: PRESENT, I, you, we, they
1. are; 2. will do; 3. did; 4. will have; 5. has; 6. am; 7. does; 8. had; 9. were; 10. have; 11. will be; 12. was.
Grammar practice is not only pen and paper. It is also about a manner to think. Feel welcome to try 1.2. Mind practice.