Tense

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Tense is a grammatical category, typically indicated by the verb, that locates a situation in time. Tense can be absolute tense (past, present, or future relative to the time of the utterance), relative tense (past, present, or future relative to some other reference time), or a combination of the two. For example, in English, the future perfect tense ("I shall have gone") combines the future absolute tense with the past relative tense, since the speaker will go after making that utterance but before the reference time. Some languages encode tense and aspect separately, while others encode them together, and still others indicate only one or the other.

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