Problems of Tense Errors in English among Senior Secondary School Students


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1.1       Background to the Study

Tenses refer to the form of a verb in English language that clearly indicates time. Tenses are used to show specification; therefore, it can be concluded that without verbs there will be tenses as tenses in grammar does not only refer to time but also the action of the verb or state of being at a given moment.

Tenses make known events that happen at present (present tense), an event that happened some moment in the “past” (past tense) and the event that will happen in “future” (future tense). Tense is seen when there is communication between two or more persons.

Problems of Tense Errors in English among Senior Secondary School Students

Communication therefore defined as the process or act of expressing ideas and feelings to one another or a process of giving out information to people.

Language as a medium of human communication, socialization, civilization and development has been a full-length treatment by linguists. They had devised ways of making it easier to analyze and describe it so as to present a true and full structure of any definition given. However, the attempt to describe and study language gave rise to a number of schools of linguists; all of which developed from the same root of traditional grammar.

According to Sidney Green Baum (2010) grammar is a general theory of language description. It is the properties and the processes that underlie the use of language. By implication, the user of language (speakers) are expected to be equipped with the knowledge of the rules of the language they intend to speak and apply them properly when using them specifically, tense arrangement and medications.

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Problems of Tense Errors in English among Senior Secondary School Students

Traditionally, grammar precedes what is now regarded as a scientific approach to all study of language. Its approach is one that is normative definition oriented and prescriptive in nature. It represents an attempt to prescribe rules for language use. The correctness in the use of language is worth of not to identify what the speakers actually say. It is indeed the correctness of the traditional grammar that has made it to always prescribe what sort of language is right to be used. Such terms as noun, verb, adverb, preposition, object, subject and others and of course, tenses are derived from the traditional grammar and are used to analyze sentences.

Interestingly, grammatical terms in English language are widely used in our schools ranging from primary schools to tertiary institutions. But however, there are some true elements of errors in medication in English language among secondary school students. This has given rise to the following question; what are the problems of tense errors in English language among secondary school students? This has formed the aim of this study in the study area.

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