Background of the study
Tenses are words that indicate types of actions performed in sentences. Tenses are category that expresses time reference. They are the use of specific forms of verbs particularly in their conjugation patterns. Tense is a very important aspect of grammar. Therefore, the competency and efficiency in the use of English language grossly depend on the reastery of the differents of tenses it involves. Through the use of tenses, one is able to know whether a statement is present or past. Though there are also other forms of tenses such as the perfect continuous and future tenses. Tenses also have the singular and plural forms and the needs for them to agree with nouns are very important. The infinite verbs are also very important and worth of mentioning for the special way its users.
Looking at the use of tenses generally by students of senior secondary schools, it seems very difficult and complicated for them to be efficient in the tense usage. Charles (1993) “studies of child and language development” declare verb system is one of the most complicated parts of English grammar. Viewing the important position which English language takes in our society today, It seems highly necessary to develop the child towards the using of tenses in the correct form. Even that the deficiencies are widely spread, nevertheless necessary solutions needed to be sought for, so as to make the children lift their heads up in any gathering especially in an academic setting.
English language as a subject is one of the compulsory subject required for admission into universities. In other words, if the use of tense is well developed from the root of learning, there will be solid foundation for learners to build upon in future. English language has gain much popularity nationwide in all aspect of human activities such as religion, Economics and politics. Therefore, the youth needs solid foundation as effective usage of tenses concerned.
Purpose of the study
The students of senior secondary school in Ekiti South West Local Government area of Ekiti State have little knowledge on the usage of the tenses in English grammar, hence the wrong use of tenses in English sentences and construction shows evidences in their writing and expression. The wrong use of English tenses has really affected their performances generally in English language both internal and externally written examination. It was observed that below fifty percent (50%) of the students were able to excel and the majority of those who even pass fall within the average mark. Therefore, there are problems that needed to be solved so as to improve students in the use of English tenses.