I am reading a non-fiction book and in one chapter, the writer talks about a conversation he had with another person. The other person talked about language and said:

“In English, we think in terms of action. Actors and active verbs, and things acted upon. We say, ‘I went there. I did this. I came, I saw, I conquered.’ In German, you often have a situation that affects the speaker of the agent indirectly. But the situation exists in and of itself, so for example, in English, we say, ‘I am cold.’ In German, you say, ‘It is cold to me.'”

Although I don’t have anything to say about German because I don’t use of speak the language, I agree that in English we do think in terms of action. The verb is very important in a sentence. Whether an action is or was or is being or has been should be clear in order to avoid misunderstandings.

There are nine verb tenses, and I know they’re confusing because I was once a student too and I didn’t get them right away. But what I like about the English verb tenses are there are rules on how to use them and some of them are not so different from each other. Learning how to use them take some time and practice, but when they are learned, they can be very useful – especially for a language wherein the speakers think “in terms of action.”