Connect with us


Mastering tenses for effective business communication (3)



By Goke Ilesanmi

Last week, we said Present Perfect Tense isformed through the combination of the singular primary auxiliary verb “has” or the plural form “have” and the past participle form of any verb involved, e.g.  “I have written the note”.

As regards Past Perfect Tense, we said this is the past form of the Present Perfect Tense, and it is formed through the combination of the past primary auxiliary verb “had” and the past participle form of the verb involved.

We said Simple Future Tense is used to express simple futurity. We explained that here, the first person singular personal pronoun “I” and the plural “We” make use of the modal auxiliary verb “Shall”to express simple futurity, e.g. “I/We shall go today.” We stressed that however, second-person singular and plural personal pronoun “You”; third person singular pronouns “He”, “She” and “It” and third personplural pronoun “They” use “Will” to express their simple futurity, e.g. “He/She/It/You/They willgo today.”

We said in spoken English, it is “Will” that is more commonly used for all persons and  the implication of this indiscriminate use of “Will” is that a listener may not know whether a speaker is expressing simple futurity or expressing a promise, especially when Will is used with “I” and We.

Future Perfect Tense

This tense is formed through the combination of simple future tense and present perfect tense. It tells us about an action that will be completed by a particular future date. Here, the assignment of “Shall” and “Will” is just as applicable in simple future tense. A lot of people wrongly use “Would have” for all persons while using this tense, even in the present-tense case, probably because the phrase is phonetically pleasant. The standard way of using this tense is: “By next month, I/we shall have worked here for five years”; “By next month, they will have worked here for five years”, etc.

A lot of people wrongly use “Would have” for all persons while using this tense, even in the present-tense case, probably because the phrase is phonetically pleasant. The standard way of using this tense is: “By next month, I/we shall have worked here for five years”; “By next month, they will have worked here for five years”, etc.

Note: You can confirm this usage from any standard dictionary, especially Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 2000 edition (page 1310) or just check “Future Perfect Tense” in any edition of any standard dictionary.

Future Perfect Continuous

This is formed through the combination of simple future tense, present perfect tense and present continuous tense. It tells us about an action that will have been completed for a duration of time at some future time and then still continue, e.g. “By next month, I shall have been working here for five years.”

The difference between future perfect tense and future perfect continuous is that here, it is additionally expressed in the Future Perfect Continuous Tense that working here will continue even after this period, a notion that is embedded in the present participle “Working”.

Future Continuous Tense

This is made up of simple future tense and present continuous tense. It is used for an action that is progressing at some future time, e.g. “We shall be discussing tomorrow.”

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

This tense reflects the integration of present perfect tense and present continuous tense. It is more commonly used with verbs that have long duration, e.g. “Wait”, “Walk”, “Work”, “Sit”, “Stand”, etc. This tense is used to express an action that started at some time in the past and is still in progress now, e.g. “I have been writing since morning.”

Some grammarians say this tense can also be used when an action is not actually in progress. But I think this flexibility or deliberate infringement is better restricted to spoken English alone, because, strictly considered, as soon as an action that started in the past and is progressing to the present time ends, it is better expressed in past perfect continuous tense.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

This is formed through the combination of past perfect tense and the continuous tense. It is the past form of the present perfect continuous tense. This tense is used to express an action that is no longer taking place, but continuing in the past, e.g. “I had been writing since yesterday, but stopped an hour ago.”

Last words

Finally, when we talk about any form of verbal communication, the issue of tenses is very important because tense is any of the verb forms relating time to action. This time is basically divided into past, present and future. There is actually a problem when we cannot accurately relate time to action and use the appropriate tenses in a given business situation.

For any speaker of English aspiring to attain a respectable level of proficiency in the deployment of the language, mastery of tenses is not only a matter of necessity but also that of compulsion. Therefore, endeavour to achieve respectable proficiency in your (business) communication today through commendable mastery of proper application of various types of tenses.


PS: For those making inquiries about our CV/Profile Writing and Speech Writing Services; Political Persuasion and Presentation Course; General Public Speaking and Business Presentation Course; Professional Writing Course, etc., please visit the website indicated on this page for details.

GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08056030424; 08055068773; 08187499425

Email: [email protected]


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Tinubu, UNFPA launch 2024 SWOP report in Abuja



President Bola Tinubu, alongside the Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Wednesday, launched the 2024 regional State of World Population (SWOP) Report.

During the report launch, which has “Interwoven Lives, Threads of Hope: Ending Inequalities in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” as theme, Tinubu was represented by Prof. Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

Tinubu said “the theme comes with a narrative that reminds us that, globally we are composed of eight billion threads of hope, eight billion people interwoven with each of the threads being very unique.

“It is of note that Nigeria is among the eight identified countries to account for more than half of the projected increase in the world population up to 2050.

“The other countries are Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.”

He, however, said that meeting the aspirations and hopes of the unique members of these interwoven threads, who are mostly women, girls and young people, places a great demand and a sense of duty on government to keep that hope alive.

“In addition, for each of the threads to be recognised and be relevant, there is need to sustainably invest in generating quality, well-disaggregated data that will help in ensuring none of the threads is un-woven.

“The regional inauguration of the 2024 SWOP report in Nigeria and the presence of the UNFPA Executive Director is a reminder that Nigeria should prioritise data generation to provide the baseline and showcase progress toward the indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“One of such data generation exercise is the conduct of the National Population and Housing Census within the 2020 round of Population and Housing census (2015-2024).

“We are consulting and working closely with the National Population Commission (NPC) to get this exercise right. We count on the support of UNFPA and other partners to get it right.”

In her address, Kanem said that the report presents important data that shows that in many countries, inequalities in such key measures as access to healthcare have been reduced.

She added that in other places, however, disparities are actually widening, and inequalities still persist everywhere.

“The report indicates that since global measurements have been kept, two countries – India and Nigeria – have recorded the highest number of maternal deaths.

“The remarkable reduction in the number of women worldwide dying in childbirth, 34 per cent since 2000 is largely attributable to progress in those two countries.

“Nigeria’s achievement in reducing maternal death rate by more than 11 per cent between 2013 and 2018 must be applauded.”

The UNFPA boss also said there had been advances in combatting Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and harmful practices in Nigeria, with a 10 per cent drop in number of adolescents subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the past decade.

She also said that politically, there had been progress as the proportion of women serving in parliaments more than doubled globally.

In spite of the gains, however, she said, progress was slowing, while by many measures it has stalled completely.

She noted that since 2016, the world made zero progress in saving women from preventable deaths during pregnancy and childbirth.

She explained that “one important reason, our report shows, is that we have not prioritised reaching those furthest behind.

“We see, for example, that barriers to healthcare fell fastest for women who are more affluent, educated and privileged.

“Many of these findings are the result of having better data than ever before. Thirty years ago, maternal mortality rates were only rough estimates.

“Today, data allows us to see clearly the unacceptable rates at which women are dying while giving life; data also shows the inequalities that are quite literally killing them.”

On Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Nigeria, she said that in spite of the progress recorded, it still remained high at over 1,047 per 100,000 live births.

Kanem, however, pledged UNFPA’s support for the country to change that statistic.

The Chairman, National Population Commission, Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, said that the theme of the report aptly amplifies issues that matter most beyond the numbers, emphasising the people that make up the numbers.

He requested that the UNFPA should relentlessly advocate for the conduct of the next census; support in the implementation of ideas and interventions to address key issues raised in the 2024 SWOP.

He said the implementation of the National Population Policy captured the commitments made in Nairobi (2019).

They include sexual and reproductive health, particularly of adolescent girls including prioritising family planning and keeping girls in school.

He said that the implementation would in turn, enable Nigeria manage its population, achieve the required shift in population age-structure for a Demographic Dividend (DD) to occur, as well as in the implementation of the DD Roadmap.

In a goodwill message, Sen.  Mustapha Musa, Senate Committee Chairman on National Identity and  Population, said the legislature deems the issue of population and development important.

“Particularly as it relates to the well-being of women, young people and girls, which connects with addressing the existing inequalities and ensuring that sexual and reproductive health and rights receive the deserved attention.

“I reiterate that the committee I chair will ensure that issues arising from the report will be given due attention.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SWOP is UNFPA’s annual flagship report that features trends in the world population and reports on emerging themes in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

It brings them into the mainstream and explores the challenges and opportunities they present for international development.

Continue Reading


FG hails World Bank’s support to PWDs



The Federal Government has commended the World Bank for providing technical and financial support to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the country.
The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Dr James Lalu, said this on Wednesday in Abuja, during a virtual meeting with officials of World Bank.
The meeting was convened to strengthen implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 10 and 17 for disability inclusion in Nigeria.
Lalu draw the attention of stakeholders to the need to redesign policies and programmes of the commission to conform with the global standard.
”We need policies redesign in the area of social protection programmes because World Bank has the capacity to stimulate disability inclusion and development programme” he said.
The Executive Secretary expressed commitment to improve the welfare of Persons with Disabilities.
Also speaking, Cindy Ikeaka, a World Bank Social Development Specialist said, the bank will continue to provide technical support to the commission to ensure effective delivery of the needs of PWDs.
Ikeaka also said that the bank was working with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to ensure disability data collection.
”This will ensure proper data management of persons with disabilities ” she said.
On her part, Esther Bature, the Country Coordinator of Sightsavers in Nigeria said, her organisation will continue to strengthen national systems to deliver sustainable services.
”We supported NCPWD to develop a five-year national strategic plan and this plan requires different levels of intervention.
”We are happy to see that the World Bank has supported the commission to a kind of review to include monitoring and evaluation in the plan as well as developed several developments documents,” she said.Batur
Nature also thanked the World Bank for its assistance in building the capacity of the commission’s members of staff.
Continue Reading


IPMAN gives Soludo 1 month to address marketers’ grievances



The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has given Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra one month within which to address the demands of marketers in the state or face total shutdown of operations without further notice.

Marketers in the state reached this decision at the end of the statewide meeting held in Awka on Tuesday.

Mr Chinedu Anyaso, Chairman of IPMAN Enugu Depot Community, in charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States, who addressed Journalists after the meeting, said the association had reported cases affecting its members to the governor without any response.

Anyaso said the grievances of marketers in Anambra included the issue of consolidated revenue payable and withdrawal of all litigations against members based on multiple taxation which was not in line with the understanding IPMAN had with the Anambra government.

He said IPMAN discussed the problem of non-payment of debt amounting to about N900 million owed contractors who supplied diesel for powering streetlight projects in the state.

Anyaso also said that among the demands of the association was the demolition of part of the property of Chris Tee Nigeria limited, a marketer at Trans-Nkissi phase 1 along Onitsha-Otuocha road which was destroyed by agents of government.

He said IPMAN would not issue further notice upon the expiration of the deadline before shutting their outlets.

Anyaso thanked Chief Ken Maduako, a patron of the association, Mr Golden Iloh, member of the Anambra State House of Assembly and representative of the Anambra Internal Revenue Service, for their intervention and hoped that the Soludo administration would act on their plea to prevent the looming industrial action.

He commended Gov. Soludo for his efforts to make Anambra a peaceful and liveable state while urging him to make the business environment conducive for investors, especially oil marketers.

He pledged positive disposition of the association to continue to support his administration to succeed.

The chairman commended marketers for complying fully with the partial shutdown and attendance to the meeting, saying it was a great show of comradeship.

Continue Reading