To be exact, it means the time of the action inside your sentence.
Your Verb can either be finished or happening now, finished or not yet, etc.
I think it’s universal. Most of the languages in the world have at least 3 basic time frames:
In English, each of these time frames has 4 different kinds. Take a look:
Because you’re not a teacher and you just need to learn how to speak English, you don’t need to remember these complicated names in grammar.
But you must memorize the pattern/ formula for each Tense, so you can make sentences.
But you have to memorize the others because you need them to make sentences in English.
See? This is why Tense is very important.
You have only 1 Subject and 1 Verb, the same Subject and the same Verb. But you can make 10 different kinds of sentences!
Each and every one of these 10 Tenses has a different meaning and situation. So you can’t mix them and use them in the same way.
If you do that, you will be making a mistake.
Now you can see why Tense is really important in English and it’s one of the most difficult topics.
Anyway, the first step is to practice making sentences and questions, by using the formulas that I gave you above. Please keep on practicing yourself. In other posts, I will try to teach the individual meaning of the Tenses.
Please practice this way:
Next Topic: What's the Most Difficult Tense in English?