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Related to tense: future tense, past tense, perfect tense, present perfect tense, present tense, Verb tense
See: rigid

TENSE. A term used in, grammar to denote the distinction of time.
     2. The acts of a court of justice ought to be in the present tense; as, "praeceptum est," not "preaceptum fuit;" but the acts of, the party may be in the preterperfect tense, as "venit, et protulit hic in curia quandum querelam suam;" and the continuances are in the preterperfect tense; as, "venerunt," not "veniunt." 1 Mod. 81.
     3. The contract of marriage should be made in language in the present tense. 6 Binn. Rep. 405. Vide 1 Saund. 393, n. 1.

References in classic literature ?
The subjunctive mood, past perfect tense of the verb `to know.
The signal rockets burst and rained their sparks through the night and vanished, and the spirit of all those watching batteries rose to a tense expecta- tion.
Two or three times, even, to the great astonishment of his friends, he had, when Aramis allowed some rudimental error to escape him, replaced a verb in its right tense and a noun in its case.
On entering the room I glanced around me with tense interest.
Notwithstanding the in tense cold without, his head was uncovered; but a profusion of long, black, coarse hair concealed his forehead, his crown, and even hung about his cheeks, so as to convey the idea, to one who knew his present amid former conditions, that he encouraged its abundance, as a willing veil to hide the shame of a noble soul, mourning for glory once known.
The old lady explained to Kim, in a tense, indignant whisper, precisely what manner and fashion of malignant liar he was.
We were standing by then in the middle of the room with its vivid colours on a black background, with its multitude of winged figures with pale limbs, with hair like halos or flames, all strangely tense in their strained, decorative attitudes.
Brussels is the preterpluperfect tense of fashion, and Turkey is taste in its dying agonies.
He looked again at his watch, saw what had become of his time- values (he had taken hours for minutes - not, as in other tense situations, minutes for hours) and the strange air of the streets was but the weak, the sullen flush of a dawn in which everything was still locked up.
She did not answer him but sat down quietly by her first cow, a fine-blooded animal which soon showed signs of restlessness under her tense hands.
His whole face sharpened away into nose and chin, and the skin of his cheeks was drawn quite tense over his outstanding bones.
Our conversation was hampered by the presence of the driver of the hired wagonette, so that we were forced to talk of trivial matters when our nerves were tense with emotion and anticipation.