ENG4108 – Tense and Aspect in English

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course offers an introduction into the ways in which tense and aspect are employed to express temporal relations in English, as described in some of the recent linguistic literature. The following three temporal relations will be at the focus of attention:

  1.  ways of expressing future time
  2. the contrast between progressive and non-progressive verb forms
  3. the distinction between the preterite and the perfect. In some cases the relationship between American and British English will receive special attention

Learning outcome

After completing this course you will have:

  • learned various linguistic approaches to the description of tense and aspect in English.
  • gained insight into the use of the forms of the English verb, in some cases through corpus investigation.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

The minimum number of participants is 3, the maximum number is 10.


Seminar, 2 hours per week for 14 weeks, 28 hours in all.

Attendance is obligatory on 11 out of 14 seminars.

By a stated deadline during the semester students are required to hand in one obligatory paper (5–10 standard pages) reporting their own corpus-based investigation of a linguistic topic relevant to this course. They will be given feedback on this paper and then asked to present their results in class.


The exam consists of a three-day take-home exam.

Previous exams

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Results will be found on the StudentWeb within three weeks after the exam.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the two consecutive semesters when the course is given.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2014


Autumn 2014

Teaching language