Some people say that there is no concept of tenses in the language of Chinese/Cantonese. I think it depends on how you define the term of “tenses”. If you insist the writing way (spelling) and pronunciation of a verb should be changed in different tenses like English, there is really no such thing in the language of Chinese/Cantonese.
Time is slipping away like a sandglass.
Actually we have another way to express an action in the present, past and future by adding some single character adverbs before or after the verb, for example, 緊 (used in a continuous action), 會 (used to express an future action) and 咗 (used to describe a past action). Also we can further add other time adverbs “ago, before, finally, last night, tomorrow …..” to enrich the expression.
食緊 – be eating
會食 – will eat
食咗 – ate
In the following three videos (about 30 mins) you can find everything you need for how to express present, past and future actions in Cantonese.
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