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In English (and in many other languages) we don’t use a verb the same way all the time. We usually change it in different situations.
When we change the verb to show WHEN something happens, it is called the TENSE of the verb.
For example, there is the verb “to work.”
If you want to say the action happened in the past, you have to change it into “worked.”
So you say: “I worked very hard yesterday.”
In this sentence “worked” is in the past tense.
It is interesting to note that the word “tense” itself, comes from the Latin word “tempus”, which means “time”.