In grammar a Verb Tense is a form of a verb used to indicate roughly the time when the action described by the verb takes place. Here we talk about 3 basic tenses: Past, Present and Future. (Some people talk about more than 3, however.)
Compare this with Verb Form which is the form of a verb in a particular tense, e.g. present simple, present continuous, etc.
For more, see Verb Tenses & Forms in English Grammar.
When a student learns English in order to live and work in an English speaking country we say they are learning English as a Second Language. Compare this to someone who does not live in an English speaking country but learns the language to do business in another country; they learn English as a Foreign Language.
Linguistics is the scientific and academic study of language. It tries to answer basic questions such as
- What is language?
- How is language represented in the mind?
- How does language work?
The underlying goal of linguists is to discover the underlying rules of all languages; that is, the common elements which form a language.
Of course, the person who studies linguistics is known as a linguist.
Areas of Study
General Linguistics is the study of
- grammar – the rules which govern how language is put together
semantics – the meaning of words & language morphology – how words are formed
- syntax – how sentences are formed
phonology – sound patterns in language phonetics – the production/perception of sounds teaching methodologies – different approaches to teaching language second language acquisition – how languages are learnt
- speech therapy and pathology
In addition, there are specialist fields such as:
computational linguistics – studying language using technology corpus linguistics – the study of language by comparing corpora (usually with computers) psycholinguistics – the psychology involved in language