VERB TENSES

VERB TENSES

 

 

PAST

PRESENT

FUTURE

Simple tenses

Simple past

 

 

Simple present

 

 

Simple future

 

 

Progressive or continuous tenses

Past continuous

 

 

Present continuous

 

 

Future continuous

 

 

Perfect tenses

Present perfect

 

 

 

Future perfect

 

 

 

Past perfect

 

 

 

 

Perfect progressive

Present perfect continuous

 

 

 

Future perfect continuous

 

 

Past perfect continuous

 

 

 

 

 

PRESENT TENSES:

 

Simple present

(a fact or habit; with time clauses when time is future);

He studies grammar every day.

We will eat after he gets here.

Key words: always, usually, often, sometimes, seldom, rarely, never, every day, on Sundays, etc.

also stative (non-progressive) verbs: know, understand, believe, feel, think,** remember, forget, want,

need, prefer, mean, love, like, hate, have,** hear, feel,** see,** smell,** taste,** seem, look,** cost, owe, be**

**These verbs also have other meanings which can be progressive

 

Present continuous

(an activity in progress at the present time--probably started in the past and will continue)

I can't talk on the phone. I am eating lunch.

Key words: now, right now, this quarter, etc.

 

Note: the Present progressive and simple present can also be used for a future meaning with scheduled events.

I am meeting her in the library tomorrow at 10 am.

The plane leaves at 6 p.m.

 

PAST TENSES:

 

Simple past

(at one time in the past, this happened; activity completed in the past)

I ate dinner yesterday.

Key words: yesterday, last week, last month, this morning (when meaning is past), etc.

 

Past continuous

(an activity in progress at a particular time in the past)

I was eating when you called.

Key words: while

 

 

Present perfect

(something that started in the past and has relevance to or continues to the present;

activity in past, but no time is mentioned; emphasis on repetition of activity in the past)

I have eaten Indian food two times.

I have had this rucksack for five years.

I have been here since 8 a.m.

Key words: already, yet, just, ever, never, ___ times, since + a particular time, for + a duration of time

 

Present perfect continuous

(duration of an activity that was in progress before now)

I have been eating since four o'clock.)

I have been eating a lot of vegetables lately.

Key words: for, since, lately

 

Past perfect

(an activity which was completed before another activity in the past)

I had already eaten when they arrived.

Key words: already, before. by the time

 

Past perfect continuous

(an activity in progress before another activity in the past)

I had been eating for two hours before my friend arrived.

Key words: for, since

 

 

FUTURE TENSES:

 

Simple future (will)

(activity that will happen in the future)

will: used for prediction & willingness

I will study after I finish eating.

The phone is ringing. Iíll answer it.

Key words: tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.

 

 

Future (be going to)

(activity that will happen in the future)

be going to: used for prediction and prior plan

I am going to study from six to nine.

Key words: tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.

 

 

Future continuous

(activity which will be in progress at a particular time in the future)

She will be studying when we arrive.

Iíll be staying with my cousin for several weeks.

Key words: for

 

Future perfect

(an activity which will be finished before another time or activity in the future)

I will have finished studying by the time you arrive.)

Key words: when, by the time

 

Future perfect continuous

(activity in progress in the future before another activity in the future)

I will have been studying for two hours by the time my parents come.)

Key words: for, by the time

 



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