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past

We use tenses of verbs to refer to actions or


situations in the present, in the past and in the
future

There are different sorts of tenses:


simple tenses

continuous tenses
perfect tenses

past

perfect continuous tenses

present tenses
present simple

past

present continuous

present perfect
present perfect continuous

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

FORM
The present simple is formed with the infinitive of the main verb.
The negative and interrogative are formed with the present tense
of the verb to do + infinitive.
Examples

I start ( he starts) work at 8.30 a.m.


When do I start work?
I dont start work until 9.00 a..m. / He doesnt start work until 9.00
a..m.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

USE
1. for habitual and repeated actions
Example
I play blues harp and dobro guitar

present perfect continuous

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. for habitual and repeated actions

2. with adverbs (or expressions) of frequency


( often usually sometimes -seldom rarely always
occasionally never twice a week - on Tuesdays most of
the time ....)

Example
He often arrives late

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. for habitual and repeated actions

2. with adverbs (or expressions) of frequency


3. Certain verbs are usually only used in the simple form
verbs of the senses

see- hear- smell notice recognize

verbs of emotions

want desire refuse forgive wish care love hate like


dislike

verbs of thinking

think feel realize understand know mean suppose


believe expect remember forget

Example

Do you see what I mean?


She likes my brother very much.
I suppose he realizes that now.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. for habitual and repeated actions

2. with adverbs (or expressions) of frequency


3. Certain verbs are usually only used in the simple form
4. for something that is permanently true

Example

Water boils at 100 C.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

I get up at 7.30 a.m. every day.

future

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the present tense of the verb to be +
present participle of the main verb.

Examples
Im watching television.
What are you doing?

He isnt coming.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking.

Example
Shes reading the newspaper.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking.
2. For a temporary state.

Example
The company is reorganizing its services.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking.
2. For a temporary state.

3. For a definite arrangement in the near future.


Example
Theyre signing the contract tomorrow.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking.
2. For a temporary state.

3. For a definite arrangement in the near future.


Some verbs are not usually used in a continuous form
verbs of senses

see hear smell notice - recognize

verbs of emotion

want desire refuse forgive wish care love hate


like - dislike

verbs of thinking

think feel realize understand know mean


suppose believe expect remember - forget

verbs of possessing

own owe belong - possess

some other verbs

seem appear (seem) contain consist keep


(continue) - matter

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

Im adjusting the rotating speed

future

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the present tense of the verb to have +
past participle of the main verb.

Examples
Ive finished.
Where have you been?

I havent talked to him.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. Actions in the recent past with just, recently, already, at last,
lately

Example
He has just immersed the temperature probe into the molten steel.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. Actions in the recent past with just, recently, already, at last,
lately

2. General experience with ever never before so far


Example
This is the highest carbon ratio Ive ever seen.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. Actions in the recent past with just, recently, already, at last,
lately

2. General experience with ever never before so far


3. The indefinite past: we are interested in what happened, not in
when it happened.

Example
I have seen the report. (I know what it is about.)

He has sold the company.


They have had lunch.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
1. Actions in the recent past with just, recently, already, at last,
lately

2. General experience with ever never before so far


3. The indefinite past: we are interested in what happened, not in
when it happened.
4. Actions starting in the past and continuing to the present, with
for or since.
Example
The operation has been suspended for two months.

The firm has had a Belgian branch since October last year.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram


relationship with the
present moment

past

now

I ve just arrived.

future

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

? ?

now

Have you been to France?

future

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

They have revised their report.

future

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

future

We have conducted experiments on this phenomenon


for almost two years.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the present perfect of the verb to be +
present participle of the main verb.

Examples
I ve been writing code for our new data-mining program.
Has she been trying to contact me?

She hasnt been writing at all.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE
We use this tense for actions started in the past, continuing to the
present and probably continuing into the future. We often use it
with for or since.

Examples
I ve been trying to persuade him for ten years now.
We ve been practicing this routine since last Wednesday.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now
1984

future

2004

I ve been driving driving lorries for twenty years.....


In this sentence, the duration is emphasized, either
positively or negatively.
So I know what Im talking about!
So its high time I quit.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now
1984

future

2004

I ve driven a Volkswagen for twenty years.....


In this sentence, the duration is indicated, but the
car brand is emphasized.
Clearly I have confidence in this car.

past simple
past continuous
past perfect

past

past perfect continuous

past tenses

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed by adding -ed to the infinitive. The negative
and interrogative are formed with the past tense of the verb to do
+ infinitive of the main verb

Examples
They arrived at head quarters an hour ago.

When did he finalize this deal?


I didnt finish until 12 oclock.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. For actions completed at a definite time in the past.

Example
We signed the contract last Friday at 2 oclock.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. For actions completed at a definite time in the past.

2. For actions which are already completed in the past: the time is
understood but not stated.

Example
Did you arrive in time?

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. For actions completed at a definite time in the past.
2. For actions which are already completed in the past: the time is
understood but not stated.

3. The unreal past tense is used after the verb to wish and after
words and phrases such as if only; its time; suppose etc.
The simple past tense implies that the speaker knows that the
wish or the idea is impossible. Note that the wish refers to the
present time.
Examples

If I only knew his name.


I wish I were at home now.
If I were in his shoes, I would fix his wagon without much scruples.
Its time I went home.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

15.30

now

I arrived at 15.30 sharp.

future

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the past tense of the verb to be + present
participle of the main verb.

Examples
I was watching TV at 8 oclock yesterday.

Where were you looking for my glasses this time?


I wasnt eavesdropping at all!

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action.

Examples
She was playing tennis with a friend.

He was discussing production planning for the coming week.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action.

2. To describe an action in progress at a certain time in the past.

Examples
At 6 p.m. I was still sleeping.

At a quarter past nine I was having breakfast.


Prices were going up all the time.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action.

2. To describe an action in progress at a certain time in the past.


3. To describe an interrupted past action.
Examples
When he arrived, I was studying the quarterly reports.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action.

2. To describe an action in progress at a certain time in the past.


3. To describe an interrupted past action.
4. To express repeated past actions which caused irritation,
annoyance. ( with always, forever)

Examples
He was always trying to influence the personnel director.
She was forever paring her nails during meetings.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

I was working all day yesterday.

future

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

future

I was working all day yesterday.

yesterday
past

now
I worked all day yesterday.

future

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

future

1. I was working all day yesterday.


yesterday
past

now
2. I worked all day yesterday.

future

While (1) emphasizes the continuity of the action, (2) only indicates
that the action took place yesterday.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

8.30 p.m.
I was watching TV at 8.30 last night.

future

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram


8.30 p.m.
past

now

future

3. I was watching TV at 8.30 last night.


8.30 p.m.
past

now

future

4. I watched TV at 8.30 last night.


Whereas 3. indicates that the action started before and continued after a certain point in
time, 4. indicates that the action happened (started) at 8.30

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

I was browsing through your report ...

past

now

when he knocked at my office door.

future

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the past tense of the verb to have + past
participle of the main verb.

Examples
I had never seen so many measuring tools.

What assistance had he given?


He hadnt expected this outcome.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to describe one past action happening before
another past action.

Example
The customer had left the shop by the time I found his order form.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to describe one past action happening
before another past action.
2. We use it when necessary to indicate the sequence of two
actions.
Example
He had already cleared the screen when I got behind his desk.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to describe one past action happening
before another past action.
2. We use it when necessary to indicate the sequence of two
actions.
3. We often us it when the second action is understood, but not
stated.
Example
I hadnt realized!

(until you told me.)

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

had
dinner

watched
TV

now

future

1. When I had had dinner, I watched TV.

past

had
dinner

watched
TV

now

future

2. I had dinner before I watched TV.


In (1) the sequence of actions is expressed by the past perfect
tense; whereas in (2) the sequence of actions is indicated by
the use of before

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the past perfect tense of the verb to be +
present participle of the main verb.

Examples
She had been working as a secretary for two years when she was
promoted.
What had she been writing all day?

He hadnt been listening to that tape for that long.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to describe a continuous past action
happening before another past action.
We often use it with for + time period.

Example
We had been waiting for thirty minutes when they arrived.

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to describe a continuous past action
happening before another past action.
We often use it with for + time period.
2. We use this tense to emphasize the continuity or duration of
the past action.
Example
I had been waiting for my exam results for six weeks. (before I got
them.)

past simple

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

10 minutes

now

future

1. I had been waiting for 10 minutes when she arrived.

past

now

2. I waited for 10 minutes before she arrived.


Whereas in (1) the past perfect continuous indicates both the sequence of
the actions and the continuity of the first action; in (2) the sequence of the
actions is indicated by before. (1.) emphasizes the duration.

future tenses
future simple

future continuous
future perfect
future perfect continuous

going to

past

present continuous
present simple

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

We use this tense to express a pure future. Actions expressed in


the simple future are bound to happen because of the course of
time. This means that the speaker has no power over the events,
that he cannot control what will happen. For this reason this tense
is also called the uncertain future..
Examples
He will be sixteen years old next Friday.

The baby will be born next month

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. We often use this tense with particular verbs; such as think


know believe suppose expect hope to express beliefs,
convictions, hope, expectations, knowledge and opinions about
the future.

Examples
I think Brazil will win.

I dont suppose she will be promoted now

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. We often use this tense with particular verbs; such as think


know believe suppose expect hope to express beliefs,
convictions, hope, expectations, knowledge and opinions about
the future.
2. We often use it with particular adverbs such as: probably
possibly perhaps to express uncertainty about the future.
Examples
He will probably ask the general manager.

This matter will probably not be raised before the commissions


first meeting

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. We often use this tense with particular verbs; such as think


know believe suppose expect hope to express beliefs,
convictions, hope, expectations, knowledge and opinions about
the future.
2. We often use it with particular adverbs such as: probably
possibly perhaps to express uncertainty about the future.

3. The simple present is used in conditional clauses and time


clauses. The simple future is used in the main clause (not in the
if-clause).
Examples
He ll help you if you ask him.
I ll tell him the news as soon as I see him.
He ll be arrested the moment he sets foot on Schengen soil.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the present tense of the verb to be +
going to + infinitive of the main verb.

Examples
I m going to watch this football match on TV tonight.

What are you going to do about this ?


She isnt going to give this party next week

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to talk about present intentions and plans for
future actions.

Examples

I m going to pass my exams next month.


I m going to spend two weeks in Spain this summer.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to talk about present intentions and plans for
future actions.

2. We also use going to in order to express subjective certainty on


the part of the speaker.
Examples

This boat is going to sink.


Its going to rain, by the look

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to indicate definite future arrangements,
actions planned in the near future. We nearly always use a
future time expression with it.

Examples
He s starting his new job next Monday.
I m taking the 11 oclock train to Berlin

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
1. We use this tense to indicate definite future arrangements,
actions planned in the near future. We nearly always use a
future time expression with it.
Note: do not confuse intention ( to be + going to + verb) and
arrangement (to be + present participle).
Examples
Im going to stay in London. = intention
Im going to London next weekend = arrangement

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the infinitive of the main verb. The
negative and interrogative are formed with the present tense of to
do + infinitive
Examples
The plane takes off at 7.30 local time.

The match begins at 14.00 hours.


You leave from Kennedy airport at noon, and arrive in Paris at
15.00 hours GMT.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
We use this tense to talk about planned future actions. We usually
use it to describe travel plans, time tables, departures, arrivals.

Examples
The bus leaves at 15.30.

The reception starts at 19.00 hours.


The ferry leaves Dover at 12.30 tomorrow and we arrive at Calais
at 13.15.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the future simple of to be + present
participle of the main verb.

Examples
We ll be flying to Rome this time next week.

What will you be doing this time next week?


They wont be sitting in the classroom at 6 oclock tomorrow.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
We use this tense for actions that will be in progress at a certain
time in the future.

Examples
At 11.45 next Friday, I ll be doing my chemistry exam.

I ll be hiking through the States this time next year.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

This time next week Ill be taking my driving test.

future

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
1. The future continuous is also used to express long-term
arrangements, especially for travelling.

Examples
The band will be travelling through Scandinavia at the end of the
month. They will be giving three performances there.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
1. The future continuous is also used to express long-term
arrangements, especially for travelling.

2. The future continuous is also used to ask very polite questions


about future activities. By using the future continuous tense,
the speaker asking the questions shows that he does not want
to influence the other persons decision in any way at all.
Examples
Where will you be having dinner, Sir? (secretary to boss)

What will you be having, Madam? (waiter to customer)

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
1. The future continuous is also used to express long-term
arrangements, especially for travelling.

2. The future continuous is also used to ask very polite questions


about future activities. By using the future continuous tense,
the speaker asking the questions shows that he does not want
to influence the other persons decision in any way at all.
3. The future continuous is also used to make deductions about
what is happening at the moment of speaking.
Examples
He will be working in his garden now. Otherwise, he would have
heard the phone.
She hasnt begun making up the beds. She will still be doing the
washing up.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with will + have + past participle of the main
verb.

Examples
They ll have finalized their business by noon.

Will they have copied all that material by Friday morning?


They wont have organized this course by the end of this year.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
We use this tense to describe actions which we know will (or will
not) be completed by a certain time in the future.

Examples
I ll have finished this book by the end of the week.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

Examples

future

now
end of next week

By the end of next week, Ill have finished my exams.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM
This tense is formed with the future perfect tense of to be +
present participle of rthe main verb.

Examples
By the end of this year, we ll have been experimenting with this
polymer for more than three months.
How long will you have been living in that shack by the end of this
year?
I wont have been living here for more than five years by the end of
this year.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

USE
We use this tense to describe continuous and repeated actions
which begin before a certain time in the future and will probably
continue after that time.
Examples
By the end of this academic year, Ill have been teaching for 30
years.

future simple

future continuous

future perfect

going to ...

present continuous

present simple

future perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

future

end of this academic year

Example

By the end of this academic year, Ill have been teaching for 30
years.