one-stop resource for the English language and more ...
overview of the FIVE
most important tenses in the English language
It is important to know when to use each tense
and also how to make the tenses. Here’s some help with the most commonly used
tenses in English:
(I will go)
(I have gone)
(I am going)
|When do I use
||Used for present
facts and repeated actions.
||Used for completed
actions in the past.
||Used for future
actions, even if they are only a few seconds in the future.
||Used for actions
which started in the past and are still true now.
||Used for temporary
actions going on now.
signal use of the tense:
||every (day, week,
month, year, etc.), always, usually, often, sometimes, etc.
(week, month, year, etc.), when I was a child, this morning (if it is no
longer morning), etc.
(week, month, year, etc.), in the future, when I retire, when I get home,
||Since, for, ever
(with questions), up to now, how long (with questions), etc.
||Now, at the
moment, today, this week, presently, etc.
|How do I make
||The first form of
the verb is used to make the Present Simple.
For questions and negatives the helping verb
(do / does) is used with the first form of the verb.
An important rule with the Present Simple
is: Don’t forget the "s" with he, she & it!
|The second form of
the verb is used for the Past Simple.
However, when making questions and negatives in the Past Simple, we use the
helping verb "did" and leave the main verb in its infinitive form (1st
|The Future Simple
is formed with the helping verb will and the first form of the verb.
Perfect is formed with the helping verb have (or: has) and the third form of
Continuous is formed with the helping verb to be (am, are, is) and the "-ing"
form of the verb.
verb do I use?
||do / does
||have / has
||to be (am, are,
Handy hint on tense usage in
Tense refers to time. What time
is it in your sentence? Whatever time it is it should remain consistent
throughout your whole piece of writing. If it was last week you are talking
about, stay there.
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