The most common uses of English tenses guide, where to use which tense?

by Jan 7, 2019English and Study Tips

Mohamed Abd

Mohamed Abd

Community Contributor (Syria)

    • Leadership strengths (Level 3)
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1. The Simple Present is used for habitual actions, while the Present Continuous is used for actions taking place at the present moment.
Examples: I read the newspaper every day. I am reading English ( now).

2. The Simple Past is used when a definite time or date is mentioned, while the Present Perfect is used when no time is mentioned.
Examples: I wrote my exercise last night. I have written my exercise.

3. Habitual actions in the past are expressed either by the Simple Past or by the phrase used to.
Examples: l went (or l used to go) to the cinema every week last year.

NOTE. The Past Continuous ( I was going) is not used for a past habitual action, but for action in the past continuing at the time another action took place: as ” I was going to the cinema when I met him.”

4. If the action began in the past and is still continuing in the present, the only correct tense to use is the Present Perfect.

Example: I have been in this class for two months.

5. Be very careful NOT to use the future but the Present tense in a clause of time or condition, if the verb in the principal clause is in the future.

Example: I will visit the Parthenon when I go ( or if I go) to Athens.

Thank you

Mobamed Abd

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