Verb Tenses – What is Verb Tense? What are the types of Verb tenses?

by | Apr 11, 2019 | English Grammar Tips

Verb Tenses – What is Verb Tense? What are the types of Verb Tenses?

Verb Tenses By: Larisa Chakarova

 

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Larisa Chakarova

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The Verb Tenses

 

Tap on the verb tenses map below 

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What is verb tense?

 

The tense of a verb tells you when a person did something or when something existed or happened. So Verb tenses tell us how an action relates to the flow of time.

 

What are the types of verb tenses?

 

There are three main verb tenses:

  • Present tense
  • Past tense
  • Future tense

 

Present Verb Tenses:

 

Present Continuous Tense

 

What is Present Simple Tense?

We form it with the base form of the verb and add the suffix -s for third person singular – he, she or it.

 

Example of Present Simple Tense: to love

 1. I love  1. We love
 2. You love  2. You love
 3. He/She/It loves  3. They love

 

Where do we use the Present Simple Tense?

We use it for frequently repeated actions, permanent states, general truths, habits, likes/dislikes, reviews, timetables and schedules(as future tense)

 

Present Simple Tense Example:

  • I go to work every day.
  • He works as a doctor.
  • Bats live in caves.
  • I hate fish.
  • The plane takes off at 6 p.m tomorrow.

Go Back


 

Present Continuous Tense

 

What is Present Continuous Tense?

We form it with the help of the auxiliary verb am/is/are and the -ing form of the main verb.

 

Example of Present Continuous Tense: to read

 1. I am reading  1. We are reading
 2. You are reading  2. You are reading
 3. He/She/It is reading  3. They are reading

 

Where do we use the Present Continuous Tense?

We use it for actions happening now, temporary states, developing situations and fixed future arrangements.

 

Present Continuous Tense Example:

  • I am cooking lunch at the moment.
  • I am not working this week.
  • I am meeting my friends tonight.

Go Back


 

 

Present Perfect Tense

 

What is Present Perfect Tense?

We form it with the help of the auxiliary verb have/has and the past participle of the main verb.

 

Example of Present Perfect Tense: to play

 1. I have/’ve played  1. We have/’ve played
 2. You have/’ve played  2. You have/’ve played
 3. He/She/It has/’s played  3. They have/’ve played

 

Where do we use the Present Continuous Tense?

We use it for actions that happened at an unspecified time in the past. It is not important when the action happened. What is important is the result of it.

 

Present Continuous Tense Example:

  • I have seen this film.

Go Back


 

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

 

What is Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

We form it with the help of the auxiliary verb have/has plus been plus the -ing form of the main verb.

 

Example of Present Perfect Continuous Tense: to work

 1. I have been working  1. We have been working
 2. You have been working  2. You have been working
 3. He/She/It has been working  3. They have been working

 

Where do we use the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

We use it for actions which started in the past and continue up to now and for recently completed continuous actions, whose result is visible now.

 

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Example:

  • I have been studying English for 10 years.
  • I am tired because I have been working all day.

Go Back


 

Past Verb Tenses:

 

Past Simple Tense

 

What is Past Simple Tense?

We form it by adding the suffix -ed for regular verbs and use the second form for irregular verbs.

 

Example of Past Simple Tenses Tense: to play

 1. I played  1. We played
 2. You played  2. You played
 3. He/She/It played  3. They played

 

Where do we use the Past Simple Tense Tense?

We use it for actions which happened at a stated time in the past.

 

Present Past Simple Tense Example:

  • I booked our holiday yesterday.

Go Back


 

Past Continuous Tense

 

What is Past Continuous Tense?

We form it with the help of the auxiliary verb was/were and the -ing form of the main verb.

 

Example of Past Continuous Tense: to read

 1. I was reading  1. We were reading
 2. You were reading  2. You were reading
 3. He/ She/It was reading  3.They were reading

Where do we use the Past Continuous Tense?

We use it for actions which were not completed at a stated time in the past.

 

Past Continuous Tense Example:

  • I was watching a film at 6 pm yesterday.

Go Back


 

Past Perfect Tense

 

What is Past Perfect Tense?

We form it with the help of the auxiliary verb had and the past participle of the main verb.

 

Example of Past Perfect Tense: to play

 1. I had played  1. We had played
 2. You had played  2. You had played
 3. He/she/it had played  3. They had played

 

Where do we use the Past Perfect Tense?

We use it for an action which happened before another action in the past.

 

Present Past Perfect Tense Example:

  • By the time he got to the cinema, the film had already started.

Go Back


 

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

 

What is Past Perfect Continuous Tense?

We form it with the help of the auxiliary verb had plus been plus the -ing form of the main verb.

 

Example of Past Perfect Continuous Tense: to read

 1. I had/’d been reading  1. We had/’d been reading
 2. You had/’d been reading  2. You had/’d been reading
 3. He/she/it had/’d been reading  3. They had/’d been reading

 

Where do we use the Past Perfect Continuous Tense Tense?

We use it for a continuous action which happened before another action in the past.

 

Past Perfect Continuous Tense Example:

  • She had been watching TV for 2 hours before she went to bed.

Go Back


 

Future Verb Tenses:

 

Future Simple Tense

 

What is Future Simple Tense?

We form it with will and the infinitive (base) form of the verb.

 

Example of Future Simple Tense: to read

 1. I will/’ll read  1. We will/’ll read
 2. You will/’ll read  2. You will/’ll read
 3. He/she/it had/’d been reading  3. They had/’d been reading

 

Where do we use the Future Simple Tense?

We use it for predictions, on-the-spot decisions, future facts, promises, offers, hopes, threats

 

Future Simple Tense Example:

  • People will live underwater in 2050.
  • I will call you tonight.

Go Back


 

Future with “going to” Tense

 

What is Future with “going to” Tense?

We form it with the help of the auxiliary verb am/is/are plus going to plus the infinitive(base) form of the main verb.

 

Example of Future with “going to” Tense: to read

1. I am/I’m going to read 1. We are/We’re going to read
2. You are/You’re going to read 2. You are/You’re going to read
3. He/she/it is/He’s/she’s/it’s going to read 3. They are/They’re going to read

 

Where do we use the Future with “going to” Tense?

We use it for future plans and intentions, and for predictions based on what we see.

 

Future with “going to” Tense:

  • We are going to visit Paris in August.
  • Look at the boy! he is going to fall off his bike.

Go Back


 

Future Continuous Tense

 

What is Future Continuous Tense?

We form it with will be and the -ing form of the main verb.

Example of Future Continuous Tense: to read

1. I will/’ll be reading 1. We will/’ll be reading
2. You will/’ll be reading 2. You will/’ll be reading
3. He/she/it will/’ll be reading 3. They will/’ll be reading

Where do we use the Future Continuous Tense?

We use it for actions which will not be completed at a stated time in the future.

 

Future Continuous Tense Example:

  • At this time tomorrow, I will be flying to NY.

Go Back


 

Future Perfect Tense

 

What is Future Perfect Tense?

We form it with will have and the past participle of the main verb.

 

Example of Future Perfect Tense: to do

1. I will/’ll have done 1. We will/’ll have done
2. You will/’ll have done 2. You will/’ll have done
3. He/she/it will/’ll have done 3. They will/’ll have done

 

Where do we use the Future Perfect Tense?

We use it for actions which will be completed by a stated time in the future.

 

Future Continuous Tense Example:

  • By this time tomorrow, I will have finished the report.

Go Back


 

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

 

What is Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

We form it with will have been and the -ing form of the main verb.

 

Example of Future Perfect Continuous Tense: to read

1. I will/’ll have been reading 1. We will/’ll have been reading
2. You will/’ll have been reading 2. You will/’ll have been reading
3. He/she/it will/’ll have been reading 3. They will/’ll have been reading

 

Where do we use the Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

We use it for actions which will have continued for some time by a stated time in the future.

 

Future Perfect Continuous Tense Example:

  • By the end of the year, I will have been working for this company for 15 years.

Go Back


 

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