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English Tenses

English Tenses

1. Present Simple

a) Present Simple is the tense that refers to: repeated actions, preferences, general truths and scheduled events.
b) Present Simple requires the first form of the verb

How do I form Present Simple?

a) Affirmative
Subject + Verb1 + (…).
b) Interrogative
Do / Does + Subject + Verb1 + (…) + ?
c) Negative
Subject + Do Not / Does Not + Verb1 + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I eat twice a day Do I eat twice a day? I do not eat twice a day
2nd person Singular You eat twice a day Do You eat twice a day? You do not eat twice a day
3rd person Singular He/She/It eats twice a day Does He/She/It eat twice a day? He/She/It does not eat twice a day
1st person Plural We eat twice a day Do We eat twice a day? We do not eat twice a day
2nd person Plural You eat twice a day Do You eat twice a day? You do not eat twice a day
3rd person Plural They eat twice a day Do They eat twice a day? They do not eat twice a day

2. Present Continuous

We use Present Continuous in the following situations:
a) When the action is happening right now.
b) When the action is happening at present, even if it takes more time.
c) When we refer to plans for the close future.
d) When we refer to a repetitive and, most often, annoying action.

Present Continuous is also called Present Progressive because it refers to actions that are in progress.

How do I form Present Continuous?

a) Affirmative
Subject + TO BE + Verb-ing + (…).
b) Interrogative
TO BE + Subject + Verb-ing + (…)?
c) Negative
Subject + TO BE + not + Verb I + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I am eating daily Am I eating daily? I am not eating daily
2nd person Singular You are eating daily Are you eating daily? You are not eating daily
3rd person Singular He/She/It are eating daily Is He/She/It eating daily? He/She/It is not eating daily
1st person Plural We are eating daily Are we eating daily? We are not eating daily
2nd person Plural You are eating daily Are you eating daily? You are not eating daily
3rd person Plural They are eating daily Are they eating daily? They are not eating daily

3. Present Perfect Simple

We use Present Perfect Simple in the following situations:
a) recent actions that have an impact on the present situation
b) uncompleted actions that should be completed soon
c) actions/situations that started in the past and continue in the present

How do I form Present Perfect Simple?

a) Affirmative
Subject + TO HAVE + the 3rd form of the main verb + (…).
b) Interrogative
TO HAVE + Subject + the 3rd form of the main verb + (…)?
c) Negative
Subject + TO HAVE + not + the 3rd form of the main verb + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I have eaten lunch Have I eaten lunch? I have not eaten lunch
2nd person Singular You have eaten lunch Have you eaten lunch? You have not eaten lunch
3rd person Singular He/She/It has eaten lunch Has He/She/It eaten lunch? He/She/It has not eaten lunch
1st person Plural We have eaten lunch Have we eaten lunch? We have not eaten lunch
2nd person Plural You have eaten lunch Have you eaten lunch? You have not eaten lunch
3rd person Plural They have eaten lunch Have they eaten lunch? They have not eaten lunch

4. Present Perfect Continuous

How do I form Present Perfect Continuous?

a) Affirmative
Subject + TO HAVE + BEEN + Verb-ing + (…).
b) Interrogative
TO HAVE + Subject + BEEN + Verb-ing + (…)?
c) Negative
Subject + TO HAVE + not + BEEN + Verb-ing + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I have been eating lunch for one hour. Have I been eating lunch for one hour? I have not been eating lunch for one hour
2nd person Singular You have been eating lunch for one hour. Have you been eating lunch for one hour? You have not been eating lunch for one hour
3rd person Singular He/She/It has been eating lunch for one hour. Has He/She/It been eating lunch for one hour? He/She/It has not been eating lunch for one hour
1st person Plural We have been eating lunch for one hour. Have we been eating lunch for one hour? We have not been eating lunch for one hour
2nd person Plural You have been eating lunch for one hour. Have you been eating lunch for one hour? You have not been eating lunch for one hour
3rd person Plural They have been eating lunch for one hour. Have they been eating lunch for one hour? They have not been eating lunch for one hour

5. Past Simple

We use Past Simple in the following situations:
a) one action in the past
b) historical facts
c) generalizations in the past

How do I form Past Simple?

a) Affirmative
Subject + Verb 2 + (…)
b) Interrogative
Did + Subject + Verb 1 + (…) + ?
c) Negative
Subject + Did Not + Verb 1 + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I ate yesterday Did I eat yesterday? I did not eat yesterday
2nd person Singular You ate yesterday Did you eat yesterday? You did not eat yesterday
3rd person Singular He/She/It ate yesterday Did He/She/It eat yesterday? He/She/It did not eat yesterday
1st person Plural We ate yesterday Did we eat yesterday? We did not eat yesterday
2nd person Plural You ate yesterday Did you eat yesterday? You did not eat yesterday
3rd person Plural They ate yesterday Did they eat yesterday? They did not eat yesterday

6. Past Continuous

We use Past Continuous in the following situations:
a) a past action interrupted by another past action
b) a past action interrupted by a specific time
c) parallel actions in the past
d) to describe the atmosphere in the past

How do I form Past Continuous?

a) Affirmative
Subject + Was/Were + Verb-ing + (…).
b) Interrogative
Was/Were + Subject + Verb-ing + (…)?
c) Negative
Subject + Was/Were not + Verb-ing + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I was eating pizza Was I eating pizza? I was not eating pizza
2nd person Singular You were eating pizza Were you eating pizza? You were not eating pizza
3rd person Singular He/She/It was eating pizza Was He/She/It eating pizza? He/She/It was not eating pizza
1st person Plural We were eating pizza Were we eating pizza? We were not eating pizza
2nd person Plural You were eating pizza Were you eating pizza? You were not eating pizza
3rd person Plural They were eating pizza Were they eating pizza? They were not eating pizza

7. Past Perfect Simple

We use Past Perfect Simple in the following situation :
a) to refer to an action that happened before another action in the past

How do I form Past Perfect Simple?

a) Affirmative
Subject + had + the 3rd form of the main verb + (…).
b) Interrogative
HAD + Subject + the 3rd form of the main verb + (…)?
c) Negative
Subject + had not + the 3rd form of the main verb + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I had read that book before she gave it to you as a present. Had I read that book before she gave it to you as a present? I had not read the book before she gave it to you as a present
2nd person Singular You had read that book before she gave it to you as a present. Had you read that book before she gave it to you as a present? You had not read the book before she gave it to you as a present
3rd person Singular He/She/It had read that book before she gave it to you as a present. Had He/She/It read that book before she gave it to you as a present? He/She/It had not read the book before she gave it to you as a present
1st person Plural We had read that book before she gave it to you as a present. Had we read that book before she gave it to you as a present? We had not read the book before she gave it to you as a present
2nd person Plural You had read that book before she gave it to you as a present. Had you read that book before she gave it to you as a present? You had not read the book before she gave it to you as a present
3rd person Plural They had read that book before she gave it to you as a present. Had they read that book before she gave it to you as a present? They had not read the book before she gave it to you as a present

8. Past Perfect Continuous

How do I form Past Perfect Continuous?

a) Affirmative
Subject + HAD BEEN + Verb-ing + (…).
b) Interrogative
HAD + Subject + BEEN + Verb-ing + (…)?
c) Negative
Subject + HAD not + BEEN + Verb-ing + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I had been eating. Had I been eating? I had not been eating.
2nd person Singular You had been eating. Had You been eating? You had not been eating.
3rd person Singular He/She/It had been eating. Had He/She/It been eating? He/She/It had not been eating.
1st person Plural We had been eating. Had we been eating? We had not been eating.
2nd person Plural You had been eating. Had You been eating? You had not been eating.
3rd person Plural They had been eating. Had they been eating? They had not been eating.

1. Future Simple

Future Simple can be formed in two ways:

a) Future with Will
b) ‘Be Going to’ Future

We use Future with ‘Will’ in the following situations:
a) instant decisions
b) promises
c) offers to help

We use ‘Be Going to’ Future for:
a) plans
b) intentions
c) predictions

Will is a modal verb.(Affirmative → Interrogative → Negative)

I will have tea. → Will I have tea? → I will not (won’t) have tea.
He will call us when he arrives. → Will he call us when he arrives? → He will not (won’t) call us when he arrives.
We will drive you home. → Will we drive you home? → We will not (won’t) drive you home.

Note: will not = won’t

How do I form ‘Be Going to’ Future?

a) Affirmative
Subject + TO BE + Going to + Verb1 + (…).
b) Interrogative
TO BE + Subject + Going to + Verb1 + (…) + ?
c) Negative
Subject + TO BE Not + Going to + Verb1 + (…)

Person Affirmative Interrogative Negative
1st person Singular I am going to spend the summer here. Am I going to spend the summer here? I am not going to spend the summer here
2nd person Singular You are going to spend the summer here. Are you going to spend the summer here? You are not going to spend the summer here
3rd person Singular He/She/It is going to spend the summer here Is He/She/It going to spend the summer here? He/She/It is going to spend the summer here
1st person Plural We are going to spend the summer here. Are we going to spend the summer here? We are not going to spend the summer here
2nd person Plural You are going to spend the summer here. Are you going to spend the summer here? You are not going to spend the summer here
3rd person Plural They are going to spend the summer here. Are they going to spend the summer here? They are not going to spend the summer here
Adam Balogh
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