The English Tenses Present simple: it´s not always for the present and it´s not always

simple I do He/ she/ it does You do We do They do Use this tense to talk about facts, routines, to say how often you do things and situations which are permanent (by permanent we mean you don´t know when they will end). Signal words: always, usually, often, sometimes, rarely, never every morning, every day, every week, etc. now Remember that verbs in the he/she/it form have –s or –es (goes, does) at the end. You make a negative by using don´t (I, you, we, they) and doesn´t (he, she, it) in front of the verb, for example, I don´t have a dog. You can also use this tense to talk about timetables in the future, e.g. my train arrives at 2.30 tomorrow.

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Present continuous: when you´re in the middle of something! I am doing He/ she/ it is doing You are doing We are doing They are doing Remember that you need to use the correct form of the verb to be (am, is, are) before the –ing Use this tense to talk about: things which are happening as you are speaking. Use this tense to talk about things which are on-going-> started but not finished Make a negative by using not between the form of the verb to be and the verb in the –ing form, for example, I´m not reading a book at the moment. Signal words: at the moment, currently, right now

Claire Hart 2012 – Business English Lesson Plans – www.businessenglishlessonplans.wordpress.com

Past simple: It´s not over til it´s over! I did He/ she/ it made You had We wanted They wrote Remember that some verbs have regular past forms, just add –ed, and a smaller group of verbs have irregular (not regular) past forms. This group is smaller but includes verbs that we use very often, e.g. have, go, do and make. The good news is that the past form is always the same after I, you, he, she, it, we, they. Always use the past simple if you´re talking about something in the past which is finished and you want to say when it happened. You also often use it talk about something which happened without the time, if the time is already clear. Make a negative by using didn´t in front of the verb in the its original form (without to), for example, I didn´t go to the cinema at the weekend. Signal words: yesterday, last week, last year, in 2001, ago.

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Present perfect: a tense it´s difficult to use perfectly! I have done it He/ she/ it has finished You have written the email We have made a reservation for you They have sent us an email Remember to use has after he/she/it and have after I/you/they/we. After has /have there is the verb in the 3rd form: for example 1) GO 2) WENT 3) GONE. With regular verbs the 2nd (past simple) form and the 3rd form are the same, but for irregular verbs, for example, GO, the 3 rd form is different-> gone, not went. Use the present perfect to talk about things which happened in the past or started to happen in the past and are still happening now, but are relevant now (as you´re talking or writing). There is a link between the past and now. e.g. A. Why does Ms. Duffy speak such good German?

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Claire Hart 2012 – Business English Lesson Plans – www.businessenglishlessonplans.wordpress.com

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B. Oh, she has (she´s) lived in Germany for over twenty years. Use the present perfect to talk about things in the past when you don´t need to say when they happened either because it´s clear or because it´s not important. Use the present perfect to talk about how long you have done things which you do not do now and which you still do now. Make a negative by using haven´t or hasn´t in front of the verb in the third form, for example, I haven´t done it yet. Signal words: since, for, just, recently

Claire Hart 2012 – Business English Lesson Plans – www.businessenglishlessonplans.wordpress.com

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