English Grammar

Simple Present Tense Simple Past Tense Simple Future Tense

Rehan Hyder Naqvi
rehannaqvi@hotmail.com http://groups.msn.com/myenglishclub

English Tense System
For past and present, there are 2 simple tenses + 6 complex tenses (using auxiliary verbs). To these, we can add 4 "modal tenses" for the future (using modal auxiliary verbs will/shall). This makes a total of 12 tenses in the active voice. Another 12 tenses are available in the passive voice. So now we have 24 tenses. The use of tenses in English may be quite complicated, but the structure of English tenses is actually very simple. The basic structure for a positive sentence is:
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subject + auxiliary verb + main verb
* Auxiliary = Helping

there are no future tenses in English.com structure auxiliary normal simple intensive main verb Past I worked Present I work I do work Future* I will work do have be have been base I did work perfect continuous continuous perfect past participle present participle ing present participle ing I had worked I was working I had been working I have worked I am working I have been working I will have worked I will be working I will have been working * Technically. but it can and does exist for intensification.) The following table shows the 12 tenses for the verb to work in the active voice. . (In the simple present and simple past tenses. rehannaqvi@hotmail. The word will is a modal auxiliary verb and future tenses are sometimes called “Modal Tenses".An auxiliary verb is used in all tenses. the auxiliary verb is usually suppressed for the affirmative. The examples are included here for convenience and comparison.

it). we add s to the main verb or es to the auxiliary. even for questions and negatives.com I sing. . How do we make the Simple Present Tense? subject + auxiliary verb + main verb do base There are three important exceptions: For positive sentences. For the 3rd person singular (he. we do not normally use the auxiliary.Simple Present Tense rehannaqvi@hotmail. For the verb to be. she. we do not use an auxiliary.

you. coffee. it I. they + Auxiliary verb Main verb like likes coffee. you. coffee. it not like not like like like He. she.com Look at these examples with the main verb to like: Subject I. she. you. coffee. it Do ? Does . they he. we. they - do does I.How do we make the Simple Present Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. we. we. she. coffee? coffee? He.

she. they He. old. Notice that there is no auxiliary: Subject I + You. she. they He. it Am Main verb am are is am are is I not not not French. she. it I You. French. we. they he. it late? late? . old. old.How do we make the Simple Present Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail.com Look at these examples with the main verb to be. we. we. French. late? ? Are Is you.

Past Present Future It is John's job to drive a taxi. Past. present and future. He does it every day.com We use the simple present tense when: The action is general The action happens all the time.How do we use the Simple Present Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. present and future The action is not only happening now The statement is always true John drives a taxi. or habitually. in the past. .

How do we use the Simple Present Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. We can use the simple present tense to talk about now.com Look at these examples: I live in New York. Look at these examples of the verb to be in the present simple tense—some of them are general. Do you play football? Note that with the verb to be. The Moon goes round the Earth. We do not work at night. John drives a taxi. He does not drive a bus. some of them are now: (See Examples on next slide) . we can also use the simple present tense for situations that are not general.

Why are you so beautiful? Ram is tall.com Am I right? Tara is not at home. I am not fat. Past Present The situation is now. . present and future. You are happy.How do we use the Simple Present Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. Past. Past Present Future Future The situation is general.

we use: past form only or auxiliary did + base form .Simple Past Tense rehannaqvi@hotmail.com I sang. How do we make the Simple Past Tense? To make the simple past tense.

Here you can see examples of the past form and base form for irregular verbs and regular verbs: rehannaqvi@hotmail. It is shown here for completeness only. like worked worked exploded exploded liked liked You do not need the past participle form to make the simple past tense. . The past form for all regular verbs ends in -ed.com V1 base go Irregular see verb sing Regular verb work explode V2 past went saw sang V3 past participle gone seen sung The past form for irregular verbs is variable. You need to learn it by heart.

com The structure for positive sentences in the simple past tense is: subject + main verb past The structure for negative sentences in the simple past tense is: subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb did base The structure for question sentences in the simple past tense is: auxiliary verb + subject + main verb did base .How do we make the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail.

he did etc). very hard. with me. And the base form and past form do not change. you did. to London? at home? Did .com The auxiliary verb did is not conjugated. You She - did not go We Did ? did you they not work go work yesterday.How do we make the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. It is the same for all persons (I did. Look at these examples with the main verbs go and work: Subject I + Auxiliary verb Main verb went worked to school.

they here. in London. We conjugate the verb to be (I was. he/she/it was. we were. Look at these examples: Subject I. and we do not use an auxiliary for negative and question sentences. we exchange the subject and verb. right? late? . he/she/it You. they Was ? Were Main verb was were was were I.com Exception! The verb to be is different. they I. you were.How do we make the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. To make a question. we. not there. we. he/she/it you. they were). not happy. we. he/she/it + You.

The event can be short or long.com We use the simple past tense to talk about an action or a situation— an event—in the past.30am yesterday. We did not hear the telephone. Present Future . She went to the door. Did you see that car? Past The action is in the past.How do we use the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. Here are some short events with the simple past tense: The car exploded at 9.

The Jurassic period lasted about 62 million years. Did you watch TV last night? Past Present Future The action is in the past. .How do we use the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. We did not sing at the concert.com Here are some long events with the simple past tense: I lived in Bangkok for 10 years.

It can be a few milliseconds (car explosion) or millions of years (Jurassic period). Also it does not matter how long the event is. .How do we use the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail.com Notice that it does not matter how long ago the event is: it can be a few minutes or seconds in the past. we must use the simple past tense. we cannot use the present perfect. We use the simple past tense when: The event is in the past The event is completely finished We say (or understand) the time and/or place of the event TIP Rehan Hyder Naqvi In general. if we say the time or place of the event. or millions of years in the past.

com Here are some more examples: I lived in that house when I was young. We were not late (for the train). Did you play tennis last week? I was at work yesterday.How do we use the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. Were you angry? . What did you eat for dinner? John drove to London on Monday. He didn't like the movie. Mary did not go to work yesterday.

for example in conditional or if sentences. He took off his coat.com Note that when we tell a story. we usually use the simple past tense.. He sat down in the corner of the lounge and quietly drank his. It was cold. Look at this example of the beginning of a story: "The wind was howling around the hotel and the rain was pouring down. and ordered a drink at the bar. But note there are some other uses for the simple past tense. . We may use the past continuous tense to "set the scene". The door opened and James Bond entered. which was very wet.." TIP Rehan Hyder Naqvi This page shows the use of the simple past tense to talk about past events. but we almost always use the simple past tense for the action.How do we use the Simple Past Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail.

because we make the simple future tense with the modal auxiliary will. How do we make the Simple Future Tense? The structure of the simple future tense is: subject + auxiliary verb WILL + main verb invariable base will V1 . The simple future tense is often called will.com I will sing.Simple Future Tense rehannaqvi@hotmail.

For question sentences. at school tomorrow. we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. before me. She - We will you they not leave arrive want yet.How do we make the Simple Future Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. on time? dinner? ? Will ? Will .com For negative sentences in the simple future tense. Look at these example sentences with the simple future tense: Subject + I + You - Auxiliary verb will will will Main verb open finish not be the door.

How do we make the Simple Future Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. we contract with won't. like this: .com When we use the simple future tense in speaking. we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb: I will not I won't I will I'll you will he will she will it will we will they will you'll he'll she'll it'll we'll they'll we will not they will not we won't they won't you will not he will not she will not it will not you won't he won't she won't it won't For negative sentences in the simple future tense.

We will see what we can do to help you. In these examples. We often use the simple future tense with the verb to think before it: I think I'll go to the gym tomorrow. We make the decision spontaneously at the time of speaking. I'll get a pen. Look at these examples: Hold on. The decision is made at the time of speaking. I don't think I'll buy that car.com Simple Future Tense for No Plan We use the simple future tense when there is no plan or decision to do something before we speak. we had no firm plan before speaking. I think I will have a holiday next year.How do we use the Simple Future Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail. Maybe we'll stay in and watch television tonight. .

Will you be at work tomorrow? .com Simple Future Tense for Prediction We often use the simple future tense to make a prediction about the future. I won't be very long. I'm going shopping. we can use the simple future tense even if we have a firm plan or decision before speaking. We are saying what we think will happen. Who do you think will get the job? Simple Future Tense with BE When the main verb is be. People won't go to Jupiter before the 22nd century. Examples: I'll be in London tomorrow. Here are some examples: It will rain tomorrow. there is no firm plan. Again.How do we use the Simple Future Tense? rehannaqvi@hotmail.

rehannaqvi@hotmail. such as the present continuous tense or going to.com TIP Rehan Hyder Naqvi Note that when we have a plan or intention to do something in the future. we usually use other tenses or expressions. .

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