Tenses

The past tense is used when you talk and write about an event that happened yesterday. What about an event that you’re talking about now but has not happened yet? Or an event that has begun in the past and hasn’t finished yet? Confusing? Just go through these slides and you’ll be time travelling between past, present and future in no time!

(Still happening) E.The present perfect tense For events begun in the past and continuing up to the present.g. – Ms Chan has lived in Singapore all her life. . – This building has been standing since 1950.

‘already’.The present perfect tense For actions occurring at unspecified times (with or without adverbials like ‘just’.g. ‘ever’) E. – Have you been to London before? . – I have already washed the dishes.

. – She has had long hair all her life. – Tom has never been to Canada.g.The present perfect tense To express habitual or continued action E.

The present perfect continuous tense To express an action that began in the past.g. – She has been looking for a kitten to adopt since the beginning of this year. . continued into the present. – Karen has been reading for two hours. and may continue into the future or has only just finished. and she hasn’t finished yet! – I have been exercising every day in the past week. E.

– He went home because he had forgotten to bring his umbrella.The past perfect tense To describe a sequence of events in the past (a past event completed before another event that happened in the past). he had already called. . E.g. – When I arrived home.

– Matthew said that he had gone to watch the movie. .The past perfect tense In reported speech E.g. – He said that he had already had chicken rice for lunch yesterday.

The past perfect continuous tense To mark an action going on in the past when a second one took place E.g. . – Sally had been having an ordinary day till she witnessed an accident on her way home. – I had been watching the show for an hour when the television broke down.

Remember these? Simple past tense is used after ‘wish’ as well as to indicate a past habit E. – I wish I was a plumber – I had a lisp – I was lazy .g.

E. – We are going to the zoo tomorrow.g.Remember these? The present continuous tense is used for activities planned for the future. .

E. – She was cooking dinner.g. . – They were singing for an hour.Remember these? The past continuous tense is used for activities that took place over a period of time.