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Tense Formula

Tense Formula

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Published by: rezaulaktel on Dec 15, 2009
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Signal words

Use something happens repeatedly how often something happens one action follows another things in general after the following verbs (to love, to hate, to think, etc.) future meaning: timetables, programmes something is happening at the same time of speaking or around it future meaning: when you have already decided and arranged to do it (a fixed plan, date) action took place in the past, mostly connected with an expression of time (no connection to the present) an action happened in the middle of another


Examples affirmative I work. He works. I go.

Examples negative I don't work.

Examples interrogative Do I work?

every day sometimes Simple Present or Present Simple always often usually seldom never first ... then

He doesn't work. Does he work? I don't go. Do I go?

infinitive he/she/it + -s He goes. He doesn't go. Does he go?

now Present Progressive at the moment or Present Look! Continuous Listen! last ... Simple Past or Past Simple ... ago in 1990 yesterday

I'm working. He's working. to be (am/are/is) + infinitive + -ing I'm going.

I'm not working. Am I working? He isn't working. Is he working? I'm not going. Am I going?

He's going.

He isn't going.

Is he going?

regular: infinitive + -ed irregular: 2nd column of table of irregular verbs

I worked. He worked. I went. He went.

I didn't work. He didn't work. I didn't go. He didn't go. I wasn't working.

Did I work? Did he work? Did I go? Did he go? Was I working?

Past while Progressive

was/were + I was working. infinitive + -ing

action or Past Continuous someone was doing sth. at a certain time (in the past) - you do not know whether it was finished or not Just Yet Never Simple Present Perfect or Present Perfect Ever Already So far, Up to now, Since for Recently all day the whole day Present Perfect how long Progressive or since Present Perfect for Continuous action began in the past and has just stopped

He was working. I was going. He was going. I have worked. He has worked.

He wasn't working. I wasn't going.

Was he working? Was I going?

He wasn't going. Was he going? I haven't worked. He hasn't worked. I haven't gone. Have I worked? Has he worked? Have I gone?

you say that sth. has have/has + past I have gone. happened or is finished participle* in the past and it has a connection to the *(infinitive + present -ed) or (3rd column of table action started in the of irregular past and continues up He has gone. verbs) to the present

He hasn't gone.

Has he gone?

I have been working. He has been working.

I haven't been working. He hasn't been working. I haven't been going. He hasn't been going.

Have I been working? Has he been working? Have I been going? Has he been going?

have/has + how long the action has been + infinitive I have been going. been happening + -ing emphasis: length of time of an action

He has been going. had + past I had worked.



mostly when two

I hadn't worked. Had I worked?

Past Perfect or Past Perfect (Simple)

just never

actions in a story are related to each other: the action which had already happened is put into Past Perfect, the other action into Simple Past the past of the Present Perfect

He had worked. participle* *(infinitive + -ed) or (3rd column of table of irregular verbs) I had gone.

He hadn't worked. I hadn't gone.

Had he worked? Had I gone?

He had gone.

He hadn't gone. Had he gone?

I had been working. Past Perfect how long Progressive or since Past Perfect Continuous for how long something had been happening before something else happened had + been + infinitive + ing He had been working. I had been going. He had been going. predictions about the future (you think that sth. will happen) you decide to do sth. spontaneously at the time of speaking, you haven't made a decision before main clause in type I of the if clauses going to future when you have already be (am/are/is) I'm going to decided to do sth. in + going to + work. the future infinitive He's going to work. what you think what will happen I'm going to go. I'll work. He'll work. I'll go. will + infinitive He'll go.

I hadn't been working. He hadn't been working. I hadn't been going. He hadn't been going. I won't work. He won't work. I won't go.

Had I been working? Had he been working? Had I been going? Had he been going? Will I work? Will he work? Will I go?

will - future

He won't go.

Will he go?

I'm not going to Am I going to work. work? He's not going to Is he going to work. work? I'm not going to Am I going to go. go?

He's going to go. An action will be in progress at a certain time in the future. This action has begun before the certain time. will + be + infinitive + ing Something happens because it normally happens. I'll be working. He'll be working. I'll be going. He'll be going.

He's not going to Is he going to go. go? I won't be working. He won't be working. I won't be going. He won't be going. Will I be working? Will he be working? Will I be going? Will he be going? Will I have worked? Will he have worked? Will I have gone? Will he have gone? Will I have been working? Will he have been working? Will I have been working?

Future Progressive or Future Continuous

Simple Future Perfect or Future Perfect Simple Future Perfect Progressive or Future Perfect Continuous

sth. will already have happened before a certain time in the future

I won't have I'll have worked. will + have + worked. past participle* He'll have He won't have worked. worked. *(infinitive + -ed) or (3rd column of table of irregular verbs) I'll have gone. He'll have gone. I'll have been working. I won't have gone. He won't have gone. I won't have been working.

sth. will already have happened before a certain time in the future emphasis: length of time of an action

He'll have been He won't have working. been working. I'll have been will + have + going. been + infinitive + ing I won't have been going.

He'll have been He won't have going. been going.

Will he have been working?


sth. that might happen would +

I would work.

I wouldn't work.

Would I work?

He would work.

He wouldn't work. I wouldn't go. He wouldn't go. I wouldn't be working. He wouldn't be working. I wouldn't be going. He wouldn't be going. I wouldn't have worked.

Would he work? Would I go? Would he go? Would I be working? Would he be working? Would I be going? Would he be going? Would I have worked?


main clause in type II of the if clauses


I would go. He would go. I would be working.

Conditional Progressive or Conditional Continuous

sth. that might happen emphasis: length of time of an action

would + be + infinitive + ing

He would be working. I would be going. He would be going.

Conditional Perfect

sth. that might have happened in the past (It's too late now.)

I would have would + have + worked. past participle* He would have worked. *(infinitive + I would have gone. He would have gone. I would have been working.

He wouldn't have Would he have worked. worked? I wouldn't have gone. Would I have gone?

-ed) or (3rd main clause in type III column of table of the if clauses of irregular verbs)

He wouldn't have Would I have gone. gone? I wouldn't have been working. Would I have been working?

Conditional Perfect Progressive or Conditional Perfect Continuous

sth. that might have happened in the past (It's too late now.) emphasis: length of time of an action

would + have + been + infinitive I would have + ing been going.
He would have been going.

He would have been going.

Would he He wouldn't have have been been going. working? I wouldn't have been going. Would I have been going?

Would he He wouldn't have have been been going. going?

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