future

We use tenses of verbs to refer to actions or situations in the present, in the past and in the future

past

present

future

There are different sorts of tenses: simple tenses continuous tenses

present

perfect tenses perfect continuous tenses

past

present

future

present tenses
present simple present continuous present perfect present perfect continuous

past

FORM

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

The present simple is formed with the infinitive of the main verb. The negative and interrogative are formed with the present tense of the verb to do + infinitive. Examples  I start ( he starts) work at 8.30 a.m. When do I start work? I don’t start work until 9.00 a..m. / He doesn’t start work until 9.00 a..m.

USE

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

1. for habitual and repeated actions Example  I play blues harp and dobro guitar

USE

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

1. for habitual and repeated actions 2. with adverbs (or expressions) of frequency ( often – usually – sometimes -seldom – rarely – always – occasionally – never – twice a week - on Tuesdays – most of the time ....) Example  He often arrives late

USE

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

1. for habitual and repeated actions 2. with adverbs (or expressions) of frequency 3. Certain verbs are usually only used in the simple form
verbs of the senses see- hear- smell – notice – recognize

 

verbs of emotions verbs of thinking

want – desire – refuse – forgive – wish – care – love – hate – like – dislike think – feel – realize – understand – know – mean – suppose – believe – expect – remember – forget

Example Do you see what I mean? She likes my brother very much. I suppose he realizes that now.

USE

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

1. for habitual and repeated actions 2. with adverbs (or expressions) of frequency 3. Certain verbs are usually only used in the simple form 4. for something that is permanently true

Example Water boils at 100° C.

on the time diagram

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

past

now

future

I get up at 7.30 a.m. every day.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

FORM This tense is formed with the present tense of the verb to be + present participle of the main verb.

Examples I’m watching television. What are you doing? He isn’t coming.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking.

Example She’s reading the newspaper.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking. 2. For a temporary state. Example The company is reorganizing its services.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking. 2. For a temporary state. 3. For a definite arrangement in the near future. Example They’re signing the contract tomorrow.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. For actions happening at the moment of speaking. 2. For a temporary state. 3. For a definite arrangement in the near future. Some verbs are not usually used in a continuous form verbs of senses see – hear – smell – notice - recognize
verbs of emotion verbs of thinking verbs of possessing some other verbs want – desire – refuse – forgive – wish – care – love – hate – like - dislike think – feel – realize – understand – know – mean – suppose – believe – expect – remember - forget own – owe – belong - possess seem – appear (seem) – contain – consist – keep (continue) - matter

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

future

I’m adjusting the rotating speed

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

FORM This tense is formed with the present tense of the verb to have + past participle of the main verb.

Examples I’ve finished. Where have you been? I haven’t talked to him.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. Actions in the recent past with ‘just, recently, already, at last, lately’

Example He has just immersed the temperature probe into the molten steel.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. Actions in the recent past with ‘just, recently, already, at last, lately’ 2. General experience with ‘ever – never – before – so far’ Example This is the highest carbon ratio I’ve ever seen.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. Actions in the recent past with ‘just, recently, already, at last, lately’ 2. General experience with ‘ever – never – before – so far’ 3. The indefinite past: we are interested in what happened, not in when it happened. Example I have seen the report. (I know what it is about.) He has sold the company. They have had lunch.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE 1. Actions in the recent past with ‘just, recently, already, at last, lately’ 2. General experience with ‘ever – never – before – so far’ 3. The indefinite past: we are interested in what happened, not in when it happened. 4. Actions starting in the past and continuing to the present, with ‘for’ or ‘since”. Example The operation has been suspended for two months. The firm has had a Belgian branch since October last year.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram
relationship with the present moment

pas t

now

future

I ‘ve just arrived.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

pas t

?

? ?

now

future

Have you been to France?

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

pas t

now

future

They have revised their report.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

pas t

now

future

We have conducted experiments on this phenomenon for almost two years.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

FORM This tense is formed with the present perfect of the verb to be + present participle of the main verb.

Examples I ‘ve been writing code for our new data-mining program. Has she been trying to contact me? She hasn’t been writing at all.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

USE We use this tense for actions started in the past, continuing to the present and probably continuing into the future. We often use it with “for” or “since”.

Examples I’ ve been trying to persuade him for ten years now. We ‘ve been practicing this routine since last Wednesday.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past 1984

now 2004

future

I ‘ve been driving driving lorries for twenty years..... In this sentence, the duration is emphasized, either positively or negatively. So I know what I’m talking about! So it’s high time I quit.

present simple

present continuous

present perfect

present perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past 1984

now 2004

future

I ‘ve driven a Volkswagen for twenty years..... In this sentence, the duration is indicated, but the car brand is emphasized. Clearly I have confidence in this car.

future

present

past simple past continuous past perfect past perfect continuous

past

past tenses

past simple

FORM

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

This tense is formed by adding -ed to the infinitive. The negative and interrogative are formed with the past tense of the verb to do + infinitive of the main verb

Examples  They arrived at head quarters an hour ago. When did he finalize this deal? I didn’t finish until 12 o’clock.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. For actions completed at a definite time in the past.

Example  We signed the contract last Friday at 2 o’clock.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. For actions completed at a definite time in the past. 2. For actions which are already completed in the past: the time is understood but not stated. Example  Did you arrive in time?

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. For actions completed at a definite time in the past. 2. For actions which are already completed in the past: the time is understood but not stated. 3. The ‘unreal past tense’ is used after the verb ‘to wish’ and after words and phrases such as ‘if only; it’s time; suppose’ etc. The simple past tense implies that the speaker knows that the wish or the idea is impossible. Note that the wish refers to the present time. Examples If I only knew his name. I wish I were at home now. If I were in his shoes, I would fix his wagon without much scruples.

past simple

on the time diagram

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

past

15.30

now

future

I arrived at 15.30 sharp.

past simple

FORM

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

This tense is formed with the past tense of the verb to be + present participle of the main verb.

Examples I was watching TV at 8 o’clock yesterday. Where were you looking for my glasses this time? I wasn’t eavesdropping at all!

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action.

Examples She was playing tennis with a friend. He was discussing production planning for the coming week.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action. 2. To describe an action in progress at a certain time in the past.

Examples At 6 p.m. I was still sleeping. At a quarter past nine I was having breakfast. Prices were going up all the time.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action. 2. To describe an action in progress at a certain time in the past. past 3. To describe an interrupted past action. Examples When he arrived, I was studying the quarterly reports.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. To emphasize the continuity of the past action. 2. To describe an action in progress at a certain time in the past. 3. To describe an interrupted past action. action 4. To express repeated past actions which caused irritation, annoyance. ( with always, forever) Examples He was always trying to influence the personnel director. She was forever paring her nails during meetings.

past simple

on the time diagram

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

past

now

futur e

I was working all day yesterday.

past simple

on the time diagram

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

past

now I was working all day yesterday.

futur e

yesterda y past now I worked all day yesterday. futur e

past simple

on the time diagram

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

past

futur e 1. I was working all day yesterday. yesterda y

now

past

now 2. I worked all day yesterday.

futur e

While (1) emphasizes the continuity of the action, (2) only indicates that the action took place yesterday.

past simple

on the time diagram

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

past 8.30 p.m.

now

futur e

I was watching TV at 8.30 last night.

past simple

on the time diagram 8.30 p.m. past

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

now 3. I was watching TV at 8.30 last night. 8.30 p.m.

futur e

past

futur e 4. I watched TV at 8.30 last night. now

Whereas 3. indicates that the action started before and continued after a certain point in time, 4. indicates that the action happened (started) at 8.30

past simple

on the time diagram

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

I was browsing through your report ...

past

now

futur e

when he knocked at my office door.

past simple

FORM

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

This tense is formed with the past tense of the verb to have + past participle of the main verb.

Examples I had never seen so many measuring tools. What assistance had he given? He hadn’t expected this outcome.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. We use this tense to describe one past action happening before another past action.

Example The customer had left the shop by the time I found his order form.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. We use this tense to describe one past action happening before another past action. 2. We use it when necessary to indicate the sequence of two actions. Example He had already cleared the screen when I got behind his desk.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. We use this tense to describe one past action happening before another past action. 2. We use it when necessary to indicate the sequence of two actions. 3. We often us it when the second action is understood, but not stated. Example I hadn’t realized! (until you told me.)

past simple

on the time diagram past
had dinner

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

watched TV

now

future

1. When I had had dinner, I watched TV.

past

had dinner

watche d TV

now

future

2. I had dinner before I watched TV. In (1) the sequence of actions is expressed by the past perfect tense; whereas in (2) the sequence of actions is indicated by the use of before

past simple

FORM

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

This tense is formed with the past perfect tense of the verb to be + present participle of the main verb.

Examples She had been working as a secretary for two years when she was promoted. What had she been writing all day? He hadn’t been listening to that tape for that long.

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. We use this tense to describe a continuous past action happening before another past action. We often use it with for + time period. Example We had been waiting for thirty minutes when they arrived.  

past simple

USE

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

1. We use this tense to describe a continuous past action happening before another past action. We often use it with for + time period. 2. We use this tense to emphasize the continuity or duration of the past action. Example  I had been waiting for my exam results for six weeks. (before I got them.)

past simple

on the time diagram

past continuous

past perfect

past perfect continuous

past

10 minutes

now

future

1. I had been waiting for 10 minutes when she arrived.

past

now

2. I waited for 10 minutes before she arrived.
Whereas in (1) the past perfect continuous indicates both the sequence of the actions and the continuity of the first action; in (2) the sequence of the actions is indicated by before. (1.)

future

future tenses
future simple

present

future continuous future perfect future perfect continuous going to present continuous

past

present simple

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE We use this tense to express a pure future. Actions expressed in the simple future are bound to happen because of the course of time. This means that the speaker has no power over the events, that he cannot control what will happen. For this reason this tense is also called the uncertain future.. Examples He will be sixteen years old next Friday. The baby will be born next month

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE 1. We often use this tense with particular verbs; such as think – know – believe – suppose – expect – hope to express beliefs, convictions, hope, expectations, knowledge and opinions about the future.

Examples I think Brazil will win. I don’t suppose she will be promoted now

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE 1. We often use this tense with particular verbs; such as think – know – believe – suppose – expect – hope to express beliefs, convictions, hope, expectations, knowledge and opinions about the future. future 2. We often use it with particular adverbs such as: probably – possibly –perhaps to express uncertainty Examplesthe future. about He will probably ask the general manager. This matter will probably not be raised before the commission’s first meeting

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE 1. We often use this tense with particular verbs; such as think – know – believe – suppose – expect – hope to express beliefs, convictions, hope, expectations, knowledge and opinions about the future. 2. We often use it with particular adverbs such as: probably – possibly –perhaps to express uncertainty about the future. future 3. The simple present is used in conditional clauses and time clauses. The simple future is used in the Examples main clause (not in the if-clause). He ‘ll help you if you ask him. I ‘ll tell him the news as soon as I see him. He ‘ll be arrested the moment he sets foot on Schengen

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM

This tense is formed with the present tense of the verb to be + going to + infinitive of the main verb.

Examples I’ m going to watch this football match on TV tonight. What are you going to do about this ? She isn’t going to give this party next week

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. We use this tense to talk about present intentions and plans for future actions.

Examples I ‘m going to pass my exams next month. I ‘m going to spend two weeks in Spain this summer.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. We use this tense to talk about present intentions and plans for future actions. actions 2. We also use going to in order to express subjective certainty on the part of the speaker. Examples This boat is going to sink. It’s going to rain, by the look

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. We use this tense to indicate definite future arrangements, actions planned in the near future. We nearly always use a future time expression with it.

Examples He ‘s starting his new job next Monday. I’ m taking the 11 o’clock train to Berlin

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. We use this tense to indicate definite future arrangements, actions planned in the near future. We nearly always use a future time expression with it. Note: do not confuse intention ( to be + going to + verb) and arrangement (to be + present participle). Examples I’m going to stay in London. = intention I’m going to London next weekend = arrangement

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM

This tense is formed with the infinitive of the main verb. The negative and interrogative are formed with the present tense of to do + infinitive Examples The plane takes off at 7.30 local time. The match begins at 14.00 hours. You leave from Kennedy airport at noon, and arrive in Paris at 15.00 hours GMT.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

We use this tense to talk about planned future actions. We usually use it to describe travel plans, time tables, departures, arrivals.   Examples The bus leaves at 15.30. The reception starts at 19.00 hours. The ferry leaves Dover at 12.30 tomorrow and we arrive at Calais at 13.15.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM

 This tense is formed with the future simple of to be + present participle of the main verb.

Examples We’ ll be flying to Rome this time next week. What will you be doing this time next week? They won’t be sitting in the classroom at 6 o’clock tomorrow.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

 We use this tense for actions that will be in progress at a certain time in the future.   Examples At 11.45 next Friday, I ‘ ll be doing my chemistry exam. I’ ll be hiking through the States this time next year.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

on the time diagram 

past

now

future

This time next week I’ll be taking my driving test.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. The future continuous is also used to express longterm arrangements, especially for travelling.

Examples The band will be travelling through Scandinavia at the end of the month. They will be giving three performances there.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. The future continuous is also used to express longterm arrangements, especially for travelling. 2. The future continuous is also used to ask very polite questions about future activities. By using the future continuous tense, the speaker asking the questions shows that he does not want to influence the other person’s decision in any way at all. Examples Where will you be having dinner, Sir? (secretary to boss) What will you be having, Madam? (waiter to customer)

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

1. The future continuous is also used to express longterm arrangements, especially for travelling. 2. The future continuous is also used to ask very polite questions about future activities. By using the future continuous tense, the speaker asking the questions shows that he does not want to influence the other person’s decision in any way at all. 3. The future continuous is also used to make Examples deductions about what is happening at the moment He of speaking. will be working in his garden now. Otherwise, he would have heard the phone. She hasn’t begun making up the beds. She will still be doing the washing up.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM

 This tense is formed with will + have + past participle of the main verb.

Examples They ‘ll have finalized their business by noon. Will they have copied all that material by Friday morning? They won’t have organized this course by the end of this year.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

We use this tense to describe actions which we know will (or will not) be completed by a certain time in the future. Examples I ‘ll have finished this book by the end of the week.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now

future end of next week

Examples

By the end of next week, I’ll have finished my exams.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

FORM

This tense is formed with the future perfect tense of to be + present participle of rthe main verb.

Examples By the end of this year, we ‘ll have been experimenting with this polymer for more than three months. How long will you have been living in that shack by the end of this year? I won’t have been living here for more than five years by the end of this year.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

USE

We use this tense to describe continuous and repeated actions which begin before a certain time in the future and will probably continue after that time. Examples By the end of this academic year, I’ll have been teaching for 30 years.

future simple going to ...

future continuous present continuous

future perfect present simple

future perfect continuous

on the time diagram

past

now
end of this academic year

future

Example By the end of this academic year, I’ll have been teaching for 30 years.

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