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Simple Present

FORM USE 1

Present Continuous [am/is/are + present participle]
Now Use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now.

Simple Past [VERB+ed] or irregular verbs
Completed Action in the Past Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.

Past Continuous [was/were + present participle]
Interrupted Action in the Past Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.

Present Perfect [has/have + past participle]
Unspecified Time Before Now We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.
• I have seen that movie twenty times. • I think I have met him once before. • There have been many earthquakes in California. • People have traveled to the Moon. • People have not traveled to Mars. • Have you read the book yet?

[VERB] + s/es in third person
Repeated Actions Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.

Present Perfect Continuous [has/have + been + present participle]
Duration from the Past Until Now We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. "For five minutes," "for two weeks," and "since Tuesday" are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect Continuous.

Examples:

• I play tennis. • She does not play tennis. • Does he play tennis? • The train leaves every morning at 8 AM. • The train does not leave at 9 AM. • When does the train usually leave? • She always forgets her purse. • He never forgets his

• You are learning English now. • You are not swimming now. • Are you sleeping? • I am sitting. • I am not standing. • Is he sitting or standing? • They are reading their books. • They are not watching television.

• I saw a movie yesterday. • I didn't see a play yesterday. • Last year, I traveled to Japan. • Last year, I didn't travel to Korea. • Did you have dinner last night? • She washed her car. • He didn't wash his car.

• I was watching TV when she called. • When the phone rang, she was writing a letter. • While we were having the picnic, it started to rain. • What were you doing when the earthquake started? • I was listening to my iPod, so I didn't hear the fire alarm.

• They have been talking for the last hour. • She has been working at that company for three years. • What have you been doing for the last 30 minutes? • James has been teaching at the university since June. • We have been waiting here for over two hours!

"now" can mean: this second. the Past Continuous is interrupted by a shorter action in the Simple Past. THIS SENTENCE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE HAD THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING IN FRANCE. How Do You Actually Use the Present Perfect? The concept of "unspecified time" can be very confusing to English learners. we were still driving through the desert. is true now. • Do pigs like milk? • California is in America. • A: Has there ever been a war in the United States? B: Yes. • Every twelve months. Examples: • Cats like milk. • A: What were you doing when you broke your leg? B: I was snowboarding." You can also use this tense to say that you have never had a certain experience. • He arrived from the airport at 8:00. • I have been to France.." Without the duration. • Yesterday at this time. a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. • I am not studying to • I finished work. I was eating dinner. • Have you been exercising lately? . we might not be doing it at this exact second. however. you can also use a specific time as an interruption." We often use the words "lately" or "recently" to emphasize this meaning. (All of these sentences can be said while eating dinner in a restaurant. and so on. • She has been watching too much television lately. I have been feeling really tired. and will be true in the future. there has been a war in the United States. and found a nice place to swim. the Earth circles the Sun. 3rd. walked to the beach. Longer Actions in Progress Now In English. • Does the Sun circle the Earth? • What are you doing? • Why aren't you doing your homework? • You were not listening to me when I told you to turn the oven off. Lately You can also use the Present Perfect Continuous WITHOUT a duration such as "for two weeks.) • I am studying to become a doctor. • Nobody has ever climbed that mountain. I was sitting at my desk at • Recently. and so on. In the Past Continuous. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things.. Specific Time as an Interruption In USE 1. and met the • Last night at 6 PM. we use the Present Continuous to say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress. today. this month. • Birds do not like milk. this century. • While John was sleeping last night.wallet. These actions happen 1st. The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe a specific event. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. IMPORTANT In the Simple Past. It is like saying. • Sammy was waiting for us when we got off the plane. the tense has a more general meaning of "lately. A Series of Completed Actions We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. • At midnight. checked into the hotel at 9:00. someone stole his car. • California is not in the United Kingdom. "I have the experience of. 2nd. described above. Sometimes. • While I was writing the email. 4th. MAYBE YOU HAVE BEEN Recently. a specific time only interrupts the action. • Why has Nancy not been taking her medicine for the last three days? USE 2 Facts or Generalizations The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before. this year. the computer suddenly went off. It is best to associate Present Perfect with the following topics: TOPIC 1 Experience You can use the Present Perfect to describe your experience. However.

• He has never traveled by train. Parallel Actions When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence. TOPIC 2 Change Over Time We often use the Present Perfect to talk about change that has happened over a period of time. THERE ONCE. • I am not reading any books right now. I was eating dinner. • I was studying while he was making dinner. Duration in Past The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. etc. • Last night at 6 PM. speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future. for five minutes. • Lisa has not been practicing her English. • Did you add flour.• Windows are made of glass. pour in the milk. it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. • What have you been doing? USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near Future Speakers occasionally use Simple Present to talk about scheduled events in the near future. • I have never been to France. • You have grown since the last time I saw you. I STARTED EATING AT 6 PM. • I am meeting some friends after work. IT IS NOT IMPORTANT THAT THIS FACT IS UNTRUE. A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years. OR SEVERAL TIMES. • The government has become more interested in arts education. • I think I have seen that movie before. • Are you working on any special projects at work? • Aren't you teaching at the university now? others at 10:00. • I have been to France three times. The actions are parallel. This is most commonly done when talking about public transportation. Examples: • The train leaves tonight at 6 PM. • Japanese has become one of the most popular courses at the university since the Asian studies program was established. • Joan has studied two foreign languages. • New York is a small city. • Last night at 6 PM. • I lived in Brazil for two years. AND AT 6 PM. Near Future Sometimes. become a dentist. all day. • My English has really improved since I moved to Australia. TOPIC 3 . I ate dinner. I have not met him. • I am reading the book Tom Sawyer. • A: Have you ever met him? B: No. I WAS IN THE PROCESS OF EATING DINNER. • Mary has been feeling a little depressed. I STARTED EARLIER. YOU CAN ADD THE NUMBER OF TIMES AT THE END OF THE SENTENCE. all year. and then add the eggs? work. THIS SENTENCE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE NOT HAD THE EXPERIENCE OF GOING TO FRANCE. • Windows are not made of wood. but it can be used with other scheduled events as well.

• When I walked into the office. but she can communicate. • He didn't play the piano. • Doctors have cured many deadly diseases. • When do we board the plane? • The party starts at 8 o'clock. • They sat at the beach all day. One customer was yelling at a secretary and waving his hands. • Bill has still not arrived. • Our son has learned how to read. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing. • He is constantly talking. • We talked on the phone for thirty minutes. and customers were waiting to be helped. but with negative emotion. • He has his passport in his hand. Examples: • I am here now. we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past. Atmosphere In English. • Is he visiting his parents next weekend? • Isn't he coming with us tonight? • Shauna studied Japanese for five years. and I wasn't working either. USE 4 Now (Non-Continuous Verbs) Speakers sometimes use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is happening or is not happening now. • A: How long did you wait for them? B: We waited for one hour. it arrives at 11 PM. etc. often. • Susan hasn't mastered Japanese. • She is not here now. we often add expressions such as: always. some were talking on the phones. discussing their plans. • James has not finished his homework yet. • He does not need help now. • They did not stay at the party the entire time. It can have the same meaning as "used to. You cannot mention a specific time. the boss was yelling directions. Using the Present Perfect suggests that we are still waiting for the action to happen. I wish he would shut up." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit. several people were busily typing. Habits in the Past The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. and having a good time. • Scientists have split the atom. Accomplishments We often use the Present Perfect to list the accomplishments of individuals and humanity. TOPIC 4 An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting We often use the Present Perfect to say that an action which we expected has not happened. • What were you doing while you were waiting? • Thomas wasn't working. usually. • When does class begin tomorrow? • I am not going to the party tonight. Tim was watching television.• The bus does not arrive at 11 AM. • While Ellen was reading. • He played the violin. so I made several mistakes. never." • She is always coming to class late. • Man has walked on the Moon. • The rain hasn't stopped. • He needs help right now. • They were eating dinner. Notice that the meaning is like Simple Present. • I don't like them because they are always complaining. when I was younger. • Were you listening while he was talking? • I wasn't paying attention while I was writing the letter. This can only be done with Non-Continuous Verbs and certain Mixed Verbs. Repetition and Irritation with "Always" The Present Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. • Did you play a musical instrument when you were a kid? • She worked at the movie theater after school. • Do you have your passport with you? • I studied French when I was a child. TOPIC 5 Multiple Actions at Different Times We also use the Present Perfect to talk about several different actions which have occurred in the past at different . when I was a child.

• She graduated from . • We have had many major problems while working on this project. • I have had four quizzes and five tests so far this semester. • Have you been to Mexico in the last year? • I have seen that movie six times in the last month. Remember. the exact time the action happened is not important. this use of the Simple Past is quite similar to the expression "used to. this week. they always skipped class. As in USE 4 above. Sometimes. but nobody knows why she is sick.• They never went to school. The concept is very similar to the expression "used to" but with negative emotion. USE 5 Past Facts or Generalizations The Simple Past can also be used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true." Repetition and Irritation with "Always" The Past Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happened in the past. • They have had three tests in the last week. in the last year. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing. • The army has attacked that city five times. Others were complaining to each other about the bad service. so far. Present Perfect suggests the process is not complete and more actions are possible. etc. times. We can do this with expressions such as: in the last week. we want to limit the time we are looking in for an experience." Time Expressions with Present Perfect When we use the Present Perfect it means that something has happened at some point in our lives before now. • She has talked to several specialists about her problem. up to now. this month.

. Also." or "when class began." These clauses are called when-clauses. but are often not complete sentences. It is not considered a specific time." If you use the Present Perfect Continuous in a question such as "Have you been feeling alright?". IMPORTANT WhenClauses Happen First Clauses are groups of words which have meaning but are often not complete sentences.. The examples below contain when-clauses. NOTICE "Last year" and "in the last year" are very different in meaning. When Clauses are groups of words which have meaning. certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses." When you talk about things in the past. Using this tense in a question suggests you can see. She has worked for three different companies so far. Examples: • When I paid her one While vs. we use the Present Perfect to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. whereas USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (NonContinuous Verbs) With Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs. • I have been to Mexico in the last year." Other clauses begin with "while" such as "while she was sleeping" and "while he was surfing.. and they are very important. • He didn't like tomatoes before. • He was constantly talking.Examples: • She was shy as a child. but now she is very outgoing.. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when she called" or "when it bit me. • My car has broken down three times this week. • I didn't like them because they were always complaining. "In the last year" means from 365 days ago until now. "when" is most often followed by the verb tense Simple Past. REMEMBER NonContinuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. you must use Simple Present. • Did you live in Texas when you were a kid? • People paid much more to make cell phone calls in the past. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when I dropped my pen. I WENT TO MEXICO IN THE CALENDAR YEAR BEFORE THIS ONE. He annoyed everyone. it can suggest that the person looks sick or unhealthy. university less than three years ago. Examples: • I went to Mexico last year. "Last year" means the year before now." "for two weeks. I HAVE BEEN TO MEXICO AT LEAST ONCE AT SOME POINT BETWEEN 365 DAYS AGO AND NOW. Instead of using Present Continuous with these verbs. "For five minutes. A question such as "Have you been smoking?" can suggest that you smell the smoke on the person." and "since Tuesday" are all durations which can be used with the Present IMPORTANT Remember that the Present Perfect Continuous has the meaning of "lately" or "recently. • She was always coming to class late. . so it requires Present Perfect. and it is considered a specific time which requires Simple Past.

REMEMBER NonContinuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. "While" expresses the idea of "during that time. Not Correct • Jane was at my house when you arrived. • Have you only been waiting here for one hour? . However. Instead of using Present Perfect Continuous with these verbs. Examples: • Jane was being at my house when you arrived. the example below has a different meaning. Also. "while" is usually followed by Past Continuous. you must use Present Perfect. she called. • Have you only seen that movie one time? • You have only been waiting here for one hour. Correct • You were just studying when she called. Examples: • I have had a cold for two weeks. she answered my question. she answered my question. Also. • Do you only speak English? • You are still watching TV. but they emphasize different parts of the sentence. • She has been in England for six months. • She answered my question when I paid her one dollar. ADVERB PLACEMENT • You only speak English. hear or feel the results of the action. Although the above use of Present Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs. When-clauses are important because they always happen first when both clauses are in the Simple Past." Study the examples below. the words "live.Examples: • She is loving this chocolate ice cream. REMEMBER NonContinuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. I paid her one dollar. smell. and then. Example: • I paid her one dollar when she answered my question. Not Correct • Sam has had his car for two years. Instead of using Past Continuous with these verbs. Correct • You have only seen that movie one time. Correct dollar. certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. never. It is not important whether "when I paid her one dollar" is at the beginning of the sentence or at the end of the sentence. Examples: • Sam has been having his car for two years. certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. only. • While I was studying. she answered my question. Both of the examples above mean the same thing: first. • Were you just studying when she called? Perfect. Examples: • I was studying when she called. • Are you still watching TV? • You just called Debbie." and "study" are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs. They have similar meanings. Not Correct • She loves this chocolate ice cream. First. and then. I paid her one dollar. • Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl. you must use Simple Past." "teach. It is possible to insult someone by using this tense incorrectly." "work. • Did you just call Debbie? Examples: The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always.

Tom cleans the car.ever. PASSIVE • Many tourists have visited that castle. ACTIVE • The customer was being helped by the salesman when the thief came into the store. PASSIVE • The salesman was helping the customer when the thief came into the store. John has been doing the work. etc. still. ACTIVE • Recently. PASSIVE • Right now. ACTIVE • Once a week. just. PASSIVE . ACTIVE • That castle has been visited by many tourists. ACTIVE • Right now. the car is cleaned by Tom. the letter is being written by Tom. ACTIVE / PASSIVE Examples: • Once a week. PASSIVE • Recently. PASSIVE • Tom repaired the car. Tom is writing the letter. the work has been being done by John. ACTIVE • The car was repaired by Tom.