Sunteți pe pagina 1din 56

p  

A guide to understand the uses of the


English Tenses
m   
 

The present simple is used to express daily


routines and habits. Adverbs of frequency
such as 'usually', 'sometimes', 'rarely', etc. are
often used with the present simple.
!    

j m 
j Subject + Present Tense + object(s) + time Expression
j rank usually takes a bus to work.
j x  
j Subject + do / does + not (don't / doesn't) + verb + object(s)
+ time Expression
j They don't often go to Chicago.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + do / does + subject + verb + object(s) +
time Expression
j ow often do you play golf?
m     
      

j ne use of the present continuous tense is for


action that is occurring at the moment of
speaking. Remember that only action verbs can
take the continuous form.
!    
j m 
j Subject + be + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j he's watching TV at the moment.
j x  
j Subject + be + not (isn't, aren't) + verb + ing + object(s) + time
Expression
j They aren't having fun this morning.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + be + subject + verb + ing + object(s) + time
Expression
j hat are you doing?
ëse the present continuous to describe projects and
actions that are happening around the present moment in
time. Remember that these projects have begun in the
recent past and will end in the near future. This usage is
especially popular for talking about current projects at
work or for specific hobbies.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... at the moment
... now
... this week / month
j m 
j Subject + be + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j e're working on the mith account this month.
j x  
j Subject + be + not (isn't, aren't) + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j e isn't studying rench this semester.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + be + subject + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j hich account are you working on this week?
m     
  
  
!asic Construction

j ne use of the present continuous tense is for scheduled future events. This usage is especially
useful when talking about appointments and meetings for work.
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... tomorrow
... on riday, Monday, etc.
... today
... this morning / afternoon / evening
... next week / month
... in December, March, etc.
j m 
j Subject + be + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j 'm meeting our CE at three o'clock this afternoon.
j x  
j Subject + be + not (isn't, aren't) + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j helley isn't attending the meeting tomorrow.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + be + subject + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j hen are you discussing the situation with Tom
m 
  
m 
 
j The past simple is used to express something
that happened a past point in time. Remember
to always use a past time expression, or a clear
contextual clue when using the past simple. f
you do not indicate when something happened,
use the present perfect for unspecified past.
!    
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... ago
... in + year / month
...yesterday
...last week / month / year
... when ....
j m 
j Subject + Past Tense + object(s) + time Expression
j  went to the doctor's yesterday.
j x  
j Subject + did + not (didn't) + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j They didn't join us for dinner last week.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + did + subject + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j hen did you buy that pullover?
m     p 
 m  
j The past continuous tense is used to describe
what was happening at a specific moment in
time in the past. Do not use this form when
referring to longer periods of time in the past
such as 'last March', 'two years ago', etc. ëse the
past continuous with times of the day in the
past.
!asic Construction

j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:


j ... at 5.20, three o'clock, etc.
j m 
j Subject + was / were + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j e were meeting with Jane at two o'clock yesterday afternoon.
j x  
j Subject + was / were + not (wasn't, weren't) + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j They weren't playing tennis at five o'clock on aturday.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + was / were + subject + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j hat were you doing at two- two-thirty yesterday afternoon?
m      
 
j ëse the past continuous to express what was
happening when something important
happened. This form is almost always used with
the time clause '... when xyz happened'. t is also
possible to use this form with '... while
something was happening' to express two past
actions that were occurring simultaneously.
!asic Construction

j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:


j ... when xyz happened
... while xyz was happening.
j m 
j Subject + was / were + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j haron was watching TV when she received the telephone call.
j x  
j Subject + was / were + not (wasn't, weren't) + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j e weren't doing anything important when you arrived.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + was / were + subject + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j hat were you doing when Tom gave you the bad news?
J     J  
m 
j The future with 'going to' is used to express
future plans or scheduled events. t is often used
instead of the present continuous for future
scheduled work events. Either form can be used
for this purpose.
!asic Construction

j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:


j ... next week / month
... tomorrow
... on Monday, Tuesday, etc.
j m 
j Subject + be + going to + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j Tom is going to fly to Los Angeles next on Tuesday.
j x  
j Subject + be not (isn't, aren't) + going to + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j They aren't going to attend the conference next month.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + be + subject + going to + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j hen are you going to meet Jack?
J    m    
m  
j The future with 'will' is used to make future
predictions and promises. ften the precise
moment the action will occur is unknown or not
defined.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... soon
... next month / year / week

j m 
j Subject + will + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j The government will increase taxes soon.
j x  
j Subject + will not (won't) + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j he won't help us much with the project.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + will + subject + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j hy will they reduce taxes?
J     J  
  
j The future with 'going to' is used for future
intent. Remember that you can express a future
intent without expressing the exact future time
that something will occur. This use of the future
with 'going to' can be used to discuss future
study plans, career plans, and more.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... next week / month
... tomorrow
... on Monday, Tuesday, etc.
j m 
j Subject + be + going to + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j Anna is going to study medicine at university.
j x  
j Subject + be not (isn't, aren't) + going to + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j They aren't going to develop any new projects for the next few years.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + be + subject + going to + verb + object(s) + time Expression
j hy are you going to change your job?
m   m   m   m   

  
j ëse the present perfect to express a state or
repeated action that began in the past and
continues into the moment of speaking. The
present perfect or the present perfect
continuous can often be interchanged. The main
difference between these two forms is that the
present perfect continuous is generally used to
express the length of the current activity up to
the present moment in time.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... for + amount of time
... since + specific point in time

j m 
j Subject + have / has + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j  have lived in Portland for four years.
j x  
j Subject + have / has not (haven't, hasn't) + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j Max hasn't played tennis since 1999.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + have / has + subject + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j here have you worked since 2002?
m   m      
  
j The present perfect is often used to express
recent events that affect the present moment.
These sentences generally use the time
expressions 'just', 'yet', 'already', or 'recently' to
express this connection. Remember that if you
give a specific time in the past, the past simple is
required.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j just
yet
already
recently

j m 
j Subject + have / has + just / recently + past participle + object(s)
j enry has just gone to the bank.
j x  
j Subject + have / has not (haven't, hasn't) + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j Peter hasn't finished his homework yet.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + have / has + subject + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j ave you spoken to Andy yet?
m   m     m  
  
j The present perfect is often used to express
events that occurred in the past at an
unspecified moment. This form is often used to
express cumulative life experiences up to the
present moment. Remember that if you use a
specific past time expression, choose the past
simple.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j twice, three times, four times, etc.
ever
never

j m 
j Subject + have / has + past participle + object(s)
j Peter has visited Europe three times in his life.
j x  
j Subject + have / has not (haven't, hasn't) + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j  haven't played golf many times.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + have / has + subject + (ever) + past participle + object(s)
j ave you ever been to rance?
m   m   
j The present perfect continuous is used to
express how long a current activity has been
going on. t is often used in context to provide a
reason for a present result. Remember that
continuous forms can only be used with action
verbs.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ...since + specific point in time
... for + amount of time

j m 
j Subject + has / have + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j e's been cleaning house for two hours.
j x  
j Subject + has / have not (hasn't / haven't) + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time
Expression
j Janice hasn't been studying for too long.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + has / have + subject + been + verb + ing + object(s) + (time
Expression)
j ow long have you been working in the garden?
J  m  
j ëse the future perfect tense to express what will
happened by a certain time in the future. The
future perfect tense is often used to express
achievements or work done by a future point in
time.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... by Monday, Tuesday, etc.
... by the time ...
... by five o'clock, two-
two-thirty, etc.

j m 
j Subject + will + have + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j They will have finished the report by tomorrow afternoon.
j x  
j Subject + will not (won't) + have + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j Mary won't have answered all the questions by the end of this hour.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + will + subject + have + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j hat will you have done by the end of this month?
J  m   
j The future perfect continuous is used to express
the duration of an action up to a future point in
time. This tense is not commonly used in
English.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... by / ... by the time ...

j m 
j Subject + will + have + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j e will have been studying for two hours by the time he arrives.
j x  
j Subject + will not (won't) + have + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j e won't have been working long by two o'clock.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + will + subject + have + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time
Expression
j ow long will you have been working on that project by the time he arrives
m  m   
j The past perfect continuous is used to describe
how long an activity had been going on before
something else happened. t is often used to
provide context, or a reason for a specific
action.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... for X hours, days, months, etc
... since Monday, Tuesday, etc.

j m 
j Subject + had + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j he had been waiting for two hours when he finally arrived.
j x  
j Subject + had not (hadn't) + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j They hadn't been working long when the boss asked them to change their
focus.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + had + subject + been + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j ow long had Tom been working on that project when they decided to give
it to Pete?
m  m  
j The past perfect is used to express something
that happened before another point in time. t is
often used to provide context, or an explanation
for a specific action or result.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ... before
already
once, twice, three times, etc.
... by the time
j !    
j m 
j Subject + had + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j he had already eaten by the time the children came home.
j x  
j Subject + had not (hadn't) + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j They hadn't finished their homework before the teacher asked them to hand it in.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + had + subject + past participle + object(s) + time Expression
j here had you gone before the class began?
J   
j The future continuous is used to talk about an
activity that will be in progress at a specific point
in time in the future. or example, e'll be
having lunch on the beach this time next week.
!asic Construction
j This tense is often used with the following time expressions:
j ...this time tomorrow / next week, month, year
...tomorrow / Monday, Tuesday, etc. / at X o'clock
... in two, three, four, etc. / weeks, months, years time

j m 
j Subject + will + be + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j Peter will be doing his homework this time tomorrow.
j x  
j Subject + will not (won't) + be + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j haron won't be working in New York in three weeks time.
j ¦  
j (Question Word) + will + subject + be + verb + ing + object(s) + time Expression
j hat will you be doing this time next year?