Guide to Verb Tenses

 

Present Tenses Past Tenses Future Tenses

 

Present Tenses

Present Tenses: Present Simple

Use to show repeated action, belief, opinion, characteristics.
How to Form verb(s/es)
Example work / works
Sentence Example They work sometimes.
She works at Gallaudet.

 

Present Tenses: Present Perfect

Use to show what has happened in the past and continues in the present; to show how long something has happened (often uses for and since).
How to Form have/has + past participle
Example have worked / has worked
Sentence Example I have worked at Gallaudet for seven years.
Kelly has worked at Gallaudet since 1993.

 

Present Tenses: Present Continuous (Progressive)

Use to show an event that is going on right now.
How to Form am/is/are + verb + ing
Example am working / is working / are working
Sentence Example Sue is working in the house.
She and her sister are working at Gally now.

 

Present Tenses: Present Perfect Continuous (Progressive)

Use to show how long something has been happening and is still happening.
How to Form have/has + been + verb + ing
Example have been working / has been working
Sentence Example I have been working at Gallaudet for seven years.
Kelly has been working at Gallaudet since 1993.

 

 


 

Past Tenses

Past Tenses: Past Simple

Use to show what happened at a time in the past and is finished.
How to Form verb(d/ed)
Example worked
Sentence Example Yesterday Jim worked with Harry.

 

Past Tenses: Past Perfect

Use to show an action in the past that happened even before another event in the past .
How to Form had + past participle
Example had worked
Sentence Example The car had worked before the truck hit it

 

Past Tenses: Past Continuous (Progressive)

Use to show an event that was going on when something else happened (often uses before, after, when).
How to Form was/were + verb + ing
Example was working / were working
Sentence Example I was working on the paper when my friend interrupted me.
Sara and Jill were working at the Abbey when I stopped by.

 

Past Tenses: Past Perfect Continuous (Progressive)

Use to show how long something had been happening before something else happened.
How to Form had + been + verb + ing
Example had been working
Sentence Example The car had been working fine before the truck hit it.

 

 


 

Future Tenses

Future Tenses: Future Simple

Use to show what will happen in the future.
How to Form will + verb
Example will work 
Sentence Example In the future I will work on Mars every week.

 

Future Tenses: Future Perfect

Use to show something that has not yet been done but that will be done before a set time in the future.
How to Form will have + past participle
Example will have worked
Sentence Example By tomorrow Steve will have worked on his term paper.

 

Future Tenses: Future Continuous (Progressive)

Use to show an event that will be going on when something else happens.
How to Form will be + verb + ing
Example will be working
Sentence Example The guard will be working on his project when we sneak up on him.

 

Future Tenses: Future Perfect Continuous (Progressive)

Use to show how long something will have been happening by a future time.
How to Form will have + been + verb + ing
Example will have been working
Sentence Example By tomorrow Steve will have been working for five days on his term paper.