All Twelve English Verb Tenses

Here is an overview of all 12 English verb tenses, their forms, and how to use them.

FORM: MEANING AND USE:
Present Simple ~Verb Form Present Simple ~Verb Use
Present Progressive ~Verb Form Present Progressive ~Verb Use
Present Perfect Progressive ~Verb Form Present Perfect Progressive ~Verb Use
Past Simple ~Verb Form Past Simple ~Verb Use
Past Progressive ~Verb Form Past Progressive ~Verb Use
Past Perfect ~Verb Form Past Perfect ~Verb Use
Past Perfect Progressive ~Verb Form Past Perfect Progressive ~Verb Use
Future Simple ~Verb Form Future Simple ~Verb Use
Future Progressive ~Verb Form Future Progressive ~Verb Use
Future Perfect~Verb Form Future Perfect ~Verb Use
Future Perfect Progressive ~Verb Form Future Perfect Progressive ~Verb Use

 

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Future Simple – Verb Form

This post will show you how to form the Future Simple. To see how to use the Future Simple, click here.

The FOUR future forms are: Be Going To, Present Progressive (also called the Present Continuous), Will, and the Present Simple.

THE FUTURE WITH BE GOING TO

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Affirmative Statements

Subject Be Going To Base Verb
I am going to help later.
You are going to work tomorrow.
She/He/It is going to rain again.
We are going to have so much fun!
They/You (plural) are going to send her a package.
     

Negative Statements

Subject Be Not Going To Base Verb
I am not going to finish in time.
You are not going to go away this weekend.
She/He/It is not going to see the doctor.
We are not going to cook dinner
They/You (plural) are not going to buy a new car.

Yes/No Questions

Be Subject Going To Base Verb
Am I going to be okay?
Are you going to clean the house?
Is she/he/it going to study next semester?
Are we going to stick to the plan?
Are they/you (plural) going to live in New Zealand?

Short Answers

Yes Subject Be No Subject + Be + Not
Yes, I am. No, I’m not.
Yes, he is. No, he’s not.
Yes, they are. No, they’re not.

Information Questions

WH- Word Be Subject Going To Base Verb
Who are you going to call later?
What is she going to do tomorrow?
When are they going to study at the library?
Who (subject) is going to win the election?
What (subject) is going to happen next?

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THE FUTURE WITH THE PRESENT CONTINUOUS/PROGRESSIVE

Affirmative Statements

Subject +Be Verb + ing
I’m helping later.
You ‘re moving next week.
She’s/He’s/It’s coming tomorrow.
We’re cooking dinner tonight.
They’re/You’re changing schools next month.

Negative Statements

Subject + Be Not Verb + ing
I’m not leaving yet.
You’re not taking an exam tomorrow.
She’s/He’s/It’s not playing soccer next Saturday.
We’re not staying with relatives.
They’re/You’re not graduating this semester.

Yes/No Questions

Be Subject Verb + ing
Am I going to work tomorrow?
Are you moving to Japan?
Is she/he/it going to Europe next summer?
Are we doing anything for Valentine’s Day?
Are they/you (plural) coming to the party this weekend?

Short Answers

Yes Subject Be No Subject + Be + Not
Yes, I am. No, I’m not.
Yes, he is. No, he’s not.
Yes, they are. No, they’re not.

Information Questions

WH- Word Be Subject Verb + ing
Who are you calling later?
What is she doing tomorrow?
When are they studying at the library?
Who (subject) is going to head office?
What (subject) is happening next?

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THE FUTURE WITH WILL + BASE VERB

Affirmative Statements

Subject + Will Adverb Base Verb
I’ll study much harder, I promise.
You’ll be cold without a jacket.
She’ll/He’ll/It’ll most likely have a good time at the party.
We’ll hopefully see piranhas in the Amazon.
They’ll/You’ll (plural) probably do their homework in the morning.

Negative Statements

Subject Adverb Will + Not (won’t) Base Verb
I probably won’t exercise tomorrow.
You won’t be happy about this.
She/He/It won’t spend the summer in Hollywood.
We most likely won’t live on Mars in the future.
They/You (plural) probably won’t like the weather in Wisconsin.
   

Yes/No Questions

Will Subject Base Verb
Will I see you next week?
Will you do me a favor?
Will she/he/it finish this soon?
Will we work full-time?
Will they/you (plural) be on time for class tomorrow?

Short Answers

Yes Subject Will No Subject + Will + Not
Yes, I will. No, I won’t.
Yes, he will. No, he won’t.
Yes, they will. No, they won’t.

Information Questions

WH- Word Will Subject Base Verb
Who will you call later?
What will she do tomorrow?
When will they study at the library?
Who (subject) will go to head office?
What (subject) will happen next?

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FURURE WITH PRESENT SIMPLE

Affirmative Statements

Subject Present Simple
I leave on a 6:00 am flight.
You arrive tomorrow night.
She/He/It starts next fall.
We open the store at 9:00 am.
They/You (plural) close at 5:00 pm.

Negative Statements

Subject Do Not (don’t), Does Not (doesn’t) Present Simple
I don’t leave on a 6:00 am flight.
You don’t arrive tomorrow night.
She/He/It doesn’t start next fall.
We don’t open at 9:00 am.
They don’t close at 5:00 pm.

Yes/No Questions

Do/Does Subject Present Simple
Do I work early tomorrow?
Do you arrive next week?
Does she/he/it start on time?
Do we leave after breakfast?
Do they/you (plural) go to the airport this Sunday?

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Information Questions

WH- Word Do/Does Subject Base Verb
Who do I call if I have a problem?
What does she do to register?
When do they arrive in Kenya?
Who (subject)   goes to head office tomorrow?
What (subject)   happens next?

Present Perfect Progressive – Verb Meaning and Use

present-perfect-cont GraphcThis post will show you how to use the Present Perfect Progressive. To see how to form the Present Perfect Progressive, click here.

The Present Perfect Progressive, also called the Present Perfect Continuous, is used with continuing activities. We often use since and for with this verb tense.

  • My English has been improving lately.
  • have been living in Vancouver for six months.
  • They have been studying English since January.
  • It has been raining since Monday.
  • She has not (hasn’tbeen exercising since she hurt her back.
  • How long have you been going to the new Conversation Club for?
  • Who have you been talking to for hours?

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The Present Perfect Progressive is also used for activities that were in progress, but have just ended.

  • It’s finally done! I’ve been writing this essay all month!
  • He has been working all day so he is very tired.
  • You have been sleeping for ten hours!

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We also use the Present Perfect Progressive to make excuses with an apology.

  • I’m sorry I haven’t called you, I haven’t been feeling well lately.
  • I’m sorry I didn’t go grocery shopping, I have been working too much these days.

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Some common verbs can be used in the Present Perfect or the Present Perfect Progressive with no difference in meaning. Some of these verbs are live, teach, wear, work, study, stay, and feel.

  • Mr. Rodriguez has lived here since 2010.
  • Mr. Rodriguez has been living here for three years.
  • He has taught Spanish for a long time.
  • He has been teaching Spanish for a long time.
  • He has worn the same jacket for years.
  • He has been wearing the same jacket for years.

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Sometimes, using the Progressive tense can show a more intense feeling.

  • I’ve waited for an hour.
  • I’ve been waiting for an hour. (I am very annoyed)
  •  I’ve thought about this for days.
  • I’ve been thinking about this for days. (I can’t stop thinking about it)

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While the Present Perfect can express a completed activity that may or may not have been recent, the Present Perfect Progressive shows that an activity is continuing up to the present time, or was very recently completed.

  • I’ve read a book about psychology. (I finished it at some indefinite time in the past)
  • I’ve been reading a book about psychology. (I’m not finished. Or I’ve just finished it)

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Usually, we do not use the Present Perfect Continuous when we say how many times an activity has been repeated.

✔ I’ve watered the garden three times.

✘ I’ve been watering the garden three times.

Present Perfect Progressive – Verb Forms

This post will show you how to form the Present Perfect Progressive. To see how to use the Present Perfect Progressive, click here.

With the Present Perfect Progressive, also called the Present Perfect Continuous, there are  are two auxiliary verbs “have” or “has”, and “been” plus the main verb in its  “-ing” form.

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Affirmative Statements

Subject Have/Has Been Verb+ing
I have been studying all week.
You have been sitting at the back of the class.
She/He/It has been exercising at the gym.
We have been trying to call the doctor
They/You (plural) have been reading that book too.
     

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Negative Statements

Subject Have/Has Not Been Verb-ing
I have not been studying very hard.
You have not been playing soccer these days.
She/He/It has not been raining all day.
We have not been experiencing any problems.
They/You (plural) have not been eating at home lately.

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Yes/No questions

Have/Has Subject Been Verb-ing
Have I been working for an hour already?
Have you been waiting long?
Has she/he/it been getting enough sleep?
Have we been driving in the wrong direction?
Have they/you (plural) been lying to us all this time?

Short Answers

Yes Subject + Be
Yes, I am.
Yes, you are.
Yes, he/she/it is.
Yes, we are.
Yes, they/you (plural) are.
No Subject + Be + Not
No, I’m not.
No, you’re not.
No, he/she/it isn’t.
No, we aren’t.
No, they/you (plural) aren’t.

We do not use contractions with short affirmative answers.

✔ Yes, I am.

✘ Yes, I’m

✔ Yes, you are.

✘ Yes, you’re.

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Information questions

Wh-Word Have/Has Subject Been Verb-ing
What have I been waiting for?
Who have you been talking to?
Where has she been going after school?
Why have we been skipping school?
How have they been doing?