Make your own free website on Tripod.com

www.vinie16.com

SIMPLE TENSES

Home
Intel Teach
poems & quotes

 PRESENT TENSE
 
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.

EXAMPLES:

I play tennis.

She does not play tennis.

The train leaves every morning at 8 am.

The train does not leave at 9am.

She always forgets her purse.

He never forgets his wallet.

 
 Facts or Generalizations     

The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things.

EXAMPLES:

Cats like milk.

Birds do not like milk.

California is in America.

California is not in the United Kingdom.

Windows are made of glass.

Windows are not made of wood.

 
 Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)   

Sometimes speakers use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is happening or is not happening now. This can only be done with
Non-continuous Verbs and certain Mixed Verbs.

EXAMPLES:

I am here now.

She is not here now.

He needs help right now.

He does not need help now.

He has a car.

 
       

PAST TENSE
[VERB+ed]

NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with only one part such as Simple Past (visited), adverbs usually come before the verb (often visited). Please remember this is different from verbs with more than one part such as Present Continuous.



 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.

EXAMPLES:

I saw a movie yesterday.

I didn't see a movie yesterday.

Last year, I traveled to Japan.

Last year, I didn't travel to Japan.


A Series of Completed Actions    

We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th...

EXAMPLES:

I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.

He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.

Single Duration    

The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a long action often used with expressions like "for two years," "for five minutes," "all day" or "all year."

EXAMPLES:

I lived in Brazil for two years.

Shauna studied Japanese for five years.

They sat at the beach all day.

We talked on the phone for thirty minutes.


 Habit in the Past    

The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used to". To make it clear that we are talking about a habit we often use expressions such as "always," "often," "usually," "never," "...when I was a child" or "...when I was younger" in the sentence.

EXAMPLES:

I studied French when I was a child.

He played the violin.

She worked at the movie theater after school.

They never went to school, they always skipped.


FUTURE TENSE
 
The Simple Future has two different forms in English, "will" and "be going to." Although the two forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often express two very different meanings. These different meanings might seem too abstract at first, but with time and practice the differences will become clear. Both "will" and "be going to" refer to a specific time in the future.


FORM Will
[WILL] + [VERB]

EXAMPLES:

I will help him later.

I will never help him.


NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with more than one part such as Simple Future (will help), adverbs usually come between the first part and the second part (will never help).

FORM Be Going To
[AM / IS / ARE] + [GOING TO] + [VERB]

EXAMPLES:

He is going to meet Jane tonight.

He is definitely going to meet Jane tonight.


NOTE: When you are using a verb tense with more than one part such as Simple Future (is going to meet), adverbs usually come between the first part and the second part (is definitely going to meet).