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12 Tenses in English: Your Timeless Information to Mastering Verb Types


With out tenses in English, it will be unimaginable so that you can inform folks what you need, what you probably did and what your plans are.

Nothing would make sense anymore.

So on this put up, you’ll be taught every part you should know in regards to the tenses in English—from what they’re to tips on how to observe them.


What Is a Tense?

Merely put, a tense is a type of a verb that enables us to precise time.

For instance, if you wish to speak about one thing that occurred final week, you’ll use the previous tense.

If you wish to speak about one thing that can occur subsequent month, you’ll use the future tense.

When utilizing tenses in English, we use the current (proper now) as our level of reference as a result of we live in it.

So for those who ate pizza yesterday, that motion occurred up to now, proper?

That’s as a result of it occurred earlier than the current time (earlier than proper now).

Because you ate pizza up to now, if you wish to inform somebody about it, you’ll have to use the previous tense in English.

I ate pizza yesterday.

Now think about you need to inform your pal a couple of journey to the mountains. This journey goes to occur in three days, so the journey is sooner or later.

You can not presumably use the identical tense you used to say that you just ate pizza yesterday.

This time, you’ll have to use a distinct tense, one which expresses that an motion will occur after our current time.

That tense is the longer term easy tense:

I will go on a visit subsequent Saturday.

What Are the Tenses in English?

English has 12 tenses. They’re divided into three teams (current, previous and future).

Every group is additional damaged down into easy, steady (progressive), good and excellent steady tenses.

an inforgraphic by fluentu about tenses in english

The Current Tense

The current tense group consists of 4 tenses that both enable us to speak in regards to the current or are associated to it someway.

The current easy

We use the current easy to speak about repeated actions, habits, common truths, needs and feelings.

This tense can also be used for instructions and directions, and to speak about timetables and schedules.

She goes to high school by bus.

I am very drained.

The aircraft lands at 7:30 a.m.

The current steady

The current steady is used to explain actions or occasions which can be occurring in the intervening time (proper now) or are ongoing.

We additionally use this tense when somebody or one thing is bothering us.

I am not studying something.

Mario is studying a e-book.

You are all the time arriving late to class!

The current good

That is the tense we use to explain actions and occasions that occurred sooner or later up to now however have a consequence or impact on the current.

I have misplaced my pockets.

Mary has damaged her leg.

The neighbors have simply moved in.

The current good steady

We use this tense to speak about actions and occasions that began occurring up to now and are nonetheless occurring in the present day/now.

I have been dwelling in Poland for 13 years.

They have been ready for over three hours.

She has been studying English for six months.

The Previous Tense

The previous tense consists of the 4 tenses that assist us discuss in regards to the previous.

The previous easy

The previous easy is used to explain previous actions and occasions which can be utterly completed.

He died in 2012 in a automobile accident.

I went to the mall final week.

Rose bought married final month.

The previous steady

We use the previous steady when we have to describe previous actions and occasions that lasted over a time frame.

I was operating once I fell.

They had been watching TV whereas I was washing the dishes.

Somebody rang the bell when Sarah was having a shower.

The previous good

We use previous good to speak about actions and occasions that occurred earlier than one other motion or earlier than a selected time up to now.

He had already left once I arrived.

Brooke had already moved to France when that occurred.

When the police arrived, the thief had already escaped.

The previous good steady

We use the previous good steady to speak about actions and occasions that began up to now and lasted till one other motion or occasion up to now occurred.

He had been ready for 2 hours when he determined to return house.

The children had been enjoying for less than 5 minutes when it began to rain.

By the point I arrived house, she had been crying for a minimum of an hour.

The Future Tense

The longer term tense group consists of the 4 tenses that consult with the longer term.

The longer term easy

We use the longer term easy primarily for predictions and spontaneous choices.

I feel it will rain tomorrow.

We will assist you!

You will discover the love of your life in December.

The longer term steady

This tense is used to consult with actions or occasions that will probably be in progress sooner or later sooner or later.

I will probably be working while you come again.

Jessica will probably be ready for you there.

We will probably be consuming dinner by then.

The longer term good

We use the longer term good tense to say that an motion or occasion will probably be completed sooner or later sooner or later.

He can have completed by 8 p.m.

The person can have written the report by Monday.

I won’t have eaten by the point you come again.

The longer term good steady

The longer term good steady is used to explain actions and occasions that, sooner or later sooner or later, can have already lasted for a while.

By the top of this yr, I can have been dwelling in London for seven years.

She can have been ready for 3 hours by 5 p.m.

In two months, I can have been learning English for one yr.

What Do Participles Should Do with Tenses?

English has two particular verb varieties which can be referred to as English participles.

The current participle is the participle that ends with -ing.

You could have seen it within the earlier part with the verb to be within the steady compound tenses.

Right here you’ve two extra examples of it:

She is consuming some tea.

We had been ready for 2 hours.

Aside from utilizing it to kind the progressive tenses, the current participle can be used as an adjective:

She referred to as from the neighboring home.

Many learners of English mistake gerunds for current participles as a result of they appear precisely the identical.

Nonetheless, there’s a nice trick to all the time get them proper.

Current participles may be adjectives whereas gerunds may be nouns:

The smoking woman was very impolite. (Current participle)

Smoking is unhealthy on your well being. (Gerund)

The previous participle (to not be confused with the previous tense) ends with –ed or may be an irregular verb.

We already know it’s used along with to have to kind the right tenses:

I’ve damaged my leg.

She can have written it by tomorrow.

Aside from this, we will additionally use the previous participle as an adjective and to kind the passive voice:

I really like cooked meat. (Used as an adjective)

The home was constructed. (Passive voice)

What’s the Emphatic Kind?

The emphatic kind is when the verb “to do” is added to current or previous tenses to emphasise (stress) an announcement or make a correction.

They can be utilized in questions.

Current Emphatic

The current emphatic is fashioned with the straightforward current of the verb “to do” adopted by the primary verb within the easy current. 

For instance:

I do communicate English

The current emphatic can be utilized to ask a query. When a query is requested, the topic (the individual or factor appearing) and the verb “to do” are sometimes inverted (switched).

You should use the emphatic to ask a query within the damaging.

For instance:

Don’t you communicate English?
Sure, I do communicate English.

Do you communicate Russian?
No, I don’t communicate Russian.

Previous Emphatic

To kind the previous emphatic, you are taking the straightforward previous of the verb “to do” and put it in entrance of the straightforward previous.

For instance:

Didn’t you communicate English while you had been in Eire? 

Sure, I did communicate English. I spoke it the entire time I used to be there.

Why Studying the Tenses in English Is Vital

There are a number of explanation why you need to know tips on how to use the English tenses.

English is a chronological language.

English wants all its tenses with a view to find an motion in time or categorical the connection between two completely different actions.

For instance:

She arrived yesterday. (The motion occurred up to now.)

She will arrive tomorrow. (The motion will occur sooner or later.)

I was having a shower when the phone rang. (There’s a relationship between the 2 actions. Me having a shower was an motion happening for a while up to now. The phone ringing interrupted my bathtub.)

Tenses may help you say what you really need to say.

Every tense in English is used for a number of particular functions. You will want to make use of one tense or one other relying on what you need to say:

I drink water on daily basis. (Repeated motion.)

I am consuming water in the intervening time. (Motion occurring in the intervening time of talking.)

I will drink water later. (Motion sooner or later.)

Yesterday I drank a whole lot of water. (Motion up to now.)

English is a world language.

English has grow to be the primary language of communication on this planet.

Tens of millions and tens of millions of individuals use it on daily basis to speak with associates, colleagues, bosses and extra.

If you wish to be a part of that world dialog, you need to know English, and understanding English means understanding the tenses in English!

Tenses will assist you get fluent.

Tenses will make the distinction between being a newbie who can speak about their every day routine and talking fluently about politics.

The extra tenses you be taught, the higher you’re going to get at talking English correctly.

A giant distinction between a newbie and a sophisticated learner is how properly they know the tenses and the way they use them.

Studying tenses can enhance all of your language expertise.

Grammar (and tenses) are current in every part we do in English, from telling the time to wishing a cheerful birthday to somebody.

We use tenses after we communicate, take heed to a podcast, watch a film, learn a e-book and extra. So the extra we learn about tenses, the perfect we will apply our data to all the opposite language expertise.

With out tenses, passing your English exams can be unimaginable.

Lastly, you should be taught the tenses if you wish to cross your lessons or ace (get excessive marks in) your official exams.

Even if you’re studying English by yourself and also you don’t plan on taking an examination, it’s essential to have a motive for studying, and due to that, it would be best to know if you’re making progress (getting higher).

Easy methods to Be taught English Verb Tenses

Studying tenses may be fairly boring generally, particularly if you’re making an attempt to be taught by your self.

Nonetheless, I’ve discovered there are some suggestions which can be higher than others while you need to be taught English grammar tenses.

an inforgraphic by fluentu showing tips about learning tenses in english

Divide them into previous, current and future tenses.

You should use the division previous, current and future to have three teams of 4 tenses.

This division is nice if you wish to be taught every part a couple of particular “chunk” (piece) of the road of time with out worrying an excessive amount of about the remainder, so it’s a good approach for newbie learners who’re nonetheless not prepared to combine cut-off dates.

For instance, first you’ll be able to give attention to the current tenses, then the previous tenses after which the longer term tenses.

Divide them into pairs.

One other approach of dividing the completely different tenses is by making pairs. As you be taught extra, you’ll understand that fairly often tenses share sure options or like to seem collectively in sentences.

There are other ways of constructing this division:

  • Easy and steady tenses: current easy and current steady, previous easy and previous steady, future easy and future steady.
  • Excellent and excellent steady tenses: current good and current good steady, previous good and previous good steady, future good and future good steady.
  • Tenses that usually seem collectively in sentences: current easy and current good, current easy and current steady, previous easy and current good, previous easy and previous steady, previous easy and previous good.

You’ll be able to divide the tenses otherwise for those who really feel two (or extra) tenses go collectively. I like to recommend this system for intermediate and superior learners as a result of tenses get combined and used collectively.

Observe with on-line workouts and apps.

In case you desire studying on the go, you may as well obtain a number of apps and use them to grow to be a grasp of the language.

Listed here are a few assets that may assist you observe and bear in mind all these varieties.

  • The WordReference English ConjugatorThis instrument will present you what just about any English verb seems to be like in any tense. Simply kind the verb you’re in search of into the field on the high of the web page.
  • englisch-hilfen.de Grammar Workout routinesIn case you scroll down on this web page, you’ll discover all types of workouts that will help you observe completely different English tenses. In case you like, you are able to do the workouts so as, however you don’t should. It’s possible you’ll simply need to search for workouts that cowl tenses you discover tough.

Create your personal sentences.

I like to recommend you select one tense at a time and observe writing sentences, damaging sentences and questions with it.

Write as many examples as you’ll be able to consider, specializing in one tense at a time. This can assist you memorize the construction of the tense in all its varieties and let you use it extra naturally.

Watch collection, motion pictures and movies to see tenses in context.

Context is every part, and the extra context now we have, the higher we perceive what’s being mentioned.

One of the best factor about any kind of native English video is that you’re not solely listening to native audio system discuss (so you’re training pronunciation) but in addition listening to full sentences in context.

Whenever you take heed to a tense being utilized in context, it is possible for you to to know why it’s getting used, so you’ll know when to make use of it by your self.

FluentU is one useful resource that bases its English classes on genuine native-level video content material (together with clips from motion pictures and TV reveals). Everytime you don’t perceive what a sure tense means, you’ll be able to simply hover over the phrase and get extra details about its definition and utilization. 

Create flashcards for every tense and the way they’re used.

You are able to do this in two separate decks (one for the makes use of of every tense and one for the best way they’re constructed), or put all the data collectively on each side of a flashcard.

Do no matter feels finest for you. Crucial factor is that you just carry on training.

Create your personal quick tales.

This sort of train is really useful for intermediate and superior learners.

Consider a narrative and attempt to write three completely different variations of it, one up to now, one within the current and one sooner or later. Initially, this will really feel a little bit bit tough, however it’ll get simpler as you go, I promise.

You’ll be able to write about something you need, however I prefer to suggest the next subjects to my college students:

  • Each day routines (Describe yesterday, a traditional day in your life and tomorrow.)
  • Your lives (Who had been you in a previous life? Who’re you understand? Who do you need to be sooner or later?)
  • Cities (Write about how they had been up to now, how they’re now and the way you assume they are going to be in 100 years.)
  • Favourite singer/author/actor (Select one who’s already lifeless and one who continues to be alive. For the longer term tense, write about your favourite alive artist in 10 years. The place will they be? What’s going to they do? Will they be married? Will they’ve children?)
  • Take into consideration an necessary historic occasion and write about it by utilizing previous tenses. Now think about the identical occasion is going on now. Change your story accordingly.

Learn, learn, learn!

Studying is without doubt one of the finest workouts we will do if we actually need to perceive tenses and discover ways to use them correctly.

You’ll not assume you’re studying something if you are studying, however the reality is that your mind is studying tips on how to acknowledge completely different tenses and language constructions that get repeated, and earlier than you understand it, you’ll begin utilizing English tenses like a boss.

Take heed to podcasts and the radio.

Listening to English spoken by native audio system can also be an excellent approach of training tenses.

Whenever you take heed to correct English, a lot as while you learn it, you’re feeding your mind with appropriate constructions. With time, your mind will acknowledge these constructions and offer you a hand while you need to say one thing in English.

When Ought to You Be taught the Tenses in English?

You’ll ultimately should know all 12 English tenses, however you don’t must be taught all of them from the beginning.

I’ve divided the 12 tenses into three ranges (newcomers, intermediate and superior learners). Keep in mind that is my private opinion primarily based on all my years of instructing English. Some programs and official examination establishments can divide the tenses in a different way.

What’s necessary right here is that your data of tenses goes hand in hand with the remainder of your English expertise. It’s best to by no means know every part about, say, English vocabulary, however have solely a imprecise (unclear, not exact) concept about fundamental English grammar.

Newbie tenses

The newbie tenses are people who enable us to begin expressing ourselves in English with fundamental grammar patterns and fundamental vocabulary. 

These tenses are used primarily to explain the world round us, speak about what we did, do and can do, they usually assist us make sense of straightforward actions and occasions.

The 5 tenses each newbie ought to know are (on this particular order, ideally):

Intermediate tenses

The intermediate tenses go one step additional and will probably be of assist while you need to speak about extra particular issues.

They aren’t tough tenses to grasp, however they’ll make the distinction between a newbie grammar beginner (newbie) and a severe intermediate grammar learner.

The tenses I imagine each intermediate learner of English ought to know are:

Superior tenses

A complicated person of any language is meant to have the ability to speak about any subject with out hesitation (doubt), write properly and grasp tough superior grammar subjects.

The tenses usually reserved for superior learners are:

  • the current good steady
  • the previous good steady
  • the longer term good steady

The place to Observe Tenses in English

There are a number of nice choices to observe tenses. All of it will depend on the sort of scholar you’re and the best way of studying you favor.

Grammar and Train Books

For starters, you’ve the normal grammar train books. They’re presumably the best choice for learners who need to observe tenses and writing on the similar time.

Many English grammar books have an accompanying train e-book. Simply choose (select) the one you are feeling snug working with.

Grammar Observe On-line

There are additionally hours upon hours of English grammar workouts on-line.

In case you seek for [name of the tense] + workouts, you’re going to get many outcomes.

The trick right here is to decide on the sort of train you want essentially the most. Studying English grammar needs to be pleasant, so for those who determine that studying tenses with fill-in-the-blank workouts is the easiest way for you, go for it.


One other smart way of training tenses is by watching movies. Streaming platforms similar to HBO, Netflix and YouTube are learners’ favorites relating to consuming video content material.

Plus, they’re superior if you wish to observe tenses in context and see how native audio system use them.

Undoubtedly, studying a language from its native audio system is without doubt one of the finest methods to get an ideal accent, however except for that, you may be certain the enter (info) you’ll be receiving is 100% correct and matches its context completely.


Aside from FluentU, there are various different apps for studying English grammar you’ll be able to obtain in your telephone.

Apps for studying English is usually a nice studying asset when they’re used repeatedly, so bear in mind to get your “every day portion” of English tenses it doesn’t matter what.

There are a whole lot of 1000’s of apps out there.

Due to this, apps for studying and training tenses in English (or some other subject you could be desirous about) appear to be vital (important) these days.

How are you going to use apps to be taught tenses in English?

So, how can apps assist you if you are making an attempt to be taught English tenses?

There are lots of various things you are able to do to be taught tenses in English particularly. These are a few of them:

  • Select the sorts of workouts that concentrate on training English tenses. In case your focus in the intervening time is on mastering the tenses in English, select workouts that can let you try this. Relying on the app, you can see several types of workouts, like fill-in-the-blank, end the sentence, select the right reply and extra.
  • Analyze dialogues/transcripts and perceive why a tense was used. That is one other superior approach of studying tenses. Nearly each English sentence consists of a minimum of one of many 12 tenses. Analyze what you learn and attempt to clarify why a selected tense was used.
  • Take on-line assessments and quizzes on tenses to learn the way you’re doing. In case your app has the choice of taking quizzes, this will probably be a good way to test your progress and see which tenses you must evaluate.
  • Take heed to dialogues/podcasts/audio to listen to native audio system use completely different tenses. You recognize already that the easiest way to be taught English is by listening to native audio system discuss. Simply as you probably did with the transcripts earlier than, write down and analyze the dialogues you take heed to and attempt to clarify why the audio system used a selected tense.
  • Simply return to any tenses which may be tough for you and evaluate them on the go. Some of the helpful causes for downloading an app to your telephone is that it’s going to all the time be with you, so you’ll be able to evaluate these tougher tenses every time you’ve a while, irrespective of the place you’re.


Tenses are the skeleton of a language. With out them, the vast majority of languages on this planet can be misplaced in time.

We want tenses in English to find occasions and get to know what occurred and when. That is tremendous necessary, even initially of your studying journey.

So the sooner you begin mastering the tenses in English, the higher.

Keep curious, my associates, and as all the time, blissful studying!




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