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English Verb Tenses

The seven tenses in blue are the most common.
You will use these almost every day, so learn them first.
Past Tenses
Present Tenses
Future Tenses
Simple walked walk will walk
Continuous was walking am walking will be walking
"Perfect" had walked have walked will have walked
Perfect Continuous had been walking have been walking will have been walking

Sample Sentences:

  • 1) Simple Tenses describe actions that are only one moment in time.
      I walked to school yesterday.
      I walk to school every day.
      I will walk to school next Tuesday.
  • 2) Continuous Tenses describe actions that continue, then another action happens more quickly.
      I was walking to school last Friday when it suddenly started to rain.
      He is walking to school now, but you can find him if you hurry.
      I will be walking to school this time next week, so you will be able to find me easily.
  • 3) Perfect Tenses describe TWO moments in time, with emphasis on the second one.
      I had walked halfway to school before I remembered that I didn't have my books.
      I have always walked to school. (Emphasis is not spoken! It is on the experience I have now - I am a person NOW who walks, not drives or takes a bus or rides a bicycle.)
      By the time the year is over, I will have walked a total of 300 kilometers!
  • 4) Perfect Continuous Tenses describe actions that continue between TWO moments in time.
      I had already been walking halfway to school when I remembered that I left my book at home.
      I have been walking to school since I was 6 years old.
      When I finish high school, I will have been walking to school for 12 years!

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