We shall be examining each of the verb tenses in greater detail in the following chapters.

You will find extensive lists of English verbs, as well as a breakdown of the tenses, which will provide you with the necessary tools to expand both your understanding of English usage and your own vocabulary.




 PAST                                                                PRESENT                                                            FUTURE

Simple Past                                                             Simple Present                                                             Simple Future    

Add “-ed”, “-d” to base form                               Add “-s” to base form to                                              subject + will + base form of the verb

Double these consonants:                                   make 3rd person Singular: he/she/it.

B”, “D”,”G”, “M”, “N”, “P”,”R”,”T”                  Use “to do” to form questions,

after a “short” vowel sound.                              short answer and negative statements.


Past Continuous/Past Progressive                   Present Continuous/Present Progressive                Future Continuous/Future Progressive

Use subject + past tense of “to Be”                   Use subject + present tense of to Be”                     There are two versions of the Future Continuous.

(was/were) + base form +”-ing”                       to Be” (am/are/is) + base form + “-ing”                 They are constructed as follows:

                                                                                                                                                                          subject + future tense of to Be” (will be)+ base form

                                                                                                                                                                          + “-ing


                                                                                                                                                                           subject + future tense of to Go” + “to” + base form


                                                                                                                                                                           Conjugation of the first version is very easy. Only the

                                                                                                                                                                           subject changes. "Will be + -ing" stays the same no

                                                                                                                                                                           matter who or what the subject is.

                                                                                                                                                                           For be going to + be + “-ing, the verb "be" in the

                                                                                                                                                                           first part of the formula must be conjugated to

                                                                                                                                                                           match the subject. The rest ("going to be + “–ing")

                                                                                                                                                                           stays the same.

Past Perfect                                                         Present Perfect                                                                 Future Perfect

subject + past tense of “to Have”                    subject + present tense of to Have”                            subject + future tense of “toHave" ("will have") + 

("had")  + past participle                                   ("have/has") + past participle                                       past participle


Past Perfect Continuous/                                 Present Perfect Continuous/                                        Future Perfect Continuous/

Past Perfect Progressive                                   Present Perfect Progressive                                          Future Perfect Progressive

subject + past tense of “to Have”                    subject + present tense of “to Have("have"/          subject + future tense of “to  Have” ("will have") +

("had") + past participle of “to Be”                "has") + past participle of “to Be” ("been") + "ing"   past participle of “to Be” ("been") + “-ing”

It is recommended that you follow the chapters in order and do not jump ahead. However, it will also be useful to re-read the earlier chapters when you reach the later ones so that you understand the differences between what seem, superficially, to be similar tenses.

Familiarise yourself with the usage of the different tenses and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have a better understanding of English verbs than do the majority of native English speakers!


©SCG Language Tutorials 2014                            www.scglanguagetutorials.com

SCG LANGUAGE TUTORIALS for English grammar and vocabulary tutorials and analysis of UCAS applications and other documents, for students of English as a second language [ESL] and other British qualifications.