English Learning Notes


tenseĀ (noun): a verb-based method used to indicate the time, and sometimes the continuation or completeness, of an action or state in relation to the time of speaking. ORIGIN LatinĀ tempus "time"

The concept of tense in English is a method that we use to refer to time - past, present and future. Many languages use tense to talk about time. Other languages have no concept of tense at all, but of course they can still talk about time, using different methods.

The 12 Basic English Tenses

Future Time
The future is uncertain. We know the past. We know the present. We do not know the future. We can be 100% sure or certain about the past and the present. But we can never be 100% certain about the future. In English there are several structures and tenses to talk about the future.

Future Perfect Continuous
The Future Perfect Continuous tense looks at the past from the future.

Future Perfect
The Future Perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and use. The Future Perfect talks about the past in the future.

Future Continuous
The Future Continuous tense is often used in English as a way to talk about something happening at a given point in the future.

Future Simple
The Future Simple tense is often called the "will tense" because we make the Future Simple with the modal auxiliary will.

Past Perfect Continuous
The Past Perfect Continuous is another tense that expresses the "past in the past".In this lesson we look at the structure and use of the Past Perfect Continuous tense, followed by a quiz to check your understanding.

Past Perfect
The Past Perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and to use. This tense talks about the "past in the past".

Past Continuous
The Past Continuous tense is an important tense in English. We use it to say what we were in the middle of doing at a particular moment in the past.

Past Simple
The Past Simple tense is sometimes called the "preterite tense". We can use several tenses and forms to talk about the past, but the Past Simple tense is the one we use most often.

Present Perfect Continuous
The Present Perfect Continuous uses two auxiliary verbs together with a main verb.

Present Perfect Tense
The Present Perfect tense is a rather important tense in English, but it gives speakers of some languages a difficult time.

Present Continuous
We often use the Present Continuous tense in English. It is very different from the Present Simple tense, both in structure and in use.

Present Simple
The Present Simple tense is the most basic tense in English and uses the base form of the verb (except for the verb be). The only change from the base is the addition of s for third person singular.

The 12 Basic English Tenses
Some grammarians consider that strictly-speaking there are only two English tenses. Others argue six or other quantities.

Basic Tenses with be
This page shows the basic tenses with the irregular verb be

Basic Tenses with Irregular Verbs
The basic structure of tenses for regular verbs and irregular verbs is exactly the same (except the verb be).

Basic Tenses with Regular Verbs
the basic tenses with the regular verb work, including the following structures:affirmative or positive (+)negative (-)interrogative or question (?)

Basic Tenses
For past and present, there are 2 non-complex tenses + 6 complex tenses (using auxiliary or helping verbs).

Tense and Time
It is important not to confuse theĀ nameĀ of a verb tense with the way we use it to talk aboutĀ time.

English Tense System
In some languages, verb tenses are not very important or do not even exist. In English, the concept of tense is very important.