Verb Tenses in English

Did you know there are seventeen (17) verb tenses in English?  Don’t panic! You don’t need all of the tenses to speak English. If you keep studying, you will eventually learn all of the verb tenses. This week we will look at the first four tenses and how they are used. Next week we will look at the perfect verb tenses.

Tense Sample Sentences When do I use it? Level
Simple Present Affirmative: He walks.
Negative: He does not speak.
Question: Does he speak?
  • The action is n the present taking place once, never or several times.
  • Actions that are taking place one after another.
  • When we are talking about actions set by a schedule.
Beginner
Present Progressive Affirmative: He is walking.
Negative: He is not walking.
Question: Is he walking?
  • The action is taking place now.
  • The action is taking place only for a limited period of time.
Beginner
Simple Past Affirmative: He walked.
Negative: He did not walk.
Question: Did he walk?
  • The action takes place in the past once, never or several times
  • The actions take place one after another
  • The action taking place in the middle of another action
Beginner
Past Progressive Affirmative: He was walking.
Negative: He was not walking.
Question: Was he walking?
  • The action was going on at a certain time in the past
  • The actions taking place at the same time
  • The action took place in the past and was interrupted by another action
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