Verb Tenses: English Tenses Chart with Useful Rules & Examples 1

Verb Tenses: English Tenses Chart with Useful Rules & Examples

Verb Tenses Chart! Learn table of 12 tenses in English grammar with useful tenses rules, example sentences and ESL printable worksheets.

Verb Tenses are all used to express action that has taken place in the past, present, and future. The following sections will show how and when to use the 12 basic tenses in English grammar.

English Tenses Chart with Useful Rules & Examples

(Quick Overview of English Tenses – Verb Tenses Chart)

Verb Tenses Chart with Rules & Examples

Present Simple

Learn useful grammar rules to use the Present Simple Tense in English.

  • Express habits or general truth

Example:

I’m nineteen years old.

  • Describe a future event on a designated date as part of a plan or arrangement

Examples:

The plane arrives at 18.00 tomorrow.

Learn more about the present simple tense in English tenses.

Present Simple Tense Chart | Picture

Present Simple Tense

Present Continuous

Learn how and when to use the Present Continuous Tense in English.

  • Describe action going on at the time of speaking

Example:

They are swimming in the pool.

  • Express temporary action which may not be happening at the time of speaking

Example:

John’s driving his father’s car while his own car is in the workshop.

Learn more about the present continuous tense in English verb tenses.

Present Continuous Tense Chart | Picture

Present Continuous Tense

Present Perfect

Learn how and when to use the Present Perfect Tense in English.

  • Express past action which is not defined by a time of occurrence

Example:

Teresa isn’t at home. I think she has gone shopping.

  • Express an action which started in the past and has continued up until now

Example:

She has worked in the bank for five years.

Learn more about the present perfect tense in English grammar tenses.

Present Perfect Tense Chart | Picture

Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Continuous

Learn how to use the Present Perfect Continuous tense (also known as the Present Perfect Progressive tense) in English.

  • Express an action which started at some point in the past and may not be complete

Example:

He has been living in Bangkok since he left school.

Learn more about the present perfect continuous tense in English tenses.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Chart | Picture

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Simple

Learn useful grammar rules to use the Past Simple Tense in English.

  • Describe a past habit – or an action already completed

Example:

I went to Egypt in 1988.

  • Can be used with or without adverbs of time

Example:

He drank his whiskey almost bottoms up.

….

Learn more about the past simple tense in English verb tenses.

Past Simple Tense Chart | Picture

Past Simple Tense

Past Continuous

Learn how and when to use the Past Continuous Tense (or Past Progressive) in English with useful grammar rules and examples.

  • Express uncompleted action of the past (with or without time reference)

Example:

Everyone was shouting.

  • Describe persistent habits of the past (with always, continuously, forever, etc.)

Example:

They were always quarrelling.

Learn more about the past continuous tense in English grammar tenses.

Past Continuous Tense Chart | Picture

Past Continuous Tense

Past Perfect

Learn how and when to use the Past Perfect Tense in English with rules and examples.

  • Describe a completed action of the past that happened before another event took place

Example:

After he had finished work, he went straight home.

Learn more about the past perfect tense in English tenses.

Past Perfect Tense Chart | Picture

Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Continuous

Learn how and when to use the Past Perfect Continuous Tense in English.

  • Describe an action in the past that began before a certain point in the past and continued up until that time

Example:

She had been working at that company for three years when it went out of business.

Learn more about the past perfect continuous tense in English verb tenses.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense Chart | Image

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Future Simple

The Simple Future tense indicates that an action is in the future relative to the speaker or writer.

  • Express an action, condition, or circumstance which hasn’t taken place yet

Example:

I will eat Japanese Food tomorrow.

Learn more about the simple future tense in English tenses.

Simple Future Tense Chart | Picture

Simple Future Tense

Future Continuous

Learn how and when to use the Future Continuous Tense in English

  • Express what will be going on at some time in the future

Example:

You‘ll be missing the sunshine once you’re back in England.

Learn more about the future continuous tense in English verb tenses.

Future Continuous Tense Chart | Picture

Future Continuous Tense

Future Perfect

Learn how and when to use the Future Perfect Tense in English.

  • Express an action that will be complete before another event takes place

Example:

By the time I finish this course, I will have taken ten tests.

Learn more about the future perfect tense in English tenses.

Future Perfect Tense Chart | Picture

Verb Tenses: English Tenses Chart with Useful Rules & Examples 2

Future Perfect Continuous

Learn how and when to use the Future Perfect Continuous Tense in English

  • Describe an action that will have happened for some time and will not be complete yet at a certain point in the future

Example:

I will have been watching TV for 3 hours when you arrive.

Learn more about the future perfect continuous tense in English tenses.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense Chart | Picture

Future Perfect Continuous

Verb Tenses Chart – All Tenses in a Table

All English tenses in one useful table – Table of verb tenses 1

Verb Tenses Chart! Learn table of 12 tenses in English grammar with useful tenses rules, example sentences and ESL printable worksheets. 

All English tenses in one useful table with tenses rules and examples – Table of verb tenses 2

12 english tenses

Comparison of Verb Tenses in English Grammar

Present Simple vs. Present Continuous | Verb Tenses

Learn the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous tense with examples and useful grammar rules.

  • The present simple tense is used to express general truths, while the present continuous tense describes actions happening now.
  • The present simple tense is used to indicate present habits, while the present continuous tense is used to express annoying habits (+ always).
  • The present simple tense expresses timetable events; the present continuous tense is used to describe future arrangements.
  • The present simple tense is used to indicate permanent states; In contrast, the present continuous tense is used to express temporary states.

Present Simple vs. Present Continuous | Tenses Chart Picture

Present Simple vs. Present Continuous

Present Perfect vs. Present Perfect Progressive | Verb Tenses

Learn the difference between the Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous Tense in English.

  • The present perfect tense is used with finished actions, while the present perfect progressive tense is used with unfinished actions.
  • The present perfect tense indicates permanent actions; the present perfect progressive tense describes temporary actions.
  • The present perfect tense emphasizes the result of the action; In contrast, the present perfect progressive tense emphasizes the duration of the action.
  • The present perfect tense indicates “How much/How many“, while the present perfect progressive tense indicates “How long something has been happening“.

Present Perfect vs. Present Perfect Progressive | Tenses Chart Picture

Present Perfect Simple vs. Present Perfect Progressive

Past Simple vs. Present Perfect | English Tenses

What is the difference between Past Simple and Present Perfect Tense?

  • The past simple tense is used to express finished time; in contrast, the present perfect tense describes unfinished time.
  • The past simple tense is used to refer to definite time, while the present perfect tense refers to indefinite time.
  • The past simple tense indicates series of finished actions or repeated actions; the present perfect tense expresses experience or result.

Past Simple vs. Present Perfect | Tenses Chart Picture

past simple vs. present perfect

Past Perfect vs. Past Perfect Continuous | English Tenses

What is the difference between Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous Tense?

  • The past perfect tense expresses a past action, already finished when another past action happened; the past perfect continuous tense describes a past action which started in the past and continued to happen after another action or time in the past.
  • The past perfect tense emphasizes the result of an activity in the past; in contrast, the past perfect continuous tense emphasizes the duration of an activity in the past.
  • The past perfect tense shows two events in the past that are linked, while the past perfect continuous tense shows the cause of a past action.

Past Perfect vs. Past Perfect Continuous | Tenses Chart Picture

Past Perfect vs. Past Perfect Continuous

Will vs. Going to | English Tenses

Learn the Difference Between Will vs Going to in English tenses with grammar rules and examples.

In English grammar tenses, both “Will” and “Be Going to” are used to express future tense but they do not have the same meaning.

  • Will is used to express future actions decided at the moment of speaking, while Going to describes future plans decided before the moment of speaking.
  • Will is used to indicate a prediction based on personal opinions or experiences, while going to is used to express a prediction based on present evidence.
  • Will expresses a future fact; going to is used to describe something is about to happen.

Will vs. Going to | Verb Tenses Picture

Will vs. Going to

Master All Verb Tenses Video

All Tenses in English

Learn all (12) tenses in English with useful grammar rules, examples and ESL worksheets.

Verb Tenses Chart

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Andres
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Andres

Thanks for the pics. Really helpful

anas
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anas

hii

Anonymous
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Anonymous

best explaination ,i have ever seen tilll now

wael trabelsi
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wael trabelsi

be – pro

Mohsen Derbali
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Mohsen Derbali

Really helpful!

Beth
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Beth

thanks a lot! really appreciate it.

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