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English Verb Tenses

The following table gives you an overview of the verb tenses. Remember that in verb tenses, time (present, past, or future) is indicated by the first verb. The progressive tense is formed by using "to be" plus a verb afterward. The perfect tense is formed by using a form of "to have" plus a verb afterward. Read about common writing errors and writing classes.






Simple Present:
add -s for he/she/it

to walk

I walk home.

You walk home.

He/she/it walks home.

We walk home.

They walk home.

to be

I am 33 years old.

You are 33 years old.

He/she/it is 33 years old.

We are 33 years old.

They are 33 years old.

Present continuous or Progressive

to be + verb-ing

I am walking


We are doing homework.



She is running away.


What are you having for lunch?

Simple Past: add -ed or change for irregulars

to walk

They walked home.

to do

I did the laundry.

to love

He loved his father.

to have

We had some money

* to learn about the sounds of -ed, click here.

to work

She worked at home.

to go

I went to the movies.

to listen

They listened to music.

to see

You saw what happened.

to study

I studied all night.

to run

He ran very quickly.


to print

She printed the report.

to write

I wrote a letter.


to plant

They planted some flowers.

to read

He read the newspaper.


to look

I looked in the mirror.

to know

We knew it was too late.


to clean

They cleaned the hotel room.

to understand

He understood the difficulty.


to wash

She washed the dishes.

to drive

We drove for hours.


to save

We saved twenty dollars.

to take

I took a shower.


to use

He used a hammer.

to put

They put on their shoes.


to swim

We swam in the lake.

to wear

You wore a beautiful dress.


to cry

The child cried.

to sing

The woman sang all night.

Simple Future

to love

She will love it.
She is going to love it.



 * future can be expressed with "will" or "to be" + "going to"


to try

He will try the new computer.
He is going to try the new computer.



to go

I will go tomorrow at 7:00.
I am going tomorrow at 7:00.



Perfect and Progressive Tenses

Present perfect

to have + verb-ed or past participle

I have looked at the paper.

I have seen him.

She has enjoyed her visit.

They have known about it.

They have called the neighbors.

He has run 5 miles.

You have earned my respect.

She has written a story.

Past perfect

had + verb-ed or past participle

He had stopped the car before the accident.

She had seen the show a long time ago.

They had already walked away.

He had given me the bad news already.

Future Progressive

will be + verb-ing

I will be going home soon.

She will be quitting her job any day now.

Past perfect progressive

had + been + verb-ing

He had been saving money for years.

They had been renting a house for a long time.

Present perfect progressive

have/has + been + verb-ing

I have been driving for 20 years.

She has been cooking for her family's party all day.

Future perfect progressive

will have been + verb-ing

The couple will have been planning their retirement party for 2 years.

They will have been running marathons for 25 years.

Future perfect

will + have + verb-ed or past participle

They will have made up their minds by 5:00 today.

She will have been married for 5 years this coming May.


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