Verb tenses are tools that English speakers use to talk about the past, present and future in their language. You may find that some English tenses, such as simple present or present perfect, do not have direct translations in your language. That is not a problem. By studying this verb tense tutorial, you will learn to think like a native English speaker. If you prefer to use the verb tense pages as a reference only and do not want to complete the tutorial, click here.
2. Complete the verb tense exercises below. After each exercise, we have included links to the tenses covered. And don't miss our Verb Tense Final Test.
|Verb Tense Exercise 1||Simple Present and Present Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 2||Simple Present and Present Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 3||Simple Past and Past Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 4||Simple Past and Past Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 5||Simple Past and Present Perfect|
|Verb Tense Exercise 6||Simple Past and Present Perfect|
|Verb Tense Exercise 7||Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 8||Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 9||Present Continuous and Present Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 10||Present Continuous and Present Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 11||Simple Past and Past Perfect|
|Verb Tense Exercise 12||Simple Past, Present Perfect, and Past Perfect|
|Verb Tense Exercise 13||Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 14||Present Perfect, Past Perfect, Present Perfect Continuous, and Past Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 15||Present Continuous, Simple Past, Present Perfect Continuous, and Past Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 16||Present and Past Tenses with Non-Continuous Verbs|
|Verb Tense Exercise 17||Present and Past Tense Review|
|Verb Tense Exercise 18||Will and Be Going to|
|Verb Tense Exercise 19||Will and Be Going to|
|Verb Tense Exercise 20||Will and Be Going to|
|Verb Tense Exercise 21||Simple Present and Simple Future|
|Verb Tense Exercise 22||Simple Present and Simple Future|
|Verb Tense Exercise 23||Simple Future and Future Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 24||Simple Present, Simple Future, Present Continuous, and Future Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 25||Simple Future and Future Perfect|
|Verb Tense Exercise 26||Future Perfect and Future Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 27||Future Perfect and Future Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Exercise 28||Future Continuous and Future Perfect Continuous|
|Verb Tense Practice Test||Cumulative Verb Tense Review|
|Verb Tense Final Test||Cumulative Verb Tense Review|
|Simple Present||Simple Past||Simple Future|
|I study English every day.||Two years ago, I studied English in England.||If you are having problems, I will help you study English.
I am going to study English next year.
|Present Continuous||Past Continuous||Future Continuous|
|I am studying English now.||I was studying English when you called yesterday.||I will be studying English when you arrive tonight.
I am going to be studying English when you arrive tonight.
|Present Perfect||Past Perfect||Future Perfect|
|I have studied English in several different countries.||I had studied a little English before I moved to the U.S.||I will have studied every tense by the
time I finish this course.
I am going to have studied every tense by the time I finish this course.
|Present Perfect Continuous||Past Perfect Continuous||Future Perfect Continuous|
|I have been studying English for five years.||I had been studying English for five years before I moved to the U.S.||I will have been studying English for
over two hours by the time you arrive.
I am going to have been studying English for over two hours by the time you arrive.
Take a moment to look at the table above and notice how it is organized. It tells you a lot about how native English speakers understand time. There are four present tenses, four past tenses and four future tenses. Each group contains a simple tense, a continuous tense, a perfect tense and a perfect continuous tense. This is important because these groupings can help you learn and remember how English verb tenses are used in real life. For example, present perfect, past perfect and future perfect are all used in very similar ways. Keep this in mind while reading our tense descriptions.
It is important to understand that the way native English speakers understand time may be very different from the way you understand time in your native language. For example, Germans often make mistakes with present perfect because it looks like a tense in German, but the tense is used very differently in English. If you need help, our detailed tense descriptions and exercises will teach you how to think like a native speaker.
Make sure you pay attention to the small details. It is important to learn how non-continuous and mixed verbs can affect tense usage. English learners should also practice active and passive verb forms, so they don't have to think about grammar in the middle of a conversation. Similarly, you need to take the time to learn the large number of irregular verbs in English. Mastering English verb tenses is all about practice, practice, practice. It's easy if you use our irregular verb flashcards!
The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Linguists and language researchers often say that English has three tenses: past, present and future. They often refer to simple, continuous, perfect and perfect continuous as "aspects" of each tense.
People who teach English as a foreign language say that English has 12 tenses: simple present, simple past, simple future, present continuous, past continuous, future continuous, present perfect, past perfect, future perfect, present perfect continuous, past perfect continuous, and future perfect continuous.
It is important to point out that in addition to the 12 tenses listed above, there are additional forms such as Used to, would always, and future in the past, which are used to express time in English. Here at , we describe 15 verb forms in this Verb Tense Tutorial.
The most common mistake English learners make is to use simple present to talk about things that are happening now. Present continuous is not optional in English. Another very common mistake is combining present perfect with specific times such as yesterday or last week. That is not correct in English. And very few English learners master the subtle differences between will and be going to in simple future. All of these problems are clearly explained in this tutorial.