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Verb Tenses

Learn about the various tenses used in the English language.
a data set by ms.brown
created June 18, 2017
TenseOther NameDefinitionExamplesExample in a sentence
Simple PresentPresent IndefiniteWhen an action is happening at the moment, happens regularly, or happens unceasingly. Use the root verb or add -s or -es to the end.loves, identify, reachesShe reaches for the glass.
Simple PastPreteriteAn action that happened or something that existed before the present. Use -d or -ed at the end of regular verbs to indicate past tense.spoke, loved, hoveredThe bee hovered over the flower.
Simple FutureAn action that has not happened yet. Use will + root verb.will speak, will learn, will sleepI will sleep when I finish my book.
Present ContinuousPresent ProgressiveAn action or state that is happening now, an action that may continue into the future, or one that happens frequently. Use a form of the verb "to be" + present participle.am eating, are walking, is speakingShe is speaking to the judge.
Past ContinuousPast ProgressiveAn action that continued before and after another action. Use was/were + present participle.was laughing, were giving, was eatingHe was laughing while I told the joke.
Future ContinuousFuture ProgressiveAn action that will occur in the future and continue for a certain length of time. Use will be + present participle.will be dodging, will be fighting, will be atI will be at home until the evening.
Present PerfectAn action or stat that occurred at an undefined point in the past or began at some point in the past and continues in the present. Use have/has + the past participle.has called, have talked, have spentI have spent all of my money.
Past PerfectPluperfectAn action that was completed before something else. Use had + past participle.had spoken, had called, had eatenStacie had called me, but I was already gone.
Future PerfectAn action that will be completed before another point in the future. Use will have + past participle.will have done, will have called, will have spentI will have called her by the time the day is over.
Present Perfect ContinuousPresent Perfect ProgressiveAn action or state that began in the past and continues in the present. Use has/have been +present participle.have been giving, have been walking, have been eatingI have been walking dogs all day.
Past Perfect ContinuousPast Perfect ProgressiveAn action that started in the past and continued until another point in the past. Use had been + present participle.had been eating, had been walking, had been thinkingHe had been walking every day before he broke his leg.
Future Perfect ContinuousFuture Perfect ProgressiveAn action or state that will continue up until a certain point in the future. Use will have been + present participle.will have been working, will have been looking, will have been eatingIn a few minutes, the dog will have been eating for an hour.
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