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Examples Examples Examples

Tense Signal words Use Form


affirmative negative interrogative

something happens I work. I don't work. Do I work?


repeatedly
every day He works. He doesn't work. Does he work?
how often something I go. I don't go. Do I go?
sometimes
happens
always
one action follows
Simple
another
Present often
infinitive
or
things in general he/she/it + -s
Present usually
Simple He goes. He doesn't go. Does he go?
after the following
seldom
verbs (to love, to hate,
to think, etc.)
never
future meaning:
first ... then
timetables,
programmes
something is happening I'm working. I'm not working. Am I working?
now at the same time of
He's working. He isn't working. Is he working?
Present speaking or around it
Progressive at the moment to be I'm going. I'm not going. Am I going?
or future meaning: when (am/are/is) +
Present Look! you have already infinitive + -ing
Continuous decided and He's going. He isn't going. Is he going?
Listen! arranged to do it (a
fixed plan, date)
last ... I worked. I didn't work. Did I work?
regular:
Simple action took place in the
infinitive + -ed He worked. He didn't work. Did he work?
Past ... ago past, mostly connected
irregular:
or with an expression of I went. I didn't go. Did I go?
2nd column of
Past in 1990 time (no connection to
table of
Simple the present) He went. He didn't go. Did he go?
irregular verbs
yesterday
Past an action happened in was/were + I wasn't Was I
while I was working.
Progressive the middle of another infinitive + -ing working. working?
action He was He wasn't Was he
working. working. working?
or someone was doing
Past sth. at a certain time I was going. I wasn't going. Was I going?
Continuous (in the past) - you do
not know whether it He was going. He wasn't going. Was he going?
was finished or not
Just I haven't Have I
I have worked.
worked. worked?
Yet
He hasn't Has he
He has worked.
Never worked. worked?
you say that sth. has
have/has + past I have gone. I haven't gone. Have I gone?
Ever happened or is finished
Simple participle*
in the past and it has a
Present
Already connection to the
Perfect *(infinitive +
present
or -ed) or (3rd
So far,
Present column of table
action started in the
Perfect of irregular
Up to now, past and continues up He has gone. He hasn't gone. Has he gone?
verbs)
to the present
Since

for

Recently
all day I have been I haven't been Have I been
working. working. working?
action began in the
the whole day
Present past and has just He has been He hasn't been Has he been
Perfect stopped working. working. working?
how long
Progressive have/has +
or how long the action has been + infinitive I have been I haven't been Have I been
since going. going. going?
Present been happening + -ing
Perfect
for
Continuous emphasis: length of He has been He hasn't been Has he been
time of an action going. going. going?

Simple already mostly when two had + past I had worked. I hadn't worked. Had I worked?
actions in a story are He hadn't Had he
He had worked.
related to each other: worked. worked?
participle*
Past the action which had
Perfect already happened is I had gone. I hadn't gone. Had I gone?
*(infinitive +
or just put into Past Perfect,
-ed) or (3rd
Past the other action into
column of table
Perfect never Simple Past
of irregular He had gone. He hadn't gone. Had he gone?
(Simple)
verbs)
the past of the Present
Perfect
I had been I hadn't been Had I been
working. working. working?
Past Perfect how long He had been He hadn't been Had he been
how long something
Progressive working. working. working?
had been happening had + been +
or since
before something else infinitive + ing I had been I hadn't been Had I been
Past Perfect
happened going. going. going?
Continuous for
He had been He hadn't been Had he been
going. going. going?
predictions about the I'll work. I won't work. Will I work?
future (you think that
He'll work. He won't work. Will he work?
sth. will happen)
I'll go. I won't go. Will I go?
you decide to do sth.
spontaneously at the
will - future will + infinitive
time of speaking, you
haven't made a
decision before He'll go. He won't go. Will he go?

main clause in type I of


the if clauses
going to - when you have already be (am/are/is) I'm going to I'm not going to Am I going to
future decided to do sth. in + going to + work. work. work?
the future infinitive
He's going to He's not going to Is he going to
work. work. work?
what you think what
will happen I'm going to go. I'm not going to Am I going to
go. go?
He's going to He's not going to Is he going to
go. go. go?
An action will be in I won't be Will I be
I'll be working.
progress at a certain working. working?
time in the future. This
Future He'll be He won't be Will he be
action has begun
Progressive working. working. working?
before the certain time. will + be +
or
infinitive + ing Will I be
Future I'll be going. I won't be going.
Continuous going?
Something happens
because it normally He won't be Will he be
He'll be going.
happens. going. going?

I won't have Will I have


will + have + I'll have worked.
Simple worked. worked?
past participle*
Future He'll have He won't have Will he have
sth. will already have
Perfect worked. worked. worked?
happened before a *(infinitive +
or
certain time in the -ed) or (3rd I won't have Will I have
Future I'll have gone.
future column of table gone. gone?
Perfect
of irregular
Simple He won't have Will he have
verbs) He'll have gone.
gone. gone?
Future I'll have been I won't have Will I have
Perfect working. been working. been working?
Progressive
or He'll have been He won't have Will he have
sth. will already have working. been working. been working?
Future
happened before a
Perfect I'll have been I won't have Will I have
certain time in the
Continuous will + have + going. been going. been working?
future
been + infinitive
+ ing
emphasis: length of
time of an action He'll have been He won't have Will he have
going. been going. been working?

Conditional sth. that might happen would + I would work. I wouldn't Would I
work. work?
He wouldn't Would he
He would work.
work. work?
Simple main clause in type II infinitive I would go. I wouldn't go. Would I go?
of the if clauses
He wouldn't Would he
He would go.
go. go?
I would be I wouldn't be Would I be
working. working. working?
Conditional He would be He wouldn't be Would he be
sth. that might happen
Progressive working. working. working?
would + be +
or
emphasis: length of infinitive + ing I would be I wouldn't be Would I be
Conditional
time of an action going. going. going?
Continuous
He would be He wouldn't be Would he be
going. going. going?
I would have I wouldn't have Would I have
would + have + worked. worked. worked?
sth. that might have past participle*
happened in the past He would have He wouldn't have Would he have
Conditional (It's too late now.) *(infinitive + worked. worked. worked?
Perfect -ed) or (3rd I would have I wouldn't have Would I have
main clause in type III column of table gone. gone. gone?
of the if clauses of irregular
verbs) He would have He wouldn't have Would I have
gone. gone. gone?
I would have I wouldn't have Would I have
been working. been working. been working?
Conditional He would Would he
sth. that might have He wouldn't have
Perfect have been have been
happened in the past been going.
Progressive would + have + going. working?
(It's too late now.)
or been + infinitive
Conditional + ing I would have I wouldn't have Would I have
emphasis: length of been going. been going. been going?
Perfect
time of an action
Continuous Would he
He would have He wouldn't have
have been
been going. been going.
going?