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COMPENDIUM OF ENGLISH TENSES:

SIMPLE CONTINOUS PERFECT PERFECT CONTINOUS


1. Sth happening in 1. Sth happening at 1. To talk abt an axn 1. Axn that began in
general, all the time the time if completed at an past and has recently
or repeatedly. speaking. unspecified time/axn stopped.
-My watch keeps good time. -The boys are playing that has stopped -Is it raining? No it isn’t. But
hockey. recently. the ground is wet. It has been
2. Habitual axn, -It isn’t raining anymore. -I have already eaten raining.
general truth, breakfast.
exclamatory 2. Sth happening 2. Axn that began in
sentences. around the time of 2. To talk abt an axn past and continues
-He takes milk every day. speaking that has started in up until now.
-Here comes the bus! -I’m reading David past and still -She has been working here
PRESENT

Copperfield (But not at this continues. for 15 yrs (still working)


tense

3. To express axn in moment) -I have smoked for 5 yrs (I still -It has been raining since I got
future or pas t 3. When we talk about smoke) up this morning.(still raining)
(talking abt time a period around -I smoked for 5 yrs( now I
the present don’t) 3. To express how long
tables, schedules
-Tom isn’t playing football - I haven’t seen her since sth has been
etc.).
this season. Christmas. happening.
-Our plane leaves at 8o’clock
tomorrow night. -You are working hard -It has been raining for two hours.
today. 3. To describe a (status I’m waiting here for an hour.
4. To talk abt what of) a past activity
have already been that has a present
arranged or result.
personal -They haven’t finished their
arrangement. homework yet.
-My uncle is arriving
tomorrow
SIMPLE CONTINOUS PERFECT PERFECT CONTINOUS
1. To talk abt an axn 1. To say smone was 1. To describe an axn 1. To talk abt an axn
completed in past. in the middle of completed before a that began before a
Occurs with adverbs doing sth at a certain moment in certain point in the
or adverb of past tie certain time in past. past and continued
-I received his letter a week past. -When I arrived at the party, up to that time.
ago. -The light went out while I tom had already gone home. -At that time he had been
was reading. writing a novel for two
2. To xprs past habits months.
-She always carried an 2. Past continuous &
umbrella. simple past used 2. To say how long sth
tense
Past

together to say sth has been happening


3. To ask when sth happened in the before sth else
happened middle of sth else. happened.
-When did it start raining? It -Dan burned his hand -They had been playing for
started raining an hour ago. while he was cooking half an hour when there was
dinner. a terrible storm.
4. To say one thing
happened after
another.
-Last night Sue was taking a
bath when phone rang.
She got out of the bath tub
and answered the phone.