The English Tenses

Table of Tenses

Present SimplePresent ContinuousPast SimplePast Continuous
She eatsYou are eatingShe ateYou were eating
She does not eatYou are not eatingShe did not eatYou were not eating
Does she eat?Are you eating?Did she eat?Were you eating?
Future SimpleConditional SimplePresent PerfectPast Perfect
I will eatI would eatHe has eatenHe had eaten
I won’t eatI wouldn’t eatHe has not eatenHe had not eaten
Will I eat?Would I eat?Has he eaten?Had he eaten?
Present Perfect ContinuousI have been doing
Past Perfect ContinuousI had been doing
Future ContinuousI will be doing
Future PerfectI will have done
Future Perfect ContinuousI will have been doing

A: Affirmative
N: Negative
Q:
Question
UseKey Words
PRESENTA: He speaks
N: He does not speak
Q: Does he speak?
for routines,
habits or facts
always,usually,often, sometimes,never, every day, on Tuesdays
if sentences type I (If I talk, …)
.
PRESENT
CONTINUOUS
A: He is speaking
N: He is not speaking
Q: Is he speaking?
action taking place at the moment of speaking or only for a limited period of time/ future arrangementsnow, right now, just now, at this moment
.
PASTA: He spoke
N: He did not speak
Q: Did he speak?
for past actions yesterday, five minutes ago, in 1990, the other day, last Friday, last century
if sentence type II (If I talked, …)
.
PAST
CONTINUOUS
A: He was speaking
N: He was not speaking
Q: Was he speaking?
action going on at a certain time in the past or actions taking place at the same time/ action in the past that is interrupted by another actionwhile, as long as
.
PRESENT
PERFECT
A: He has spoken
N: He has not spoken
Q: Has he spoken?
action that began in the past but still continues/ finished action that has an influence on the present/ action that has taken place once, never or several times before the moment of speakingalready, yet, ever, just, up to now
.
PRESENT
PERFECT
CONTINUOUS
A: He has been speaking
N: He has not been speaking
Q: Has he been speaking?
putting emphasis on the duration (not the result) /action that recently stopped or is still going on/ finished action that influences the presentall day, for two years, since 1993, the whole week, how long?
.
PAST
PERFECT
A: He had spoken
N: He had not spoken
Q: Had he spoken?
action taking place before a certain time in the past (the past before the past)already, just, never, yet, once, until that day
if sentence type III (If I had talked, …)
.
PAST
PERFECT
CONTINUOUS
A: He had been speaking
N: He had not been speaking
Q: Had he been speaking?
action taking place before a certain time in the past interchangeable with past perfect (emphasis on the duration) for, since, all day, the whole day
.
FUTUREA: He will speak
N: He will not speak
Q: Will he speak?
sudden
spontaneous decision
in a year, next …, tomorrow
If-sentence type I (If you ask her, she will help you.)
I think, probably, perhaps
.
FUTURE
GOING TO
A: He is going to speak
N: He is not going to speak
Q: Is he going to speak?
planned decision or conclusion with regard to the futurein one year, next week, tomorrow
.
FUTURE
CONTINUOUS
A: He will be speaking
N: He will not be speaking
Q: Will he be speaking?
action that is going on at a certain time in the future action that is sure to happen in the near futurein one year, next week, tomorrow
.
FUTURE
PERFECT
A: He will have spoken
N: He will not have spoken
Q: Will he have spoken?
action that will be finished at a certain time in the futureby Monday, in a week
.
FUTURE
PERFECT
CONTINUOUS
A: He will have been speaking
N: He will not have been speaking
Q: Will he have been speaking?
action taking place before a certain time in the future putting emphasis on the course of an actionfor …, the last couple of hours, all day long
.
CONDITIONALA: He would speak
N: He would not speak
Q: Would he speak?
action that might take placeif sentences type II
(If I were you, I would go home.)
. 
CONDITIONAL
PERFECT
A: He would have spoken.
N: He would not have spoken.
Q: Would he have spoken?
action that might have taken place in the pastif sentences type III
(If I had seen that, I would have helped.)
. 

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