English tenses

English tenses - Complex Test 1
Exercises - English tenses

Tense Signal words Use Form Examples
affirmative
Examples
negative
Examples
interrogative
Simple
Present
or
Present Simple
every day

sometimes

always

often

usually

seldom

never

first ... then
something happens repeatedly

how often something happens

one action follows another

things in general

with the following verbs (to love, to hate, to think, etc.)

future meaning: timetables, programmes
infinitive he/she/it + -s I work.
I don't work.
Do I work?
He works. He doesn't work. Does he work?
I go. I don't go. Do I go?
He goes. He doesn't go. Does he go?
Present
Progressive or
Present Continuous
now

at the moment

Look!

Listen!
something is happening at the same time of speaking or around it

future meaning: when you have already decided and arranged to do it (a fixed plan, date)
to be (am/are/is) + infinitive + -ing I'm working.
I'm not working.
Am I working?
He's working. He isn't working. Is he working?
I'm going. I'm not going. Am I going?
He's going. He isn't going. Is he going?
Simple
Past
or
Past
Simple
last ...

... ago

in 1990

yesterday
action finished in the past, mostly connected with an expression of time (no connection to the present) regular:
infinitive + -ed irregular:
2nd column of table of irregular verbs
I worked.
I didn't work.
Did I work?
He worked.
He didn't work. Did he work?
I went. I didn't go. Did I go?
He went. He didn't go. Did he go?
Past
Progressive or
Past Continuous
while an action happened in the middle of another action

someone was doing sth. at a certain time (in the past) - you do not know whether it was finished or not
was/were + infinitive + -ing I was working.
I wasn't working.
Was I working?
He was working. He wasn't working. Was he working?
I was going. I wasn't going. Was I going?
He was going. He wasn't going. Was he going?
Simple
Present
Perfect
or
Present
Perfect
just

yet

never

ever

already

so far,

up to now,

since

for

recently
you say that sth. has happened or is finished in the past and it has a connection to the present

action started in the past and continues up to the present
have/has + past participle*

*(infinitive + -ed) or (3rd column of table of irregular verbs)
I have worked.
I haven't worked.
Have I worked?
He has worked. He hasn't worked. Has he worked?
I have gone. I haven't gone. Have I gone?
He has gone. He hasn't gone. Has he gone?
Present Perfect
Progressive or
Present
Perfect
Continuous
all day

the whole day

how long

since

for
action began in the past and has just stopped

how long the action has been happening

emphasis: length of time of an action
have/has + been + infinitive + -ing I have been working.
I haven't been working.
Have I been working?
He has been working.
He hasn't been working. Has he been working?
I have been going. I haven't been going. Have I been going?
He has been going. He hasn't been going. Has he been going?
Simple
P
ast
Perfect
or
Past
Perfect
(Simple)
already

just

never
mostly when two actions in a story are related to each other: the action which had already happened is put into Past Perfect, the other action into Simple Past

the past of the Present Perfect
had + past participle*

*(infinitive + -ed) or (3rd column of table of irregular verbs)
I had worked.
I hadn't worked.
Had I worked?
He had worked. He hadn't worked. Had he worked?
I had gone. I hadn't gone. Had I gone?
He had gone. He hadn't gone. Had he gone?
Past Perfect Progressive or
Past Perfect Continuous
how long

since

for
how long something had been happening before something else happened had + been + infinitive + ing I had been working.
I hadn't been working.
Had I been working?
He had been working. He hadn't been working. Had he been working?
I had been going. I hadn't been going. Had I been going?
He had been going. He hadn't been going. Had he been going?
will - future   predictions about the future (you think that sth. will happen)

you decide to do sth. spontaneously at the time of speaking, you haven't made a decision before

main clause in type I of the if clauses
will + infinitive I'll work.
I won't work.
Will I work?
He'll work. He won't work. Will he work?
I'll go. I won't go. Will I go?
He'll go. He won't go. Will he go?
going to - future   when you have already decided to do sth. in the future

what you think what will happen
be (am/are/is) + going to + infinitive I'm going to work.
I'm not going to work.
Am I going to work?
He's going to work.
He's not going to work. Is he going to work?
I'm going to go. I'm not going to go. Am I going to go?
He's going to go. He's not going to go. Is he going to go?
Future Progressive or
Future Continuous
  An action will be in progress at a certain time in the future. This action has begun before the certain time.

Something happens because it normally happens.
will + be + infinitive + ing I'll be working.
I won't be working.
Will I be working?
He'll be working.
He won't be working.
Will he be working?
I'll be going. I won't be going. Will I be going?
He'll be going. He won't be going. Will he be going?
Simple
Future
Perfect
or
Future Perfect
Simple
  sth. will already have happened before a certain time in the future will + have + past participle*

*(infinitive + -ed) or (3rd column of table of irregular verbs)
I'll have worked.
I won't have worked.
Will I have worked?
He'll have worked. He won't have worked.
Will he have worked?
I'll have gone. I won't have gone. Will I have gone?
He'll have gone. He won't have gone. Will he have gone?
Future
Perfect
Progressive or
Future
Perfect
Continuous
  sth. will already have happened before a certain time in the future


emphasis: length of time of an action
will + have + been + infinitive + ing I'll have been working.
I won't have been working.
Will I have been working?
He'll have been working. He won't have been working. Will he have been working?
I'll have been going. I won't have been going. Will I have been working?
He'll have been going. He won't have been going. Will he have been working?
Conditional Simple   sth. that might happen

main clause in type II of the Conditional sentences
would + infinitive I would work.
I wouldn't
work
.
Would I
work
?
He would work. He wouldn't work.
Would he
work
?
I would go. I wouldn't go. Would I go?
He would go. He wouldn't
go
.
Would he
go
?
Conditional Progressive
or
Conditional
Continuous
  sth. that might happen

emphasis: length of time of an action
would + be + infinitive + ing I would be working.
I wouldn't be working.
Would I be working?
He would be working. He wouldn't be working. Would he be working?
I would be going. I wouldn't be going. Would I be going?
He would be going. He wouldn't be going. Would he be going?
Conditional Perfect   sth. that might have happened in the past
(It's too late now.)

main clause in type III of the if clauses
would + have + past participle*

*(infinitive + -ed) or (3rd column of table of irregular verbs)
I would have worked.
I wouldn't have worked.
Would I have worked?
He would have worked. He wouldn't have worked.
Would he have worked?
I would have gone. I wouldn't have gone. Would I have gone?
He would have gone. He wouldn't have gone. Would I have gone?
Conditional Perfect
Progressive
or
Conditional
Perfect
Continuous
  sth. that might have happened in the past
(It's too late now.)

emphasis: length of time of an action
would + have + been + infinitive + ing I would have been working.
I wouldn't have been working.
Would I have been working?
He would
have been
going.
He wouldn't have been going. Would he
have
been working?
I would have been going. I wouldn't have been going. Would I have been going?
He would have been going. He wouldn't have been going. Would he
have
been going?

We sometimes use Continuous instead of Progressive. Some signal words can be found in more tenses. We did not list signal words in the future tenses as there are no definite ones. Always remember what action is described.

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