Grammatical terms – English Tenses

The terms for the tenses in English Grammar are sometimes different depending on the reference book you use. In the following list you can see which terms mean the same.

Terms for Tenses Examples
  • Simple Present
  • Present Tense*
  • Present Simple
I play football every week.
  • Present Progressive
  • Present Continuous
I'm playing football now.
  • Simple Past
  • Past Tense*
  • Past Simple
I played football yesterday.
  • Past Progressive
  • Past Continuous
I was playing football the whole evening.
  • Present Perfect
  • Simple Present Perfect
  • Present Perfect (simple form)
I have just played football.
  • Present Perfect Progressive
  • Present Perfect Continuous
I have been playing football for 2 hours.
  • Past Perfect
I had played football when Susan came.
  • Past Perfect Progressive
  • Past Perfect Continuous
I had been playing football when Susan came.
  • will-future
  • Future Simple
  • Future Tense*
I will play football next week.
  • going to-future
I'm going to play football this afternoon.
  • Future Progressive
  • Future Continuous
I will be playing football next Sunday.
  • Future Perfect
I will have played football by tomorrow.
  • Future Perfect Progressive
  • Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been playing football for an hour by 10.30.

* Sometimes the word TENSE is added to other terms in this table as well.