When to use which tense?

When do we use which tense?

Answering this question is sometimes not easy. In the table we have written down actions that are often used in English. Click on the name of the tense and you will learn more about its forms including sample sentences.

Use Tense
action finished in the past, mostly connected with an expression of time (no connection to the present) Simple Past (Past Simple)
action happened in the middle of another action Past Progressive (Past Continuous)
action started in the past and continues up to the present (Simple) Present Perfect
fixed plan, date in the future Present Progressive (Present Continuous)
how often something happens Simple Present (Present Simple)
one action follows another (in the past) Simple Present (Present Simple)
one action follows another (in the present) Simple Present (Present Simple)
predictions about the future (you think that sth. will happen) will-future
programmes, timetibles (future meaning) Simple Present (Present Simple)
promises, threats will-future
recently completed action (Simple) Present Perfect
something has happened or is finished in the past and it has a connection to the present (Simple) Present Perfect
something is happening at the same time of speaking or around it Present Progressive (Present Continuous)
something happens repeatedly Simple Present (Present Simple)
state beginning in the past and still continuing (Simple) Present Perfect
things in general Simple Present (Present Simple)
what you think what will happen going to-future
when you have already decided to do sth. in the future going to-future
with the following verbs (to love, to hate, to think, etc.) Simple Present (Present Simple)
you decide to do sth. spontaneously at the time of speaking, you haven't made a decision before will-future