Welcome to the next topic in our fun Grammar Guide series.
This week are are hopping into the fun world of English Verb Tenses. English has three basic verb tenses:
- Past - actions that occurred in the past
- Present - actions that are occurring at the moment
- Future - actions that will occur in the future.
In English, these 3 basic verb tenses each have 4 aspects and this means, (if you're keeping up with the math), 12 verb tenses.
- Simple - actions that are usual or repeated
- Progressive - actions that are ongoing
- Perfect - actions that are completed
- Perfect Progressive - actions that will be completed at a definitive time
- Simple - I walked to the library
- Progressive - I was walking to the library
- Perfect - I had walked to the library
- Perfect Progressive - I had been walking to the library.
- Simple - I walk to the library.
- Progressive - I am walking to the library.
- Perfect - I have walked to the library.
- Prefect Progressive - I have been walking to the library.
- Simple - I will walk to the library.
- Progressive - I will be walking to the library.
- Perfect - I will have walked to the library.
- Perfect Progressive - I will have been walking to the library.
Important Take Away
In English, only two verb tenses can be formed from the verb by itself: past and present. All other tenses require a form of have, will, or be as a helping or auxiliary verb.
Cool Tip from the Infographic Guide to Grammar -
Test your verb tenses by starting your intended sentence with Yesterday, Today, or Tomorrow, to check your past, present, and future tenses respectively.
"Today, I walk to the library." "Yesterday, I walked to the library." "Tomorrow, I will walk to the library"
- Kern, Jara. (2020). The Infographic Guide to Grammar. Adams Media
- Venolia, Jan. (2001). Write Right! (4th ed.). Ten Speed Press