English Tenses Cheatsheet

English Tenses Cheatsheet
authored by @lfcipriani
talleye.com
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Past
Simple
Use
Events in the past that are now finished
I went to school
Situation in the past
They lived a normal life unitl they won a lottery
A series of actions in the past
He entered a room, lit a cigarette and smiled at the guests
Form
Subject + verb + ed or irregular form
I lived in New York for 10 years
Subject + auxiliary verb + not + verb
I wasn't at my grandma's when you came
Auxiliary verb + subject + verb
How long did he work there?
Continuous
Use
Actions in progress
[use example]
Interrupted actions in progress
[use example]
Actions in progress at the same time in the past
[use example]
Irritation
[use example]
Timid / Polite question
I was wondering if you could carry my bag.
Form
Subject + auxiliary verb was/were + verb + ing
We were all thinking about our holidays.
Subject + auxiliary verb wasn´t/weren´t + verb + inbg
He asked me why I wasn't having dinner at the hotel.
Auxiliary verb was/were + subject + verb + ing
Was she going to the theater when it started raining?
Perfect
Use
A completed action before another activity in the past
[use example]
Third conditional sentences
[use example]
Reported speech
[use example]
Dissatisfaction with the past
[use example]
Form
Subject + auxiliary verb had + past participle
My mum asked me whether I had visited grandma the previous day.
Subject + auxiliary verb hadn´t + past participle
If I hadn't taken my keys from the drawer, I would be able to get into my house.
Auxiliary verb had + subject + past participle
Had they had any pet before they bought the giraffe?
Perfect Continuous
Use
Duration of a past action up to a certain point in the past
[use example]
Third conditional sentences
[use example]
Reported speech
[use example]
Form
Subject + had + been + verb + ing
I had been running for an hour when it started raining.
Subject + hadn´t + been + verb + ing
If it hadn't been raining, we would have played football.
Had + subject + been + verb + ing
How long had the player been playing before he scored?
Template
[Tense]
Use
[use description 1]
[use example]
[use description 2]
[use example]
Form
[positive form]
[positive example]
[negative form]
[negative example]
[question form]
[question example]
Future
Simple
Use
Promises
[use example]
Unplanned actions (spontaneous decisions)
[use example]
Predictions based on experience or intuition
[use example]
Habits
She will always greet you.
Form
Subject + will + verb
I think he will regret his choice
Subject + won´t + verb
I won't take any equipment with me
Will + subject + verb
Will he be angry when he sees me?
Continuous
Use
Future actions in progress
[use example]
Guesses about the present or the future
[use example]
Polite questions about somebody´s intentions
Will you be coming home?
Form
Subject + will + be + verb + ing
This time next week, I will be throwing a party.
Subject + won´t + be + verb + ing
I won't be learning English tomorrow at this time.
Will + subject + be + verb + ing
Will she be cooking when we knock at the door?
Perfect
Use
Actions that will be finished before some point in the future
I read 40 pages a day. If I keep up the pace, I will have read the book by Tuesday.
Form
Subject + will + have + past participle
They will have graduated from Cambridge by July 2009.
Subject + won´t + have + past participle
They won't have graduated from Cambridge by July 2009.
Will + subject + have + past participle
Will I have retired by the end of the year?
Perfect Continuous
Use
Actions that will be in progress at a definite moment in the future.
By tomorrow I will have been saving money for a new house for 4 years.
Form
Subject + will + have + been + verb + ing
We will have been driving 6 hours by the time I get home.
Subject + won´t + have + been + verb + ing
She won't have been writing the book for four months by the end of October.
Will + subject + have + been + verb + ing
How long will you have been learning German in July?
Present
Simple
Use
Facts and generalization
The government steals public money everyday
Habits and routines
I don't eat breakfast in the mourning
Permanent situations
State verbs (eg. be, have, think, know)
Fixed/official arrangement that we can´t change
Form
Subject + verb
I learn English every day
Subject + auxiliary verb + not + verb
They don't live in New York anymore
Auxiliary verb + subject + verb
Does he learn English everyday?
Continuous
Use
Activities or Situations
happening around now
in progress now
incomplete
temporary
Future (personal) arrangements
Mike is preparing to eat his big chicken
Form
Subject + auxiliary verb to be + verb + ing
He is getting married this month
Subject + auxiliary verb + not + verb + ing
We aren't waiting for my uncle
Auxiliary verb + subject + verb + ing
Is she eating my cake now?
Perfect
Use
Actions
which happened at indefinite (unknown) time before now
in the past which have an effect in the present moment
which began in the past and continue in the present
Form
Subject + have/has + past participle
I have bought new shades
Subject + haven´t/hasn´t + past participle
He hasn't taken any drug for two years
Have/has + subject + past participle
Where has she lived for the past 21 years?
Perfect Continuous
Use
Actions
that started in the past and continue in the present
that have recently stopped
bom
Form
Subject + has/have + been + verb + ing
We've been waiting for a good offer to buy a car since March
Subject + hasn´t/haven´t + been + verb + ing
John hasn't been using his A drive for a long time
Has/have + Subject + been + verb + ing
Has Tom been walking the dog?
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