Tenses in English Grammar


Present Tense

Simple Present Tense


Rule: Subject+ V1+ s/es+ Ob (Singular sub)
Subject+ V1+ Ob (Plural subjects)
Affirmative Shaan sells chocolates.
Shaan and Ryan sell chocolates.
Negative Shaan does not sell chocolates
Shaan and Ryan do not sell chocolates
Interrogative Does Shaan sell chocolates?
Do Shaan and Ryan sell chocolates?

Use of Simple Present Tense

To express habits, general truths, repeated actions or unchanging situations He goes to school by bus.
They do not like tea.
To give instructions or directions You go home and take rest.
To express fixed arrangements, present or future The train leaves at 10.30 am.
To express future time, after some conjunctions: after, when, before, as soon as, until I will inform you as soon as he calls me.
They will come after you leave.

Present Continuous Tense

Rule: Sub+ is/am/are+ V1+ing+ object
Affirmative Shaan is selling cholocates.
I am reading a book.
They are sending invitations.
Negative Shaan is not selling chocolates.
I am not reading a book.
They are not sending invitations.
Interrogative Is Shaan selling chocolates?
Am I reading a book?
Are they sending invitations?

Use of Present Continuous Tense

To describe an ongoing action He is leaving for school.
To describe a trend or action during a period Nowadays, a large number of people are buying eco-friendly products.
To describe a planned action/event in the near future. My brother is leaving for Delhi tomorrow.
To describe a continued series of action using words- always, constantly, frequently The employees are constantly asking for appraisal.

Present Perfect Tense


Rule: Sub+ has+V3+ object (Singular Subject)
Sub+ have+ V3+ Object (plural Subject)
Affirmative Shaan has sold chocolate
I have read the book.
They have sent invitations.
Negative Shaan has not sold chocolate
I have not read a book.
They have not sent invitations.
Interrogative Has Shaan sold chocolate?
Have I read the book?
Have they sent invitations?

Use of Present Perfect Tense

To describe the change that has happened over a period of time. He has grown up so fast.
People have stopped using diesel cars.
To mention the achievement He has won the first prize.
The scientists have discovered Black Hole.
To describe an unfinished action John has not invited his friends yet.
We still have not received any information
To describe an action that was completed in the very recent past They have just arrived.
She has just finished her school.
Actions repeated in an unspecified period between the past and now. He has called me multiple time today.
She has visited her grandparents frequently.

Present Perfect Continuous

Rule: Sub+ has+been+ V1+ing+ object (Singular Subject)
Sub+ have+been+ V1+ing+ Object (plural Subject)
Affirmative Shaan has been selling chocolates from last three years.
They have been working hard since morning.
Negative Shaan has not been selling chocolates from last three years.
They have not been working hard since morning.
Interrogative Has Shaan been selling chocolates from last three years?
Have they been working hard since morning?

Usage of Present Perfect Continuous

To describe something started in the past and has continued up until now She has been working here from last two years.
They have been dating each other since 2012.
Use of recently, lately I have been very busy lately.
Recently, he has been feeling tired.

Past Tense

Simple Past Tense

Rule: Subject+ V2+ Ob
Affirmative Shaan sold chocolates.
Shaan and Ryan sold chocolates.
Negative Shaan did not sell chocolates
Shaan and Ryan did not sell chocolates
Interrogative Did Shaan sell chocolates?
Did Shaan and Ryan sell chocolates?

Usage of Simple Past Tense

To describe a completed action in a time before now. He left his water bottle.
They killed two terrorists.
To describe an action at a definite point in time We went there yesterday.
I met him on Friday.
To describe an action at an indefinite point in time Scientists discovered Black Hole a long time ago.
 She played football when she was a kid

Past Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject+ was+ V1+ ing+ Ob (Singular subject)
Sub+ were+ V1+ing+ object
Affirmative Shaan was selling chocolates.
Shaan and Ryan were selling chocolates.
Negative Shaan was not selling chocolates
Shaan and Ryan were not selling chocolates
InterrogativeWas Shaan selling chocolates?
Were Shaan and Ryan selling chocolates?

Usage of Past Continuous Tense

To describe a continuing action or state that was happening at some point in the past He was talking to his friend.
They were making plans for a trip.
Something that was happening continuously in the past when another action interrupted it. He was studying hard until I called him for dinner.
He was making a video when I reached home.
To describe what was happening at a precise time in the past. They were leaving for Chicago at 10 am yesterday.

Past Perfect Tense

Rule: Subject+ had+ V3 + Ob
Affirmative Shaan had sold chocolates.
Shaan and Ryan had sold chocolates.
Negative Shaan has not sold chocolates
Shaan and Ryan had not sold chocolates
Interrogative Has Shaan sold chocolates?
Had Shaan and Ryan sold chocolates?

Usage of Past Perfect Tense

Use to make it clear that one event happened before another in the past. He had slept when I reached home.
They had already packed the bags when we called them.
Describe an action that started in the past and continued up to a given time in the past. He had called him twice before sending a message.
The police had sent a warrant before they encountered him.
To describe unreal or imaginary things wishes in the past with if conditional If I had had some money, I could have bought him a nice gift.
We wish we hadn’t lied to her.

Past Perfect Continuous

Rule: Subject+ had+been+ V1+ing + Ob
Affirmative Shaan had been selling chocolates for three hours
Shaan and Ryan had been selling chocolates for three hours
Negative Shaan had not been selling chocolates for three hours
Shaan and Ryan had not been selling chocolates for three hours
Interrogative Had Shaan been selling chocolates for three hours?
Had Shaan and Ryan been selling chocolates for three hours?

Usage of Past Perfect Continuous

To describe something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past She had been talking to her best friend for an hour.
Jamie had been teaching English since 2012.
Describe the cause of Something in the past He slept because he had been working very hard all day.

Future Tense

Simple Future Tense

Rule: Subject+ will +V1+ Object
Affirmative Shaan will sell chocolates
They will sell chocolates
Negative Shaan will not sell chocolates
Interrogative Will Shaan sell chocolates?

Usage of Simple Future Tense

Predicting future events It will rain tomorrow.
You will meet a new friend.
To take decisions and express willingness I will pay the bill.
I will come for help.
Simple future in conditional sentences I will meet him if I get time.

Future Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject+ will+be +V1+ing+ Object
Affirmative They will be selling chocolates
Negative They will not be selling chocolates
Interrogative Will they be selling chocolates?

Usage of Future Continuous Tense

Describing an unfinished action that will be in progress at a time later than now. I will be completing my homework in the evening
To imagine oneself in past By March 2020, I will be driving like a professional driver.
Describe continuous events that are expected to happen in the future I will be seeing John in the movie.

Future Perfect Tense


Rule: Subject+ will+have +V3+ Object
Affirmative They will have sold chocolates.
Negative They will not have sold chocolates
Interrogative Will they have sold chocolates?

Usage of Future Perfect Tense

Describing a completed action in the future By March 2020, I will have completed my graduation.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject+ will+have +been+ V1+ing+ Object
Affirmative They will have been selling chocolates.
Negative They will not have been selling chocolates
Interrogative Will they have been selling chocolates?

Usage of Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Describing actions that will continue up until a point in the future We will have been playing cricket since evening.

In the above tables
  • Subject refers to a Noun or pronoun. e.g. He, she, it, Car, Shaan, 
  • V refers to the form of verbs.
  • V1- Present (Go)
  • V2- Past (Went)
  • V3- Past Participle (Gone)
  • Ob or Object refers to another noun or pronoun. 

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1 comment:

  1. Very helpful depiction for kids, they will enjoy learning through this pictorial article.

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