Home English Language 12 Tenses in English: Your Timeless Information to Mastering Verb Kinds

12 Tenses in English: Your Timeless Information to Mastering Verb Kinds

12 Tenses in English: Your Timeless Information to Mastering Verb Kinds



With out tenses in English, it could be inconceivable so that you can inform individuals what you need, what you probably did and what your plans are.

Nothing would make sense anymore.

So on this put up, you’ll be taught every little thing that you must know in regards to the tenses in English—from what they’re to the way to observe them.


What Is a Tense?

Merely put, a tense is a type of a verb that permits us to specific time.

For instance, if you wish to speak about one thing that occurred final week, you’ll use the previous tense.

If you wish to speak about one thing that can occur subsequent month, you’ll use the future tense.

When utilizing tenses in English, we use the current (proper now) as our level of reference as a result of we live in it.

So in the event you ate pizza yesterday, that motion occurred prior to now, proper?

That’s as a result of it occurred earlier than the current time (earlier than proper now).

Because you ate pizza prior to now, if you wish to inform somebody about it, you’ll have to use the previous tense in English.

I ate pizza yesterday.

Now think about you wish to inform your buddy a couple of journey to the mountains. This journey goes to occur in three days, so the journey is sooner or later.

You can not presumably use the identical tense you used to say that you just ate pizza yesterday.

This time, you’ll have to use a unique tense, one which expresses that an motion will occur after our current time.

That tense is the long run easy tense:

I will go on a visit subsequent Saturday.

What Are the Tenses in English?

English has 12 tenses. They’re divided into three teams (current, previous and future).

Every group is additional damaged down into easy, steady (progressive), good and ideal steady tenses.

an inforgraphic by fluentu about tenses in english

The Current Tense

The current tense group contains 4 tenses that both enable us to speak in regards to the current or are associated to it one way or the other.

The current easy

We use the current easy to speak about repeated actions, habits, normal truths, needs and feelings.

This tense can be used for instructions and directions, and to speak about timetables and schedules.

She goes to high school by bus.

I am very drained.

The aircraft lands at 7:30 a.m.

The current steady

The current steady is used to explain actions or occasions which can be taking place for the time being (proper now) or are ongoing.

We additionally use this tense when somebody or one thing is bothering us.

I am not studying something.

Mario is studying a e-book.

You are at all times arriving late to class!

The current good

That is the tense we use to explain actions and occasions that occurred in some unspecified time in the future prior to now however have a consequence or impact on the current.

I have misplaced my pockets.

Mary has damaged her leg.

The neighbors have simply moved in.

The current good steady

We use this tense to speak about actions and occasions that began taking place prior to now and are nonetheless taking place right this moment/now.

I have been residing in Poland for 13 years.

They have been ready for over three hours.

She has been studying English for six months.

The Previous Tense

The previous tense contains the 4 tenses that assist us speak in regards to the previous.

The previous easy

The previous easy is used to explain previous actions and occasions which can be fully completed.

He died in 2012 in a automobile accident.

I went to the mall final week.

Rose acquired married final month.

The previous steady

We use the previous steady when we have to describe previous actions and occasions that lasted over a time frame.

I was working once I fell.

They have been watching TV whereas I was washing the dishes.

Somebody rang the bell when Sarah was having a shower.

The previous good

We use previous good to speak about actions and occasions that occurred earlier than one other motion or earlier than a selected time prior to now.

He had already left once I arrived.

Brooke had already moved to France when that occurred.

When the police arrived, the thief had already escaped.

The previous good steady

We use the previous good steady to speak about actions and occasions that began prior to now and lasted till one other motion or occasion prior to now occurred.

He had been ready for 2 hours when he determined to return dwelling.

The children had been taking part in for under 5 minutes when it began to rain.

By the point I arrived dwelling, she had been crying for no less than an hour.

The Future Tense

The long run tense group contains the 4 tenses that check with the long run.

The long run easy

We use the long run easy primarily for predictions and spontaneous choices.

I believe it will rain tomorrow.

We will assist you!

You will discover the love of your life in December.

The long run steady

This tense is used to check with actions or occasions that can be in progress in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later.

I can be working while you come again.

Jessica can be ready for you there.

We can be consuming dinner by then.

The long run good

We use the long run good tense to say that an motion or occasion can be completed in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later.

He can have completed by 8 p.m.

The person can have written the report by Monday.

I won’t have eaten by the point you come again.

The long run good steady

The long run good steady is used to explain actions and occasions that, in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, can have already lasted for a while.

By the tip of this yr, I can have been residing in London for seven years.

She can have been ready for 3 hours by 5 p.m.

In two months, I can have been learning English for one yr.

What Do Participles Must Do with Tenses?

English has two particular verb types which can be known as English participles.

The current participle is the participle that ends with -ing.

You may have seen it within the earlier part with the verb to be within the steady compound tenses.

Right here you’ve got two extra examples of it:

She is ingesting some tea.

We have been ready for 2 hours.

Other than utilizing it to kind the progressive tenses, the current participle will also be used as an adjective:

She known as from the neighboring home.

Many learners of English mistake gerunds for current participles as a result of they give the impression of being precisely the identical.

Nonetheless, there’s a nice trick to at all times get them proper.

Current participles may be adjectives whereas gerunds may be nouns:

The smoking girl was very impolite. (Current participle)

Smoking is unhealthy in your well being. (Gerund)

The previous participle (to not be confused with the previous tense) ends with –ed or may be an irregular verb.

We already know it’s used along with to have to kind the right tenses:

I’ve damaged my leg.

She can have written it by tomorrow.

Other than this, we will additionally use the previous participle as an adjective and to kind the passive voice:

I really like cooked meat. (Used as an adjective)

The home was constructed. (Passive voice)

What’s the Emphatic Type?

The emphatic kind is when the verb “to do” is added to current or previous tenses to emphasise (stress) an announcement or make a correction.

They will also be utilized in questions.

Current Emphatic

The current emphatic is shaped with the straightforward current of the verb “to do” adopted by the principle verb within the easy current. 

For instance:

I do communicate English

The current emphatic can be utilized to ask a query. When a query is requested, the topic (the individual or factor appearing) and the verb “to do” are sometimes inverted (switched).

You should use the emphatic to ask a query within the adverse.

For instance:

Don’t you communicate English?
Sure, I do communicate English.

Do you communicate Russian?
No, I don’t communicate Russian.

Previous Emphatic

To kind the previous emphatic, you are taking the straightforward previous of the verb “to do” and put it in entrance of the straightforward previous.

For instance:

Didn’t you communicate English while you have been in Eire? 

Sure, I did communicate English. I spoke it the entire time I used to be there.

Why Studying the Tenses in English Is Necessary

There are a number of explanation why it is best to know the way to use the English tenses.

English is a chronological language.

English wants all its tenses with a view to find an motion in time or specific the connection between two totally different actions.

For instance:

She arrived yesterday. (The motion occurred prior to now.)

She will arrive tomorrow. (The motion will occur sooner or later.)

I was having a shower when the phone rang. (There’s a relationship between the 2 actions. Me having a shower was an motion occurring for a while prior to now. The phone ringing interrupted my tub.)

Tenses may also help you say what you really wish to say.

Every tense in English is used for a number of particular functions. You’ll need to make use of one tense or one other relying on what you wish to say:

I drink water day by day. (Repeated motion.)

I am ingesting water for the time being. (Motion taking place for the time being of talking.)

I will drink water later. (Motion sooner or later.)

Yesterday I drank plenty of water. (Motion prior to now.)

English is a world language.

English has turn out to be the principle language of communication on the planet.

Thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of individuals use it day by day to speak with mates, colleagues, bosses and extra.

If you wish to be a part of that world dialog, it is best to know English, and realizing English means realizing the tenses in English!

Tenses will enable you to get fluent.

Tenses will make the distinction between being a newbie who can speak about their each day routine and talking fluently about politics.

The extra tenses you be taught, the higher you’re going to get at talking English correctly.

An enormous distinction between a newbie and a complicated learner is how nicely they know the tenses and the way they use them.

Studying tenses can enhance all of your language expertise.

Grammar (and tenses) are current in every little thing we do in English, from telling the time to wishing a cheerful birthday to somebody.

We use tenses after we communicate, take heed to a podcast, watch a film, learn a e-book and extra. So the extra we learn about tenses, one of the best we will apply our information to all the opposite language expertise.

With out tenses, passing your English exams can be inconceivable.

Lastly, that you must be taught the tenses if you wish to cross your lessons or ace (get excessive marks in) your official exams.

Even if you’re studying English by yourself and also you don’t plan on taking an examination, you need to have a purpose for studying, and due to that, it would be best to know if you’re making progress (getting higher).

Learn how to Study English Verb Tenses

Studying tenses may be fairly boring generally, particularly if you’re attempting to be taught by your self.

Nonetheless, I’ve discovered there are some suggestions which can be higher than others while you wish to be taught English grammar tenses.

an inforgraphic by fluentu showing tips about learning tenses in english

Divide them into previous, current and future tenses.

You should use the division previous, current and future to have three teams of 4 tenses.

This division is nice if you wish to be taught every little thing a couple of particular “chunk” (piece) of the road of time with out worrying an excessive amount of about the remainder, so it’s a good method for newbie learners who’re nonetheless not prepared to combine cut-off dates.

For instance, first you possibly can give attention to the current tenses, then the previous tenses after which the long run tenses.

Divide them into pairs.

One other means of dividing the totally different tenses is by making pairs. As you be taught extra, you’ll understand that fairly often tenses share sure options or like to look collectively in sentences.

There are alternative ways of creating this division:

  • Easy and steady tenses: current easy and current steady, previous easy and previous steady, future easy and future steady.
  • Good and ideal steady tenses: current good and current good steady, previous good and previous good steady, future good and future good steady.
  • Tenses that usually seem collectively in sentences: current easy and current good, current easy and current steady, previous easy and current good, previous easy and previous steady, previous easy and previous good.

You’ll be able to divide the tenses another way in the event you really feel two (or extra) tenses go collectively. I like to recommend this method for intermediate and superior learners as a result of tenses get combined and used collectively.

Apply with on-line workouts and apps.

In case you desire studying on the go, you too can obtain a number of apps and use them to turn out to be a grasp of the language.

Listed below are a few assets that may enable you to observe and keep in mind all these types.

  • The WordReference English ConjugatorThis device will present you what just about any English verb appears to be like like in any tense. Simply sort the verb you’re searching for into the field on the prime of the web page.
  • englisch-hilfen.de Grammar Workout routinesIn case you scroll down on this web page, you’ll discover all types of workouts that can assist you observe totally different English tenses. In case you like, you are able to do the workouts so as, however you don’t need to. Chances are you’ll simply wish to search for workouts that cowl tenses you discover troublesome.

Create your individual sentences.

I like to recommend you select one tense at a time and observe writing sentences, adverse sentences and questions with it.

Write as many examples as you possibly can consider, specializing in one tense at a time. This may enable you to memorize the construction of the tense in all its types and will let you use it extra naturally.

Watch sequence, films and movies to see tenses in context.

Context is every little thing, and the extra context we have now, the higher we perceive what’s being mentioned.

The very best factor about any sort of native English video is that you’re not solely listening to native audio system speak (so you might be training pronunciation) but additionally listening to full sentences in context.

Whenever you take heed to a tense being utilized in context, it is possible for you to to grasp why it’s getting used, so you’ll know when to make use of it by your self.

FluentU is one useful resource that bases its English classes on genuine native-level video content material (together with clips from films and TV exhibits). Everytime you don’t perceive what a sure tense means, you possibly can simply hover over the phrase and get extra details about its definition and utilization. 

Create flashcards for every tense and the way they’re used.

You are able to do this in two separate decks (one for the makes use of of every tense and one for the best way they’re constructed), or put all the data collectively on each side of a flashcard.

Do no matter feels greatest for you. Crucial factor is that you just carry on training.

Create your individual brief tales.

This sort of train is beneficial for intermediate and superior learners.

Consider a narrative and attempt to write three totally different variations of it, one prior to now, one within the current and one sooner or later. Originally, this will really feel a bit of bit troublesome, however it would get simpler as you go, I promise.

You’ll be able to write about something you need, however I wish to suggest the next matters to my college students:

  • Every day routines (Describe yesterday, a standard day in your life and tomorrow.)
  • Your lives (Who have been you in a previous life? Who’re you realize? Who do you wish to be sooner or later?)
  • Cities (Write about how they have been prior to now, how they’re now and the way you assume they are going to be in 100 years.)
  • Favourite singer/author/actor (Select one who’s already lifeless and one who continues to be alive. For the long run tense, write about your favourite alive artist in 10 years. The place will they be? What’s going to they do? Will they be married? Will they’ve youngsters?)
  • Take into consideration an necessary historic occasion and write about it through the use of previous tenses. Now think about the identical occasion is occurring now. Change your story accordingly.

Learn, learn, learn!

Studying is without doubt one of the greatest workouts we will do if we actually wish to perceive tenses and learn to use them correctly.

You’ll not assume you might be studying something if you are studying, however the fact is that your mind is studying the way to acknowledge totally different tenses and language buildings that get repeated, and earlier than you realize it, you’ll begin utilizing English tenses like a boss.

Hearken to podcasts and the radio.

Listening to English spoken by native audio system can be an outstanding means of training tenses.

Whenever you take heed to correct English, a lot as while you learn it, you might be feeding your mind with right buildings. With time, your mind will acknowledge these buildings and provide you with a hand while you wish to say one thing in English.

When Ought to You Study the Tenses in English?

You’ll finally need to know all 12 English tenses, however you don’t must be taught all of them from the beginning.

I’ve divided the 12 tenses into three ranges (newcomers, intermediate and superior learners). Keep in mind that is my private opinion primarily based on all my years of educating English. Some programs and official examination establishments can divide the tenses in another way.

What’s necessary right here is that your information of tenses goes hand in hand with the remainder of your English expertise. It is best to by no means know every little thing about, say, English vocabulary, however have solely a imprecise (unclear, not exact) thought about primary English grammar.

Newbie tenses

The newbie tenses are those who enable us to start out expressing ourselves in English with primary grammar patterns and primary vocabulary. 

These tenses are used primarily to explain the world round us, speak about what we did, do and can do, and so they assist us make sense of easy actions and occasions.

The 5 tenses each newbie ought to know are (on this particular order, ideally):

Intermediate tenses

The intermediate tenses go one step additional and can be of assist while you wish to speak about extra particular issues.

They don’t seem to be troublesome tenses to grasp, however they’ll make the distinction between a newbie grammar beginner (newbie) and a severe intermediate grammar learner.

The tenses I imagine each intermediate learner of English ought to know are:

Superior tenses

A complicated consumer of any language is meant to have the ability to speak about any subject with out hesitation (doubt), write nicely and grasp difficult superior grammar matters.

The tenses usually reserved for superior learners are:

  • the current good steady
  • the previous good steady
  • the long run good steady

The place to Apply Tenses in English

There are a number of nice choices to observe tenses. All of it relies on the type of scholar you might be and the best way of studying you favor.

Grammar and Train Books

For starters, you’ve got the standard grammar train books. They’re presumably the most suitable choice for learners who wish to observe tenses and writing on the similar time.

Many English grammar books have an accompanying train e-book. Simply choose (select) the one you are feeling comfy working with.

Grammar Apply On-line

There are additionally hours upon hours of English grammar workouts on-line.

In case you seek for [name of the tense] + workouts, you’re going to get many outcomes.

The trick right here is to decide on the type of train you want probably the most. Studying English grammar must be satisfying, so in the event you resolve that studying tenses with fill-in-the-blank workouts is one of the simplest ways for you, go for it.


One other smart way of training tenses is by watching movies. Streaming platforms akin to HBO, Netflix and YouTube are learners’ favorites relating to consuming video content material.

Plus, they’re superior if you wish to observe tenses in context and see how native audio system use them.

Undoubtedly, studying a language from its native audio system is without doubt one of the greatest methods to get an ideal accent, however other than that, you may be positive the enter (info) you can be receiving is 100% correct and matches its context completely.


Other than FluentU, there are numerous different apps for studying English grammar you possibly can obtain in your telephone.

Apps for studying English could be a nice studying asset when they’re used frequently, so keep in mind to get your “each day portion” of English tenses it doesn’t matter what.

There are a whole bunch of hundreds of apps obtainable.

Due to this, apps for studying and training tenses in English (or every other subject chances are you’ll be fascinated about) appear to be vital (important) these days.

How are you going to use apps to be taught tenses in English?

So, how can apps enable you to if you are attempting to be taught English tenses?

There are numerous various things you are able to do to be taught tenses in English particularly. These are a few of them:

  • Select the sorts of workouts that concentrate on training English tenses. In case your focus for the time being is on mastering the tenses in English, select workouts that can will let you try this. Relying on the app, you will discover several types of workouts, like fill-in-the-blank, end the sentence, select the proper reply and extra.
  • Analyze dialogues/transcripts and perceive why a tense was used. That is one other superior means of studying tenses. Nearly each English sentence contains no less than one of many 12 tenses. Analyze what you learn and attempt to clarify why a selected tense was used.
  • Take on-line assessments and quizzes on tenses to learn how you might be doing. In case your app has the choice of taking quizzes, this can be an effective way to verify your progress and see which tenses it’s important to overview.
  • Hearken to dialogues/podcasts/audio to listen to native audio system use totally different tenses. You recognize already that one of the simplest ways to be taught English is by listening to native audio system speak. Simply as you probably did with the transcripts earlier than, write down and analyze the dialogues you take heed to and attempt to clarify why the audio system used a selected tense.
  • Simply return to any tenses that could be troublesome for you and overview them on the go. One of the helpful causes for downloading an app to your telephone is that it’ll at all times be with you, so you possibly can overview these more durable tenses every time you’ve got a while, irrespective of the place you might be.


Tenses are the skeleton of a language. With out them, the vast majority of languages on the planet can be misplaced in time.

We’d like tenses in English to find occasions and get to know what occurred and when. That is tremendous necessary, even at the start of your studying journey.

So the sooner you begin mastering the tenses in English, the higher.

Keep curious, my mates, and as at all times, pleased studying!