Summary of Verb Tenses in English


Present tenses

Simple present: She wants a drink.
Present continuous: They are walking home.

Past tenses

Simple past: Peter lived in China in 1965.
Past continuous: I was reading when she arrived.

Perfect tenses

Present Perfect: I have lived here since 1987.
Present perfect continuous: I have been living here for years.
Past perfect: We had been to see her several times before she visited us.
Past perfect continuous: He had been watching her for some time when she turned and smiled.
Future perfect: We will have arrived in the States by the time you get this letter.
Future perfect continuous: By the end of your course, you will have been studying for five years.

Future tenses

Simple future: They will go to Italy next week.
Future continuous: I will be travelling by train.

Conditional tenses

Present conditional: If he had the money he would go
Present continuous conditional: He would be getting up now if he was in Australia.
Perfect conditional: She would have visited me if she had had time.
Perfect continuous conditional: I would have been playing tennis if I hadn't broken my arm.

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