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A handy note to have tenses at your finger tips

It is important to get your grammar right, especially when you want to speak and write fluent English. Here is a quick guide that can come handy when you practice your tenses. Remember to keep looking at it and enjoy learning!

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  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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PAST

PRESENT

FUTURE

SIMPLE

Action that finished at some time in the past – she left the country last year

Past habits – she always carried lunch to office

 

Use for hobbies – I play badminton.

Everyday actions – I get up at 6am.

Regular things – She goes to church every Sunday.

Permanent things – I live in India.

Universal truths – Sun rises in the east

Things in future which we cannot control – the train will leave at 9am.

Something we believe will happen in future – I think India will win the match.

When something has been decided before talking about it – I am going to quit my job.

CONT.

Action going on at some time in the past – it was raining.

A sub action at the time of a main action – it was raining when I came home.

Action happening at the time of speaking – I am doing my homework

Temporary situation – I am living in Bangalore.

Actions which will be in progress at a time in future – I will be waiting for you in the garden, please come on time.

Planned actions going to happen in future – My boss will be meeting me next week

PERFECT

If two actions happened in the past, use past perfect for first and simple past for second.

I had finished my dinner when my husband came home

He came to see me today. I had met him 10 years ago.

Actions finished in immediate past – he has left home just now.

Past actions for which time is not specifiedhave you seen the movie jungle book?

Actions that happened in past, but have an impact even now

My son has eaten all the biscuits. (so now there are no biscuits left)

I have known him for 3 years.

Action that will be completed by a certain future time

He will have left for Malta by this time next week

I will have completed my English training by end of this month.

PERFECT CONT.

Action that started in past and continued up to a time in past

In 1996, he had been writing a novel.

 When I joined the army, my father had been working there for 20 years.

Action that began at some time in past, and continuing up to now

He has been sleeping for 7 hours.

Not used.


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