Table of Grammatical Tenses in English

Grammatical tenses in English, is fact their formation and rules of use, often give us trouble. There are many subtleties in the meaning, shades and choice of a particular tense. That is why we offer you a comparative table of basic grammatical tenses with the rules and examples of their use in speech.

Tense

+

-

?

Present simple

 

(regular activities)

I work

You work

They work

We work

              

He works

She works

It works

Do not (don’t)

Does not (doesn’t)

 

I, You, They, We don’t work

 

He, She, It doesn’t work

Do? Does?

 

Do I, You, They, We work?

 

Does He, She, It work?

Present continuous

 

(activities which are happening at the moment of speaking OR planned actions in the future)

I am

You are

They are

We are                  working

He is

She is

It is

I am not

You are not

They are not

We are not                        working

He is not

She is not

It is not

Am I

Are you

Are they

Are we                  working?

Is he                             

Is she

Is it

Past simple

 

(completed not repeated activities in the past. Date or time when the action happened is IMPORTANT)

 

 

-ed / irregular verb

 

I worked

You worked

They worked

We worked

He worked

She worked

It worked

Did not (didn’t)

 

I didn’t work

You didn’t work

They didn’t work

We didn’t work

He didn’t work

She didn’t work

It didn’t work

Did?

 

                I

                You

Did         they          work?

                We

                He

                She

                It

Past continuous

(continuous action in the past)

Was / were + -ing

 

I was

You were

They were

We were     working

He was

She was

It  was

Was not / were not + -ing

 

I was not

You were not

They were not

We were not                    working

He was not

She was not

It  was not

Was/were SUBJECT –ing

 

Was I

Were you

Were they

Were we                         working?

Was he

Was she

Was it

Be going to

 

(Is used to speak about planned activities or intentions in the future)

 

I am

You are

They are

We are           going to work

He is

She is

It is

 

I am not

You are not

They are not

We are not               going to work

He is not

She is not

It is not

 

Am I

Are you

Are they

Are we                  going to work?

Is he                             

Is she

Is it

Future Simple

 

(Unplanned, spontaneous activities in the future. Predictions and forecasts)

 

 

 

 

 

Will + V

 

I will

You will

They will

We will         work

She will

He will

It will

Will not (Won’t)

 

I won’t

You won’t

They won’t

We won’t           work

She won’t

He won’t

It won’t

Will SUBJECT?

 

Will I

Will you

Will they

Will we                    work?

Will she

Will he

Will it

Present perfect

 

(Activity which has just finished or its result is important in present)

Have / has + V-ed (III form)

 

I have

You have

We have

They have             finished

She has

He has

It has

Have / has not + V –ed (III form)

 

I have not

You have not

They have not

We have not                      finished

She has not

He has not

It has not

Have / has SUBJECT +V

 

Have I

Have you

Have they                           

Have we                               finished?

Has she

Has he

Has it

Past perfect

(Shows an action that had happened in the past before another action in the past:
When we came to the party, he had already opened the presents (he had done it before we came)

Had + V-ed (III form)

 

I had

You had

We have

They had               finished

She had

He had

It had

Had not + V –ed (III form)

 

I had not

You had not

They had not

We had not                        finished

She had not

He had not

It had not

Had SUBJECT +V

 

Had I

Had you

Had they                             

Had we                                 finished?

Had she

Had he

Had it

 

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