Verb Tenses

Present Simple

Form

Afirmative – It is formed with the infinitive without “to”. In 3rd person singular we add –s or –es.

Negative and interrogative – We need the auxiliary “do”.

e.g.

  • Afirmative: Teenagers work in a team.
  • Negative: Teenagers don´t work in a team.
  • Interrogative: Do they have fun? Does the Centre offer many activities?

Use – We use the Present Simple to talk about facts, general truths, repeated actions or habits (routines) and permanent situations.

Present Continuous

Form

Affirmative – It is formed with the verb “to be” (Present Simple) + verb + ing.

e.g. She is swimming.

Negative – Subject + verb “to be” (Present Simple) + not + verb + ing.

e.g. They are not having a good time.

Interrogative – Verb “to be” (Present Simple) + subject + verb + ing.

e.g. Is she always phoning home?

Use – We use the Present Continuous to talk about:

  • Something happening now;
  • Arrangements in the future;
  • Repeated actions with always;
  • A temporary state or routine;
  • Actions happening in the near future.

Present Simple and Present Continuous

Present Simple

It is used to talk about habits or routines.

e.g. They go to the beach every morning.

Present Continuous

It is used to talk about something that is happening now or that is not permanent.

e.g. Now they are playing volleyball on the beach.

Past Simple

Form

Affirmative – Verb + ed or irregular form.

e.g. He worked late yesterday. He went to bed at 2 am.

Negative and interrogative – We need the auxiliary “did”.

e.g.

Negative: They didn’t arrive on time.

Interrogative: Did she sing that song?

Use – We use the Past Simple when we refer to:

  • Something that happened in the past and is finished now;
  • A sequence of events in past.

Past Continuous

Form

Affirmative – Subject + verb “to be” (Simple past) + verb + ing.

e.g. He was having an ice-cream.

Negative – Subject + verb “to be” (Simple past) + not + verb + ing.

e.g. I wasn´t listening to you.

Interrogative – Verb “to be “ (Simple past) + subject + verb + ing.

e.g. Were they enjoying themselves?

Use – We use the Past Continuous to:

  • Describe an action that was in progress in the past.

e.g. They were having dinner at a famous British restaurant yesterday ai eight o’clock.

  • Talk about two or more simultaneous actions in the past.
  • e.g. They were having dinner, they were listening to music and they were laughing.

Past simple and past continuous

Sometimes when you are in middle of something, something else happens…

image

e.g They were admiring the monuments when… – Past Continuous 1 | started to rain – Past Simple 2

The verb in the action that was in progress (1) is in Past Continuous and the verb in the action that interrupts (2) is in the Past Simple.

Present Perfect

Form

Affirmative – Subject + has/have + Past Participle of the main verb.

e.g.

  • She has already finished high school.
  • You have just started to write your CV.

Negative – Subject + has/have + not + Past Participle of the main verb.

e.g. She hasn’t finished high school yet.

Interrogative – Has/have + subject + Past Participle of the main verb.

e.g. Have you been to England?

Use – We use the Present Perfect to talk about things that started in the past, but still continue in the present. We generally use the Present Perfect with:

  • How long;
  • Since;
  • For;
  • Already;
  • Never;
  • Ever;
  • Yet;
  • Just;
  • Lately;
  • Up to now…

~ por goncasrato em 03/15/2010.

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