Top 5 Tenses that You will Need for Sure

You must’ve heard, that English language is full of tenses and to learn all of them can drive you crazy. So, that’s why we came up with top-5 tenses that IOHO are absolutely important for those who start speaking language. The list below is by no means comprehensive, it’s more like a first aid kit – will help you to survive until professional help arrives. Here we go!

1. Present Simple

Form:

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + Verb(s).

 Do / Does + I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + Verb?

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + Do / Does + NOT + Verb.

Use: facts, daily routine

Markers: always, often, sometimes, every day, usually etc.

Example:

— He learns 10 new words every day.

 Does he learn 10 new words every day?

— He does NOT learn 10 new words every day.

2. Past Simple

Form:

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + VerbED (ii form).

— DID + I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + Verb?

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + DID NOT + VerbED (ii form).

Use: finished actions in the past

Markers: last week (… month, …year), yesterday, 2 weeks (years, months) ago, in 1999

Example:

— He learnED 10 new words yesterday.

— DID he learn 10 new words yesterday?

— He DID NOT learn 10 new words yesterday.

3. Present Perfect

Form:

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + have / has + VerbED (iii form).

— Have / has + I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + VerbED (iii form)?

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + have / has + NOT + VerbED (iii form).

Use: life experience, recent actions

Markers: just, already, yet, recently, today, this (month, week, year)

Example:

— He has learnED 5 words today!

— Has he learnED 5 words today?

— He has NOT learnED 5 words today!

4. Present Continuous

Form:

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + am/is/are + VerbING.

— Am/is/are + I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + VerbING?

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + am/is/are + NOT + VerbING.

Use: action that is happening right now or is in progress

Markers: now, at the moment, today

Example:

— Please be quiet! He is learnING his 10 words now.

— Is he learnING his 10 words now?

— He is NOT learnING his 10 words now.

5. Will

Form:

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + will + Verb.

— Will + I, you, he, they, my new iPhone +Verb?

— I, you, he, they, my new iPhone + will + NOT + Verb.

Use: promise, prediction, instant decision

Markers: tomorrow, next (week, month, year), in a (day, week, month)

Example:

— He promised, he will learn his 10 words tomorrow.

— Will  he learn his 10 words tomorrow?

— He promised, he will NOT learn his 10 words tomorrow.

We’ve tried to show you the most widespread structures in English. Knowing them and using without mistakes, will make your communication much easier. We also came across an interesting website that explains the structures with funny pictures here.