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I don’t know about you but I had always problems with tenses of English verbs, maybe because I’ve learned English by myself rather than in school. Anyway, English grammar is not impossible to learn if you find a pattern that is easy to follow and remember. Below I have compiled a table of English tenses.
In English we have only three main tenses along the time axis:
Each of these main tenses is divided in four other subdivisions:
- perfect continuous
The resulted English tenses is just a Cartesian product of these two sets:
- past for events started and finished in the past or that are no longer true at the moment of speaking
- present for events that happen at the moment of speaking or that are scheduled to happen in the near future
- future for events that will happen in the future
How are these tenses constructed? Can we find and use a pattern? Yes, we can:
- verb is the verb at infinitive form
- verb-ptp is the past participle of the verb
- verb-pp is the present participle of the verb
- * applies only when used in third person
In addition to the above links , one good online resource that I treasure a lot is Seonaid’s website called “Perfect English Grammar“. Seonaid is a British native speaker of English. She has a Master’s degree (M Phil) from Cambridge University in English and Linguistics.