12 Tenses in English Grammar with Examples

English tenses can be helpful in learning English language from the scratch. There are three main types of tenses which give an idea of the time when the incident mentioned in a statement takes place.

With good knowledge of 12 English tenses, fluent English and flawless grammar is not too far away. The types of tenses are explained with examples and basic structure. This would provide a clear idea to understand the knowledge of English grammar and will be helpful in framing better sentences.

Tenses Chart

PRESENT TENSE

Simple Present Tense

Structure: Base verb (+ es/es for third person):

Example: 1) I play game every day. 2) He studies in school.

Present Continuous Tense

Structure: is/am/are + present participle:

Example: 1) I am playing game. 2) He is studying in college.

Present Perfect Tense

Structure: Has/have + past participle:

Example: I have finished my home work.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Structure: Has/have + been + present participle:

Example: 1) I have been finishing my home work for the last two hours.

2) He has been studying in school since his childhood.

PAST TENSE

Simple Past Tense

Structure: Verb+ed or irregular verb:

Example: 1) You played the game. 2) He read the newspaper.

Past Continuous Tense

Structure: Was/were + present participle:

Example: 1) I was reading newspaper. 2) He was going to Karachi.

Past Perfect Tense

Structure: Had + past participle:

Example: 1) I had finished my home work. 2) He had completed his task.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Structure: Had + been + past participle:

Example: 1) I had been finishing my home work for 50 minutes.

2) He had been playing game since morning.

FUTURE TENSE

Simple Future Tense

Structure: Will/shall+verb

Example: 1) I shall go to my home town. 2) He will complete his task.

Future Continuous Tense

Structure: Will be + present participle

Am/is/are + going to be + present participle:

Example: I will be watching the news at 9pm. / I am going to be watching the news at 9pm.

Future Perfect Tense

Structure: Will have + past participle

Am/is/are + going to have + past participle

Example: I will have played the game. / I am going to have played the game.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Structure: Will have been + present participle

Am/is/are + going to have been + present participle:

Example: I will have been watching the news for over ten minutes before you join me. / I am going to have been watching the news for over ten minutes before you join me.

ENGLISH GRAMMAR TENSES TABLE

SIMPLE FORMS

The action that takes place once, never or several times

TENSES EXAMPLES
Present Simple He plays a game every Sunday.
Past Simple He played a game every Sunday.
Future Simple He will / is going to play the game every Sunday.

Actions that happen one after another

Present Simple He plays football and then he takes bath.
Past Simple He played a game and then he took bath.
Future Simple He will play football and then he will take bath.

State

Present Simple He loved yoga.
Past Simple He loves yoga.
Future Simple He will love yoga.

PROGRESSIVE FORMS

Action going on at that moment

Present Continuous/ Present Progressive He is playing a game.
Past Continuous/ Past Progressive He was playing the game.
Future Continuous/ Future Progressive He will be playing a game.

Actions that are taking place at the same time

Present Continuous/ Present Progressive He is playing a game and she is watching.
Past Continuous/ Past Progressive He was playing a game and she was watching TV.
Future Continuous/ Future Progressive He will be playing a game and she will be watching TV.

PERFECT FORMS

Action taking place before a certain moment in time; shows completion/result

Present Perfect He has won two matches so far.
Past Perfect He had won two matches until that day.
Future Perfect He will have won two matches by then.

PERFECT PROGRESSIVE FORMS

Action taking place before a certain moment in time and beyond that time, emphasizes on the duration

Present Perfect Continuous/ Present Perfect Progressive He has been playing a game for ten years.
Past Perfect Continuous/ Past Perfect Progressive He had been playing a game for ten years.
Future Perfect Continuous/ Future Perfect Progressive He will have been playing a game for ten years.

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