Grammar Overview A Review of the Tenses
The “Present” Tenses Simple Continuous Perfect
The Present Simple - Function
The Present Simple is used : 1. For permanent situations She works in an office 2. For repeated actions in the present He often goes to the cinema (especially with adverbs of frequency) 3. For facts which are permanently true The sun sets in the west 4. For timetables and programmes The lesson starts at 9 o’clock
Present simple - Structure
The Present simple takes an infinitive verb and we add “s” or “es” in the 3rd person. I like – he likes, they watch – she watches To form the negative we add “do not” and in the 3rd person “does not” I do not like – he does not like. We usually use a contracted form when speaking I don’t like – he doesn’t like They don’t watch – she doesn’t watch In the negative the verb is always an infinitive
The Present Continuous - function
The Present Continuous is used: 1. For temporary situations He’s staying with friends (at the moment) 2. For actions at (or around) the time of speaking He’s looking for a new job (at the moment) 3. For fixed arrangements in the future I’m going to London Tomorrow (it’s all arranged - I have already bought the tickets)
The Present Continuous - structure
The Present continuous is formed with the verb ”to be” (I am, you are, he is, she is, etc) and we add “ing” to the principal verb He is going to London next week In the negative we add “not” (I am not, you are not, he is not, plus the “ing” She is not going to London next week We usually use a contracted form when speaking I’m not, you aren’t, he isn’t, she isn’t going to…….
The Present Perfect - Function
The Present Perfect is used: 1. For actions which happened at an unstated time in the past. He has sold his car. (When – we don’t know) 2. For actions which started in the past and continue up to the present. She has lived in Telde for 10 years. (She still does). 3. To express actions which have finished so recently that there is evidence in the present He has just painted the room. (the paint is still wet)
The Present Perfect - Structure
The Present Perfect is formed with “have” plus the past participle. In the 3rd person we use “has” I have been to London. (I am back now) She has gone to London. (She is not back yet) He ‘s been in London for 2 days. (He’s still there). To form the negative we add “not” and usually use a contracted form when speaking I haven’t / She hasn’t been to London
The Past Tenses Simple Continuous Perfect
The Past Simple We use the past simple to talk about actions that started and finished in the past. Examples: I went to the cinema I saw John in the high street Peter had eggs for breakfast
Structure of the Past Simple
Regular Verbs – add “ed” look – looked, clean – cleaned, wait – waited. “t” “d” “id” Verbs ending in “y” change “y” to “ied” worry – worried - worried The past participle takes the same form look – looked - looked Irregular verbs Eat – ate – eaten, buy – bought – bought swim – swam – swum, take – took - taken
The Past Continuous - Function
We use the Past Continuous: 1. for an action that was in the middle of happening at a stated time in the past. She was watching TV at 8 o’clock last night. 2. for two or more actions which were happening at the same time in the past. They were cleaning while he was painting. 3. For a past action which was in progress when another action interrupted it. (Past continuous for the interrupted action and past simple for the action which interrupts it). She was watching TV when the telephone rang.
Past Continuous - Structure
The past continuous is formed with the verb “to be” in the past tense was / were plus an infinitive verb + “ing” Examples: He was running. They were cooking at 8 o’clock last night. Tim was studying when John walked in.
The Past Perfect - Function
We use the Past Perfect: 1. For a past action which happened before another past action. They had already gone when I arrived home. 2. For an action which happened before a stated time in the past. She had cleaned the house by 4 o’clock. 3. As the past equivalent of the Present Perfect. She isn’t in her office. She has already left. She wasn’t in her office. She had already left.
The Past Perfect - Structure
We form the Past Perfect with had + the past participle She had eaten lunch. They had cleaned the house. We form the negative with had not She had not eaten lunch. They had not When we speak - we use the contracted form She hadn’t eaten lunch. They hadn’t cleaned the house.
Past Perfect Continuous - Function
The Past Perfect Continuous is used: 1. for an action continuing up to a specific time in the past. He had been waiting for an hour before she arrived. 2. For a continuous, past action which had visible results or effect in the past. He was tired. He had been painting his room all morning. (You can see the fatigue - and the paint is not dry yet). 3. As the past equivalent of the Present Perfect continuous.
Past Perfect Continuous - Structure
We form the Past Perfect Continuous with “had been” plus the infinitive verb plus - ing. She had been shopping. They had been fishing. In reality it is the past equivalent of the Present Perfect Continuous. Present. He is tired. He has been working hard. Past. He was tired. He had been working hard.
Present Continuous with a future time
The Future Tenses Will Going to Present Continuous with a future time
The “Will” Future The “Will” future is used: 1. To express on the spot decisions. It’s cold! I’ll close the window. 2. To express predictions, promises etc. I think it will rain tomorrow 3. When it is not certain that something will happen (it is really a prediction/possibility) If he comes early, we will go to the theatre.
The “Will” Future We use the “Will” future to express: warnings, predictions, offers, promises , threats, requests, suggestions, opinions, hopes and fears, especially with words such as: think, expect, suppose, hope, believe, know probably etc. Notice - We use the infinitive form of the verb: I will buy a new shirt. I will close the window. It’s very cold.
Will and Shall NOTE: Shall is used with “I” and “we” in questions, suggestions and offers. Question. What shall we do tonight? Let’s go to the cinema. Offer. Shall I open the window? Yes, it’s hot in here. Suggestion. Shall we go to the beach? Yes, good idea. We can use this structure when we want someone else to make the decision.
The “going to” Future The “going to” future is used: 1. To express things already decided in the future She is going to fly to Madrid tomorrow. 2. To express intention. He likes acting. He is going to be an actor. 3. When there is evidence that something will definitely happen. Watch out!! You’re going to hit your head. Structure. We use the verb “to be” + going to + the infinitive form of the verb.
Future with the Present Continuous
We can also use the Present Continuous tense to express the future, but we must remember give a future time as a reference. He’s going to Madrid this afternoon. She’s visiting her parents next week. Examples. They’re washing the car. (now, at this moment) They’re washing the car on Friday. (Future). They’re going to wash the car (on Friday)
Other Future expressions
Future Continuous. Where will John be next Monday? He will be in London. He will be visiting his parents. Future Perfect Did you know that Tim’s on holiday ? Yes. He will have visited five different countries by the end of the month.
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