2. Present simple
July 21, 20162
Use the Simple Present to
express the idea that an
action is repeated or usual.
The action can be a habit, a
hobby, a daily event, a
scheduled event or
something that often
happens. It can also be
something a person often
forgets or usually does not
I play tennis.
She does not play tennis.
Does he play tennis?
The train leaves every
morning at 8 AM.
The Simple Present can
also indicate the speaker
believes that a fact was
true before, is true now,
and will be true in the
future. It is not
important if the speaker
is correct about the fact.
It is also used to make
people or things.
California is in America.
California is not in the
Windows are made of
use Simple Present to
talk about scheduled
events in the near future.
This is most commonly
done when talking about
public transportation, but
it can be used with other
scheduled events as well.
The train leaves tonight
at 6 PM.
The bus does not arrive
at 11 AM, it arrives at 11
When do we board the
Speakers sometimes use
the Simple Present to
express the idea that an
action is happening or is
not happening now. This
can only be done with
and certain Mixed Verbs.
I am here now.
She is not here now.
3. Past simple
Positive Negative Question
no differences I spoke. I did not speak. Did I speak?
Exceptions in spelling when adding ed Example
after a final e only add d love – loved
final consonant after a short, stressed vowel
or l as final consonant after a vowel is doubled
admit – admitted
travel – travelled
final y after a consonant becomes i hurry – hurried
The simple past expresses an action in the past taking place once, never, several times. It can also be used for actions taking
place one after another or in the middle of another action.
Form of Simple Past
For irregular verbs, use the past form (see list of irregular verbs, 2nd column). For regular verbs, just add “ed”. Exceptions in
Spelling when Adding ‘ed’
Use of Simple Past
action in the past taking place once, never or several times Example: He visited his
parents every weekend.
actions in the past taking place one after the other Example: He came in, took off his
coat and sat down.
action in the past taking place in the middle of another action Example: When I was
having breakfast, the phone suddenly rang.
4. July 21, 20164
The Future Simple tense is often called the "will tense" because we make the
Future Simple with the modal auxiliary will.
subject + auxiliary will + main verb
sentences in the
insert not betwe
en the auxiliary
verb and main
the subject and
Look at these
How do we make the Future Simple Tense?
The structure of the Future Simple tense is:
subject auxiliary verb main verb
+ I will open the door.
+ You will finish before me.
- She will not be at school tomorrow.
- We will not leave yet.
? Will you arrive on time?
? Will they want dinner?
How do we use the Future Simple Tense?
We use the Future Simple tense when there is no plan or
decision to do something before we speak. We make the
decision spontaneously at the time of speaking. Look at these
-Hold on. I'll get a pen.
-We will see what we can do to help you.
-Maybe we'll stay in and watch television tonight.
In these examples, we had no firm plan before speaking. The
decision is made at the time of speaking.
We often use the Future Simple tense with the verb to think
-I think I'll go to the gym tomorrow.
-I think I will have a holiday next year.
-I don't think I'll buy that car.
We often use the Future Simple tense to make a prediction
about the future. Again, there is no firm plan. We are saying
what we think will happen. Here are some examples:
-It will rain tomorrow.
-People won't go to Jupiter before the 22nd century.
-Who do you think will get the job?
When the main verb is be, we can use the Future Simple tense
even if we have a firm plan or decision before speaking.
-I'll be in London tomorrow.
-I'm going shopping. I won't be very long.
-Will you be at work tomorrow?
The present continuous tense is formed from the present tense of the verb be and
the present participle (-ing form) of a verb:
1. We use the present continuous tense to talk about the present:
for something that is happening at the moment of speaking:
-I’m just leaving work. I’ll be home in an hour. -Please be quiet. The children are
for something which is happening before and after a given time:
-At eight o’clock we are usually having breakfast. -When I get home the children are
doing their homework.
for something which we think is temporary:
-Michael is at university. He’s studying history. -I’m working in London for the next
two weeks. for something which is new and contrasts with a previous state:
-These days most people are using email instead of writing letters. -What sort of
clothes are teenagers wearing nowadays? What sort of music are they listening
to show that something is changing, growing or developing:
-The children are growing quickly. -The climate is changing rapidly. -Your English is
for something which happens again and again:
-It’s always raining in London. -They are always arguing. -George is great. He’s
Note: We normally use always with this use.
7. 2. We use the present continuous tense
to talk about the future:
for something which has been arranged
-Mary is going to a new school next
-What are you doing next week?
3. We can use the present continuous
to talk about the past:
-When we are telling a story:
-When we are summarising the story
from a book, film or play etc.:
July 21, 2016
8. July 21, 20168
USE 1 Interrupted Action in the
the Past Continuous to indicate
that a longer action in the past was
interrupted. The interruption is
usually a shorter action in the
Simple Past. Remember this can be
a real interruption or just an
interruption in time. Examples:
-I was watching TV when she
-When the phone rang, she was
writing a letter.
-While we were having the picnic,
it started to rain.
Specific Time as an Interruption:
In USE 1, described above, the Past
Continuous is interrupted by a shorter
action in the Simple Past. However,
you can also use a specific time as an
-Last night at 6 PM, I was eating
At midnight, we were still driving
through the desert.
IMPORTANT In the Simple Past, a
specific time is used to show when an
action began or finished. In the Past
Continuous, a specific time only
interrupts the action. Examples:
- Last night at 6 PM, I ate dinner. I
started eating at 6 PM. -
Last night at 6 PM, I was eating
dinner. I started earlier; and at 6 PM, I
was in the process of eating dinner.
USE 3 Parallel Actions:
When you use the Past
Continuous with two actions in the
same sentence, it expresses the
idea that both actions were
happening at the same time. The
actions are parallel.
-I was studying while he was
-While Ellen was reading, Tim was
-Were you listening while he was
USE 4 Atmosphere:
In English, we often use a
series of parallel actions to
describe the atmosphere at a
particular time in the past.
-When I walked into the
office, several people were
busily typing, some were
talking on the phones, the
boss was yelling directions,
and customers were waiting to
be helped. One customer was
yelling at a secretary and
waving his hands. Others were
complaining to each other
about the bad service.
[was/were + present participle] Examples:
-You were studying when she called. -Were you studying when she called? -You were not studying when she called.
9. July 21, 20169
The future continuous is made up of two elements:
the simple future of the verb 'to be' + the present participle (base+ing)
Subject simple future of the verb 'to be' present participle
You will be watching
I will be staying
The future continuous refers to an unfinished action or event that
will be in progress at a time later than now. The future continuous
is used for quite a few different purposes.
The future continuous can be used to project ourselves into the
-This time next week I will be sun-bathing in Bali.
-By Christmas I will be skiing like a pro.
The future continuous can be used for predicting or guessing about
-He'll be coming to the meeting, I expect.
-I guess you'll be feeling thirsty after working in the sun.
In the interrogative form, the future continuous
can be used to ask politely for information about
-Will you be bringing your friend to the pub
-Will Jim be coming with us?
The future continuous can be used to refer to
continuous events that we expect to happen in the
-I'll be seeing Jim at the conference next week.
-When he is in Australia he will be staying with friends.
When combined with still, the future continuous refers to events that are already
happening now and that we expect to continue some time into the future.
In an hour I'll still be ironing my clothes.
Tomorrow he'll still be suffering from his cold.