English tenses form the backbone of grammar in sentences. Accurate use of tenses is the starting point of strong English use, hence my publication of the dedicated book, The English Tenses Practical Grammar Guide. The lessons and exercises below help explain and practice the various English tenses.
English tenses timeline – all the English tenses in one image, a great place to start if you want to compare the tenses.
- Present Simple Tense conjugation – an explanation with an exercise.
- Using the present simple for repeated activities
- Present Simple for storytelling and commentary
- Present tenses and States
- Negative Simple Questions (a mixed simple tenses exercise)
- Complete guide to the uses of the present continuous
- Simple or continuous tenses for States
- How to use the past perfect continuous
- Comparing the past simple and past perfect
- Bare infinitives in the past simple – with exercises
- Exercise: choosing between the past simple and past perfect
- Comparing the past simple and present perfect
- Past simple or past continuous for States?
- Past simple negatives and affirmatives – exercise
- Ongoing time and the past simple – when is an action complete?
- Felix and the Umbrella – a mixed past simple exercise
- Choosing the correct future tense – with an exercise.
- Planned and unplanned activities in the future
- Making predictions with the future tense
- Future continuous vs Future Simple
- Using future perfect forms
- “When”, “if” and time clauses in the future
General tense use
- Contractions and tense forms
- Identifying the Bare Infinitive
- Pronouncing contractions with the tenses
- Forming Negative Simple Tenses (Mixed Tenses Exercise)
- Mixed tenses practice quiz
- More Mixed Tenses – a Comparison Exercise
- Bare Infinitives in Mixed Tenses
- Using “to do” and the bare infinitive for emphasis
- When to use past participles with mixed perfect tenses
If you find these articles interesting, please also consider The English Tenses Practical Grammar Guide – a reference book explaining the twelve main aspects of the English tenses.