English tenses

Tense

Verb

Use

Example

Present Simple

Affirmative

I play

You play

He, she, it plays

We play

They play

Regular activities and routine

Amy and Sue play tennis on Saturdays.

Negative

I don’t play

You don’play

He, she, it doesn’t play

We don’t play

They don’t play

Interrogative

Do I play?

Do you play?

Does he, she, it play?

Do we play?

Do they play?

Present Continuous

Affirmative

I am playing
You are playing

He is playing

We are playing

They are playing

Continuous present action

Amy and Sue are playing at the moment.

Negative

I am not playing

You are not playing

He is not playing

We are not playing

They are not playing

Interrogative

Am I playing?
Are you playing?

Is he playing?

Are we playing?

Are they playing?

Present Perfect Simple

Affirmative

I have played

You have played

He has played

We have played

They have played

1. Finished part of continuous action.
2. Completed actions in unfinished time.
3. Recent events (unspecified time)
4. Past action with a result in the present.
5. Experiences up to now.

1. Amy and Sue have played two sets.
2. They have played several other matches this year.
3. Their parents have just arrived.
4. Sue has broken her racket so she can’t continue.
5. They have played in many tournaments.

Negative

I have not played

You have not played

He has not played

We have not played

They have not played

Interrogative

Have I played?

Have you played?

Has he played?

Have we played?

Have they played?

Present Perfect Continuous

Affirmative

I’ve been playing

you’ve been playing

he’s been playing

we’ve been playing

you’ve been playing

they’ve been playing

Actions begun in the past which  continue at the time of speaking.

They have been playing tennis since 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Negative

I haven’t been playing

you haven’t been playing

he hasn’t been playing

we haven’t been playing

you haven’t been playing

they haven’t been playing

Interrogative

have I been playing?

have you been playing?

has he been playing?

have we been playing?

have you been playing?

have they been playing?

Preterit / Past simple

Affirmative

I played

you played

he played

we played

you played

they played

Finished actions at a specific time in the past.

Last Saturday Sue played in another tournament.

Negative

I didn’t play

you didn’t play

he didn’t play

we didn’t play

you didn’t play

they didn’t play

Interrogative

did I play?

did you play?

did he play?

did we play?

did you play?

did they play?

Past Continuous

Affirmative

I was playing

you were playing

he was playing

we were playing

you were playing

they were playing

Past continuous actions.

At 2.45 pm they were playing the second set.

Negative

I wasn’t playing

you weren’t playing

he wasn’t playing

we weren’t playing

you weren’t playing

they weren’t playing

Interrogative

was I playing?

were you playing?

was he playing?

were we playing?

were you playing?

were they playing?

Past Perfect Simple (Pluperfect)

Affirmative

I had played

you’d played

he’d played

we’d played

you’d played

they’d played

Completed actions before a specific time or event in the past.

Two other people had played a match before Amy and Sue arrived.

Negative

I hadn’t played

you hadn’t played

he hadn’t played

we hadn’t played

you hadn’t played

they hadn’t played

Interrogative

had I played?

had you played?

had he played?

had we played?

had you played?

had they played?

Past Perfect Continuous

Affirmative

I’d been playing

you’d been playing

he’d been playing

we’d been playing

you’d been playing

they’d been playing

Continuous actions before a specific  time or event in the past.

At 4 pm they had been playing for 2 hours.

Negative

I hadn’t been playing

you hadn’t been playing

he hadn’t been playing

we hadn’t been playing

you hadn’t been playing

they hadn’t been playing

Interrogative

had I been playing?

had you been playing?

had he been playing?

had we been playing?

had you been playing?

had they been playing?

Future Simple

Affirmative

I willplay

you’ll play

he’ll play

we’ll play

you’ll play

they’ll play

1. Predictions
2. Spontaneous decisions/offers

1.Amy will win the match today.
2. I’ll lend you my racket!

Negative

I will not play

you won’t play

he won’t play

we won’t play

you won’t play

they won’t play

Interrogative

will I play?

will you play?

will he play?

will we play?

will you play?

will they play?

Future Continuous

Affirmative

Continuous future action

Tomorrow they will be playing in another club.

Negative

I won’t be playing

you won’t be playing

he won’t be playing

we won’t be playing

you won’t be playing

they won’t be playing

Interrogative

will I be playing?

will you be playing?

will he be playing?

will we be playing?

will you be playing?

will they be playing?

Future Perfect simple

Affirmative

I will have played

you’ll have played

he’ll have played

we’ll have played

you’ll have played

they’ll have played

Completed future action

By September they will have played ten matches.

Negative

I won’t have played

you won’t have played

he won’t have played

we won’t have played

you won’t have played

they won’t have played

Interrogative

will I have played?

will you have played?

will he have played?

will we have played?

will you have played?

will they have played?

Future Perfect Continuous

Affirmative

I will have been playing

you’ll have been playing

he’ll have been playing

we’ll have been playing

you’ll have been playing

they’ll have been playing

Continuous future action estimated at a time in the future.

A 5 pm  Amy and Sue will have been playing for 3 hours.

Negative

I won’t have been playing

you won’t have been playing

he won’t have been playing

we won’t have been playing

you won’t have been playing

they won’t have been playing

Interrogative

will I have been playing?

will you have been playing?

will he have been playing?

will we have been playing?

will you have been playing?

will they have been playing?

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