Simple tenses use the past form, the present form, and the present form with the helping verb will.
Yesterday I walked home from school.
Every day I walk home from school, and my sister walks home from school.
Tomorrow I will walk home from school.
Perfect tenses show when an action happened in relation to another action. The action in the past perfect began and ended before the event or time it is being related to. The action in the present perfect began in the past and continues up to the present or has ended by the present. The action in the future tense will be finished a particular point in the future.
|Past Perfect||Present Perfect||Future Perfect|
|will have walked
will have eaten
The perfect tenses use the helping verb to have (have/has, had) with the past participle of the verb. The verb to have changes to show the tense.
Yesterday I rode to school, but the day before I had walked to school.
Most days I walk to school, but for the last two weeks I have walked to school.
By the time I get to school tomorrow, I will have walked to school many times.
Progressive tenses show that an action is or was ongoing or continuing at the same time as something else. The present progressive tense is used to talk about something that is happening right now.
|Past Progressive||Present Progressive||Future Progressive|
|will be walking
will be eating
The progressive tenses use a form of the verb to be (am/is/are, was/were) and the present participle of the verb.
Yesterday I was walking to school when you saw me.
Most days I am walking to school when you see me.
Tomorrow I will be walking to school when you see me.
Perfect progressive tenses are a combination of perfect (completed before) and progressive (ongoing) tenses which show that something began, continued, and ended before another action mentioned.
|Perfect Progressive Tenses|
|Past Perfect Progressive||Present Perfect Progressive||Future Perfect Progressive|
|had been walking
had been eating
|have been walking
have been eating
|will have been walking
will have been eating
The perfect progressive tenses combine the perfect (with have) and the progressive (with been) and the present participle of the verb.
Yesterday I had been walking to school when it started to rain.
Most days I have been walking to school when the weather is nice.
Tomorrow I will have been walking to school for six weeks straight.
Choosing the correct tense for use in a sentence requires you to pay close attention to the clues in the sentence.
Not a tense, but logically included in this section is the emphatic form. The emphatic form emphasizes that an action happened. It is also used in questions and in negative statements.
|Past Emphatic||Present Emphatic|
There is no future emphatic because
you can't emphasize something that
hasn't been done yet.
The emphatic form uses the verb to do with the present form of the verb.