English Verb Tenses

What is a tense? It is a grammatical category that helps locate a situation in time. The tenses can be present, past or future.

In many languages, tenses are not as important as in English (in some languages, they don't even exist!).
In the English language, tenses are especially important because they tell us not only about the time but also about the aspect of the verb.
Consider these two sentences:

  • I play football (Aspect: not progressive, imperfect).
  • I have been playing football (Aspect: progressive, perfect).

Both of the sentences above are in present tense (more specifically, the first one is in Present Simple, the other — in Present Perfect Continuous), but the aspect is different.

There are twelve English tenses. I encourage you to read some more. So don't tense up and click on one of the links below.

Good luck!

Present Tenses
Present TensesPresent SimplePresent ContinuousPresent PerfectPresent Perfect Continuous
Past Tenses
Past TensesPast SimplePast ContinuousPast PerfectPast Perfect Continuous
Future Tenses
Future TensesFuture SimpleFuture ContinuousFuture PerfectFuture Perfect Continuous
Read More
Tense ClassificationSimple TensesContinuous TensesPerfect TensesPerfect Continuous TensesPresent Simple in NarrationsTime Expressions Used with Present PerfectGoing ToPresent Perfect vs Present Perfect ContinuousPast Continuous vs Past Perfect ContinuousPast Perfect vs Past Perfect ContinuousPresent Perfect Continuous vs Past Perfect Continuous