English Tenses

In this post you will learn all English Tenses and their usages with one picture, and one example. Concise and precise!

Table of Contents

English Tenses

All Tenses:


Subject ( I, You, We, They ) + V1 ( First Form of Verb )

 Subject ( He, She, It ) + VERB – s / es / ies.


1. Routine

She wakes up at 7 every morning. Firstly she takes a shower, then she has breakfast, and after that she gets dressed and goes to work.

2. Free Time

She usually goes to park and reads books in her free time.

3. Habits

He often bites his nails when he gets nervous.

4. Things in General

Children love playing games.

5. Scientific Facts

Water freezes at zero degree.

6. Summary of Books and Movies

The movie is about a man who takes custody of his son and struggles in his life.

 7. Newspaper Headlines

Storm lashes the East Coast

8. Sport Commentary

Now Ronaldo shoots the ball.

9. Time Table

The flight 2390 British Airways to London departs at 09:05.

10. Stative Verbs Now

Feeling: hate, like, love, prefer, want, wish

Senses: appear, feel, hear, see, seem, smell, sound, taste

Communication: agree, disagree, deny, mean, promise, satisfy, surprise

Thinking: believe, imagine, know, mean, realize, recognize, remember, understand 

I feel cold.

11. Future after some Conjunction


I’ll clean up my bedroom when I arrive home.

As soon as

As soon as I arrive home I’ll take a shower. The weather is so hot and I’ve been sweating.


Before I arrive home, I’ll do some shopping.


After I graduate from university, I will look for a job.


I will keep working out until I lose weight.


If I study hard, I will be successful.


always 100%

usually 90%

normally / generally 80%

often / frequently 70%

sometimes 50%

occasionally 30%

seldom 10%

hardly ever / rarely / scarcely 5%

never 0%

The adverb of frequency is usually place after the subject and before the main verb. If there is an auxiliary verb, the adverb of frequency comes after the auxiliary verb.

I usually wake up early in the morning.

Sam always goes to work on foot.

Bernard rarely smokes.

We sometimes go on a picnic with our friends.

“Sometimes” and “usually” can go at the front, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence.

I usually read story books before going to bed.

Usually I read story books before going to bed.

I read story books usually before going to bed.


Subject + am / is / are + verb ing


1. Something which is happening right now

She is listening to music and smiling now.

2. Something which is happening these days. (Longer action in progress now)

What are you doing these days?

– I’m working on a project.

3.Temporary things

I’m staying in a hotel.

4. Arranged plan for future

He is watching a film at cinema tonight.

5. Annoying habits   (always)
subject + am/is/are + always + verb ing

She is always calling me.

6. New things in comparison with a previous state

Students are studying online.

7. Talking about clothes, make up, and perfume

She is wearing a black suit, and light make up.

8. Picture Description

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, painted by Georges Seurat.

People are relaxing on an island.

Some people are sailing.

A woman is walking with her daughter.

A woman is fishing.

A couple is gazing at the lake.

The man is lying on the grass and smoking a pipe.


  • subject + Verb 2
  • Verbs 2 can be regular and get “ed” such as “like”, or irregular and totally change such as “ate” which is the past form of “eat”.


1. Finished actions in specific time in the past

We went to a restaurant yesterday.

I graduated in 2017.

My family and I travelled to Egypt 2 years ago.

I got married last year.

I watched a lot of cartoons when I was a child.

As soon as I graduated from university I found a job.

2. A series of completed actions ( list of events)

  • I graduated from university, then I found a job. At work I met a handsome man, and I fell in love with him. We went out for one year and then we got married in 2010. After 2 years we had our first baby girl, and 3 years later our son was born.

3. Habits in the past

I smoked when I was young.

Signs and Adverbs of Simple Past

In 2000/ in 2019/ in 20th century

Last week/ last Christmas/ last Monday

2 years ago/ 20 million years ago/ 2 minutes ago


When I was a child/ when I graduated 

From 2019 to 2021

Between 2000 and 2005

First …..then….after that…….finally …….


subject + was / were + verb ing


1. Unfinished action that was interrupted by another event

While I was repairing the ceiling, I fell off the ladder.

2. Background information to give atmosphere to a story

The sun was shining, the birds were flying, and some boats were sailing.

3. An annoying and repeated action in the past with “always”

My ex-wife was always nagging.

4. Two actions which happened at the same time in the past

While we were watching TV, my daughter was playing computer games.


have / has + verb 3

Verbs 3 can be regular and get “ed” such as “like”, or irregular and totally change such as “eaten” which is the past participle of “eat”.


1. Life experience

Jack is an experienced man. He has been to lots of countries in the world.

He has been to Egypt.
He has been to Turkey.
He has visited Persepolis in Iran.

He has visited the Colosseum in Rome.
He has seen the Eifel Tower in Paris.
He has seen Dom Cathedral in Cologne in Germany.
He has been on a safari in Africa.

He has ridden an elephant.
He has ridden on London Eye.
He has climbed Mt. Everest.
He has done scuba diving.
He has done bungee jumping.

When we talk about the time and details of those experiences, we use Simple Past Tense. Details of his trip to Egypt:

He went to Egypt in 1990.

He visited the pyramids.

He rode a camel there.

He tried Koftas and Falafel in Egypt.

He also drank mint tea.

He took a cruise down the Nile River.

He visited the museum of Islamic Art.

He fell in love with an Egyptian girl.

Details of the trip to Turkey:

He went to Izmir in 2010 and stayed there for two weeks. He visited lots of historical sites such as Ephesus. He went swimming in Çeşme and Foça. He tried different kinds of kebab and Turkish Coffee. He really enjoyed his trip.

What is the difference between “has been to” and “has gone to”?

Jack has gone to Germany.= He is in Germany now.

Jack has been to Germany.= He has the experience of going to Germany.

2. Continuation up to now

We have had this house for 7 years.

3. Unspecified time before now

I’ve seen Leonardo DeCaprio!
He signed his autograph for me!

4. Accomplishments

She has won a gold medal.

5. Present result

I have done my homework!

6. Telling news

Michael has bought a B.M.W.

Signs and Adverbs of Present Perfect:

Ever: Have you ever been to China?

Never: I’ve never tried Thai food.

Yet: I haven’t done my homework yet.

Yet: Have you finished the project yet?

Just: I’ve just drunk coffee.

Recently/ lately: I’ve recently seen a good movie.

So far: I haven’t seen such a beautiful scenery so far.

Already: I’ve already told him.

Before: I’ve visited that museum before.

Always: I’ve always loved you.

Since: I’ve had this car since 2010.

For: I’ve known him for 20 years.

This year/month/week: I’ve been busy this week.


have / has + been + verb ing


1. Duration from the past until now

He has been working for 40 years.

2. Something you have recently been busy with

My daughter has been playing computer games a lot!

3. Events with connection to present

He’s been painting the house since last week. It hasn’t finished yet.
He has painted the house. It’s ready to be decorated.

4. Actions which have just stopped

She’s been running.


had + verb 3


1. A completed action before something in the past

She had taken a training course before she became a teacher.

2. Experience up to a time in the past.

My 22nd birthday was the worst birthday I had ever had.


had + been + verb ing


1. Duration before something in the past

I had been looking for a job for 6 months before I started to work.

2. Cause of something in the past

He was so tired because he had been working since morning. (past perfect continuous)



1. Plan: am/is/are + going to

I’m going to be an astronaut.

2. Arranged plan: present continuous

I am seeing my doctor on 11th this month.

3. Spontaneous decision: will

Don’t worry. I’ll lend you some money.

4. Prediction: will

You will have a long life!

5. Evidence: am/is/are +going to

She is going to jump.

6. Offer: will

Will you marry me?

7. Promise: will

I will buy you that toy car.

8. Willingness: will

I will join the team.

9. Firmness: will

I will do it.

10. Time table: simple present

The flight 2390 British Airways to Budapest departs at 11:02.


will + be + verb ing


He is so tired because he has been working since morning. (present perfect continuous)

1. An action at a particular moment in future

Don’t call me tomorrow morning at 8. I’ll be sleeping that time.


will + have + verb 3


1. Completed action before a certain time in future

We will have done this project by the end of June.


will + have + been + verb ing


1. Action that will continue till a point in future

By the end of this year he will have been working as a teacher for 30 years.

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