English Grammar Verb Tenses (Past (Present perfect (How long something has…
English Grammar Verb Tenses
Something happening at (around) the time of speaking
Ex.: She's taking a bath
Ex.: I'm reading an interesting book
Use with: today, this week, this season, etc.
Ex.: You're working hard today
Ex.: The population of the world is rising.
Future meaning: What is already arrenged to do
Ex.: She's coming tomorrow
Arranged or intended situations
Ex.: What are you going to do tomorrow evening?
What we think will happen
He's going to fall into the hole
Things in general
Ex.: I work in the University of the Basque Country
Happens all the time or repeatedly
Ex.: Most stores close at 9:00 p.m.
True in general
Ex.: The Earth goes around the Sun
How often we do things
Ex.: I get up at 8:00 every morning
Timetables, schedules, etc.
Ex.: What time does the movie begin?
Ex.: The game starts at 2:00.
Ex.: Tomorrow is Tuesday
if, when, while, after, before, until, as soon as
Ex.: Wait here until I come back
Ex.: Before you leave, you must visit the museum
Ex.: If I go shopping, I'll buy some food
When we decide to do something
Ex.: I'll take a taxi
Offering or promesing to do something
Ex.: Don't worry. I'll lend you some money
Agreeing, refusing or asking someone to do something
Ex.: I asked him to help me, but he won't.
Ex.: Will you please be quiet?
Ex.: He won't pass his exam.
In questions for offers, suggestions
Ex.: Where shall we go?
:warning: Only with I or We
Will be doing
We will be in the middle of doing something at a certain time in the future
Ex.: Don't come at 8:30. I'll be busy.
Ask people about plans
Ex.: Will you be using your bicycle this evening?
Will have done
Something will have already happened before a certain time in the future
Ex.: 9:30 will be fine. The game will have ended by then.
First action will be finished before the second
Ex.: After I've read this book, you can have it
How long something has been happening
Ex.: How long have you been married?
Ex.: How long have you known each other?
since or for
Ex.: I've been waiting for you since 8 o'clock.
Ex.: I've been waiting for you for two hours.
How long has it been since...
you had a vacation?
It's been two years since...
I had a vacation.
It's been ages since...
we hang out together
Actions and happenings connected to the present
Ex.: I've lost my keys. Haye you seen them?
Present perfect continuous
Action began in the past and has recently stopped
Ex.: I have been talking to Tom about your problem.
Ex.: You're out of breath. Have you been running?
Ask or say how long something has been happening. :warning: Stress that it is still happening now
Ex.: How long have you been studying English?
Ex.: I've been waiting here for over an hour.
Ask or say
Ex.: When did you first meet?
Ex.: It started raining an hour ago.
Say that something had already happened before a past event
Ex.: When I arrived at the party, Tom had already gone home
Ex.: I wasn't hungry. I'd just had lunch
Past perfect continuous
How long something had been happening before something else happened
Ex.: How long had your been waiting when the bus finally came?
Ex.: When I looked out the window, it had been raining
(It was't raining; it had stopped)
It's not so important who did the action
Ex: This building was built in 1920.
Focus on the object
can be solved (instead of:
can solve this problem)
after modal verbs
Use past participle
Ex.: Somebody should have cleaned the windows yesterday.
Ex.: The windows should have been cleaned yesterday
am/is/are + (done)
this room everyday.
was/were + (done)
this room yesterday.
Ex: This room
am/is/are being + (done)
this room right now.
Ex.: This room
is being cleaned
was/were being + (done)
this room when I arrived.
Ex.: The room
was being cleaned
when I arrived.
have/has been + (done)
Ex.: The room
has been cleaned
had been + (done)
the room when I arrived.
Ex.: The room
had been cleaned
when I arrived.
:warning:Two objects verbs:
teach, send, give, ask, tell show, pay
Begin with the person
Ex.: The didn't offer
. (better than:
was't offrered to
'I' was given
two days to finish 'the work'.
Have 'you' been shown
:warning: to born
Ex.: Where were you born?
Ex.: I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ex.: How many babies are born in this hospital every day?
Ex.: I do'nt like people
me what to do.
Ex.: I don't like
what to do.
:red_flag: Reporting verbs:
said, thought, believed, reported, understood, known, expected, alleged, considered
in New York.
that the strike
that two people
in the attacks.
in New York.
Ex.: The strike
Ex.: Two people
have been killed
in the attacks.
Verbs change to past
Ex.: He said he
Ex: He said, "I
simple past remains the same
If something is still true we did not have to change the verb to the past
He told (asked) me
He said (talked, spoke)
Ex.: The doctor
told me to
stay in bed for a few days
told him not to
asked him to
open the door for her.
:red_cross: He told, He said me...
Get/Have something done
(...) have + object + past participle
I have the paper reviewed
(someone did it for me)
I reviewed the paper
(I did it myself)
Ex.: Where did you
have your hair done
Ex.: We are
having the house painted
Ex.: He has just
had a paper accepted
Ex.: How often do you
have your car serviced
Ex.: Why don't you
have your paper reviewed
by a professional English teacher?
Ex.: I want to
have my picture taken
have my face cut
in a fight.
When did you
finish your PhD?
Where does she
do not use do
(not who did invent)
to you last night?
(not what did happen)
Did you have
a good time?
To show surprise
Haven't we met
Doesn't it look
When we expect agreement
Didn't you hear
:warning: When the question (
Where has he gone?
) is part of a bigger sentence (
Do you know.../Could you tell me...
) it loses the normal question order.
When will she arrive?
Do you have any idea when she will arrive?
What time is it?
Could you tell me what time it is?
When does the movie begin?
Do you know when the movie begins?
Why did whe leave early?
I wonder why she left early.
The same for reported questions
The police officer asked us where we were going.
We wanted to know what time the banks closed.
Keep the conversation going
Ex.. It rained every day during our vacation.
Ex.: She isn't feeling well today. Oh,
Ex: They are getting married.
Are they? Really?
Let's go for a walk,
Open the door,
So and Neither
Ex.: I'm feeling tired.
So do I.
Ex.: I never read newspapers.
Neither do I.
Ex.: I passed the exam and
so did Tom
Ex.: I don't have any money.
I don't either
I think (guess, hope, suppose, affraid) so (not).
Ex.: Is she Basque?
I think so.
Ex: Will he come?
I don't think so.
Ex.: Is it going to rain?
I hope not.
If I (do)... I will (do)
Ex.: If I find it, I will give it to you.
Ex.: If I go to the conference, I will present it to you.
If I (did)... I would (do)
Not thinking about a real possibility
Ex.: What would you do if you didn't receive the grant?
Ex.: He would't help me if I asked him.
Ex: I would travel if I had money.
:recycle: Might or could is also possible
Ex.: She could get a job more easily if she could speak English.
Ex.: If it stopped raining, we could go out.
Do not use when in sentences like these
To say we regret something
Something is not the way we would like it to be
Ex.: I wish it didn't rain so much in this city.
Ex.: If I were a boy... I think I could understand..
Ex.: I wish I were better in math.
Ex: I would go out if it weren't raining.
If I had (done)... I would have (done)
Ex.: If I had known that you were sick, I would have gone to see you.
Ex.: We would have gone out last night if the weather hadn't been so bad.
To complaint about the present situation
Ex.: I wish someone would answer that phone. It's been ringing for five minutes.
Ex.: The music next door is very loud. I wish they would turn it down.
Ex.: I wish you wouldn't drive so fast.
Remember habits in the past
Ex.: Whenever she was angry, she would just walk out of the room.
Do not use future after in case (use present simple instead)
I'll (do)... in case... something happens.
Ex.: I'll buy more food in case more people come.
I (did)... in case.. something happened
Ex.: I bought more food in case more people came.
In case of...
If there is...
Ex.: In case of fire, leave the building.
Ex.: He can't hear you unless you shout.
But only if
As long as
Ex.: You can use my car, as long as you drive carefully
Ex.: Provinding I study hard, I should pass the exam
Verb + -ing
stop, finish, delay, enjoy, mind, suggest, dislike, imagine, regret, admit, deny, avoid, consider, involve, practice, miss, postpone, risk
Following verb with -ing
Have you ever
to live in another country?
enjoy not having
to get up early on the weekends.
(not to dance)
give up, go on, put off, keep, keep on
Are you going to
give up smoking
me while I was speaking.
Remember doing something
after you do it
the door before I left
Try some of these tea.
Why don't you
an ad in the newspaper?
Verb + infinitive
agree, refuse, promise, threaten, offer, attempt, manage, fail, decide, plan, arrange, hope, appear, seem, pretend, afford, forget, learn, tend, need, mean, intend, like, love, hate, can't stand, can't bear, begin, start, continue
Following verb infinitive
take a taxi home.
talk too much.
lend me some money.
:warning: do not use the infinitive with
thinking of buying
a car? (
not thinking to
to the movies (
not suggested to
go to the movies)
Continuous and perfect infinitive
seem, appear, pretend
pretended to be
seem to have lost
appears to be doing
a good job.
ask, decide, know, remember, forget, explain, understand, show, tell
verb + question word
asked how to get
to the station.
decided where to
go for your vacation?
tell you what to
Remeber to do something
before you do it
remembered to lock
the door before I left
remember to mail
Try to do
Attempt to do
try to be
Verb + object + infinitive
want, ask, expect, help, would like, would prefer, tell order, remind, warn, force, invite, enable, teache, persuade, advise, encourage, allow, permit
asked him to help
would like us to com
want me to come
warned not to touch
Verb + base form
made me do
let me read
Preposition + -ing
after a preposition the verbs ends in -ing
Are you interested
I'm not very good
He went to work
in spite of feeling
This knife is only
Verb + preposition + -ing
succeeded in finding
a job yet?
feel like going
looking forward to meeting
apologized for keeping
accuse, suspect, congratulate, prevent, stop, thank, forgive, warn
verb + object + preposition + -ing
accused me of telling
prevented him from coming
Thank you for being
forgive me for not writing
to you before.
Expressions + -ing
It's no use, there's no point in, It's (not) worth, (have) difficulty/trouble, a waste of money/time, spend/waste (time)
It is no use worrying
There was no point in waiting
, so we went.
I had difficulty finding
a place to live.
Did you have any
difficulty, trouble (not difficulties, troubles)
go: shopping, climbing, swimming, sailing, skiing, riding, fishing, sightseeing
Can/Could, Be able to, Must, May/Might, Would, Should, Have to
Ex.: We can do it.
Ex.: I can speak four languages.
Ex.: I can't come tomorrow.
Ex.: I couldn't do it.
Be able to
Ex.: I have not been able to sleep recently.
Ex.: We have been able to work together.
Ex.: I should be able to meet with you tomorrow.
Managing a particular situation
Ex: Everyone was able to escape the fire.
Ex.: I was able to persuade him.
We are sure something is true
Ex.. You've been traveling all day. You must be tired.
Ex.: I made a lot of noise. You must have heard me.
Expressing feelings that something is necessary
Ex.. The government must do something about the unemployment
It is necessarary
not to do
Ex.: You mustn't tell anyone what I said.
To say something is impossible
Ex.: You've just had dinner. You can't be hungry.
:warning: Can't have
Ex.: She passed me on the street without speaking. She can't have seen me.
Ex.: The phone rang, but I didn't hear it. I can't have been awake.
Ex.. I didn't make any noise. You can't have heard me.
Something is possible
Ex.: He may be in his office.
Ex.. He might be in his office
May have, might have
Ex.: She didn't answer the doorbell. She may have been asleep.
Next vacations, I may go to Italy.
Ex.: I may be watching the game tonight.
May/Might as well
There is no reason not to do it
Ex.: We may as well go to the party. We have nothing else to do.
Ex.: We'll have to wait an hour for the next bus. We might as well walk.
Ask someone to do something
Ex.: Can you wait a moment, please?
Can I have...
Ex.: You can smoke if you like
Ex.: Would you do me a favor?
Offering or inviting
Would you like...
Ex.: Would you like a cup of coffee?
Ex.: Would you like to the movies with me tonight?
Say you want to do something
Ex.. I'd like some information about the city, please.
Ex.: I'd like to try on these ones, please.
Ex.: Could you tell me how to get to the bus station?
Could I have...
Ex.: Could I have the salt, please?
We think is a good thing to do
Ex.. You should stop smoking,
Ask or give opinion
Say something is not right or not what we expected
Ex.: The price on this package is wrong. It says 30€ but it should be 20€.
Ex.: The party was great. You should have come.
Something will probably happen
Ex.: I should be home at 8 p.m. today
Good thing to do
Ex.: It's a good movie. We ought to go and see it.
It is necessary to do something. It is a fact!
Ex.: I can't meet you on Friday. I have to work.
Questions and negatives (do)
Ex.: What do I have to do?
Ex.: I don't have to do it.
Don't have to
It's not necessary to do it
Ex.: I don't have to wear a suit to work
"I suggest you to do"
I, He, She, We, They...
...something be done about the problem.
...I rest for a few days.
...she apologize to him.
Cannot use the infititive after subjunctive
Ex.: What do you suggest I do?
(not suggest me to do)
Should is also possible
Ex.: The doctor recommended that I should rest for a few days.
Something happened regurlarly in the past but no longer happens
Ex.: I used to live in Brazil, now I live in Spain
Ex.: I've started to drink tea lately. I never used to to like it before.
You cannot say
I use to
(use simple present instead)
Ex.: I live alone
(not I use to live alone)
I am used to live alone (meaning I'm ok with it)
Did you use to...?
Did he use to...?
Did she use to...?
Did they use to...?
I didn't use to...
We didn't use to...
Do you have...?
Does he have...?
Does she have...?
Do they have...?
Did you have...?
Did he have...?
Did she have...?
Did they have...?
have breakfast, lunch, dinner, a meal, a cup of coffee, a cigarette, a drink.
have a good time, nice day.
have a look at...
have a party.
have a baby.
Do not use
to say when something happened.
I lost my keys yesterday
(not I've lost my keys yesterday)
Do not use
in expressions with all (all day, all morning, all my life, etc.).
Ex.: I've lived here all my life
(not for all my life)
Do not use
to talk about what you have already arrenged to do
Ex.: I can't meet you tomorrow because my parents are coming to see me (
not my parents will come
Only Simple Tenses Verbs:
want, need, prefer, have(meaning possess), like, love, hate, belong, see, hear, know, realize, believe, suppose, mean, understand, think (meaning believe/have an opinion), remember, forget, seem