Uses of English verb forms

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Tense Form Uses Example Sentences
Present Simple[1] Verb + s/es in third person. Repeated actions.
Facts or generalizations.
Scheduled events in the near future.
Now (non-continuous verbs).
I play football.
Cats like milk.
The match starts at 2 o'clock.
I am here now.
Present Continuous[2] Am/is/are + present participle. Now.
Longer actions in progress now.
Near future.
Repetition and irritation with "always".
I am sitting.
I am studying to become a doctor.
I am meeting some friends after work.
She is always coming to class late.
Past Simple[3] Verb + ed, or irregular verbs. Completed action in the past.
A series of completed actions.
Duration in the past.
Habits in the past.
Past facts or generalizations.
I saw a movie yesterday.
I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
I lived in Brazil for two years.
I studied French when I was a child.
She was shy as a child, but now she is very outgoing.
Past Continuous[4] Was/were + present participle. Interrupted action in the past.
Specific time as an interruption.
Parallel actions.
Atmosphere.
Repetition and irritation with "always".
I was watching TV when she called.
Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
I was studying while he was making dinner.
?
She was always coming to class late.
Present Perfect[5] Has/have + past participle. Unspecified time before now.
Duration from the past until now (non-continuous verbs).
I have seen that movie twenty times.
I have had a cold for two weeks.
Present Perfect Continuous[6] Has/have + been + present participle. Duration from the past until now.
Recently, lately.
They have been talking for the last hour.
Recently, I have been feeling really tired.
Past Perfect[7] Had + past participle. Completed action before something in the past.
Duration before something in the past (non-continuous verbs).
You had studied English before you moved to New York.
By the time Alex finished his studies, he had been in London for over eight years.
Past Perfect Continuous[8] Had been + present participle. Duration before something in the past.
Cause of something in the past.
They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.
Jason was tired because he had been jogging.
Simple Future[9] Will + verb.
Am/is/are + going to + verb.
"Will" to express a voluntary action.
"Will" to express a promise.
"Be going to" to express a plan.
"Will" or "be going to" to express a prediction.
I will send you the information when I get it.
I will call you when I arrive.
He is going to spend his vacation in Hawaii.
The year 2222 will be a very interesting year.

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