Basic Verb Tenses

English Verb Tenses – The Basic Three

I’m going to keep this really simple so that you can concentrate more on your message, and less on grammar.
There are many different verb forms, but you can manage with just three to begin with.
In this section I’m going to deal with these simple scenarios.

1. Talking about what happened in the past
2. Talking about what is happening now
3. Talking about what is going to happen in the future

1. Talking about what happened in the past
(use the past tense)

Yesterday, I drove to Seinäjoki. I came home late.
I made some dinner and then I watched TV.
At 10 o’clock I went to bed.
When I was young I studied business at college.
I learned to ride a bike when I was five.
I learned to swim when I was ten.
I started work at this company thirteen years ago.

2. Talking about what is happening now
(use the present continuous)

Today I am working at the office.
I am sitting at my computer right now, writing this.
It is cold outside, but it is not snowing.
In the next classroom, my colleague is teaching a group.
The cleaner is working her way down the corridor.
She is wiping the tables and sweeping the floors.
The traffic on the bypass is making a lot of noise.

3. Talking about what will happen in the future
(use ‘will’ + the present simple or continuous)

Tomorrow, I will be working in the office again.
I will walk to work, instead of using the car.
I will sit at my computer, writing something else.
I hope it will not be snowing when I go home.
My colleague will be teaching again.
The cleaner will be cleaning again.
She will be wiping the tables and sweeping the floors.

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