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Simple Tense

Verb tense tells you when the action happens. There are three main verb tenses: present, past, and future. Each main tense is divided into simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive tenses.

Simple Progressive Perfect Perfect Progressive
Present finish am/is/are finishing have/has finished have/has been finishing
Past finished was/were finishing had finished had been finishing
Future will finish will be finishing will have finished will have been finishing

Things to remember about simple tense:

     a. Present tense is the original verb form.
     b. Past tense has a few patterns.
     c. Future tense needs will (shall) + verb.


  • I run a marathon twice a year. (present)
  • I ran a marathon last year. (past)
  • I will run a marathon next year. (future)

  • I eat lunch in my office.
  • I ate lunch an hour ago.
  • I will eat lunch in one hour.

  • I see a movie once a week.
  • I saw a movie yesterday.
  • I will see a movie tomorrow.

  • I know it.
  • I knew it the day before yesterday.
  • I will know it by tomorrow.

  • I learn English.
  • I learned English the last two years.
  • I will learn English next year.

  • I cook my supper every night.
  • I cooked our dinner already.
  • I will cook breakfast tomorrow.

[Quiz 10.1]

Fill in the blanks with appropriate verb forms.

1) I                      a song at the concert yesterday.
2) He                      a letter to his girlfriend tomorrow.
3) I                      to the library to borrow some books this weekend.

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