Simple Verb Tenses

The three simple tenses are the simple present, simple past, and simple future. Verbs in simple tenses make up about 85% of spoken English. Simple tenses show actions and states at a point in time, but they aren't always specific.


Continuous Verb Tenses

We the continuous aspect (also called progressive aspect) to show that an action is in progress at a specific time. The action starts before and finishes after that specific time. The three continuous verb tenses are the present continuous, the past continuous, and the future continuous.


Perfect Verb Tenses

Perfect verb forms are generally used to show that an action is complete before another action or a point in time. The three perfect tenses are present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect.


Perfect Continuous Verb Tenses

Generally, perfect continuous verbs show that an action or situation in progress just before, and until another time or action. Often we use the perfect continuous tenses to show how long the perfect continuous action happened for (its duration). As Anna Ananichuk nicely puts it, “the perfect progressive describes the completed part of a continuous action.” The three perfect continuous tenses are present perfect continuous, past perfect continuous, and future perfect continuous.