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Technical English - ESLI-595: Verb Tenses

Welcome! In this guide, you will find resources to support your studies in ESLI 595. Use the tabs and drop-down menus to navigate this guide.

DEFINITION

VERB TENSE: Indicates the timeframe in which an action or state of being is occuring (present tense), occured (past tense), or will occur (future tense). 

Irregular Verbs

Past tense of regular verbs are formed by adding -ed to the base of the verb. However, many verbs in english are formed irregularly. See the table for examples. For an extensive list of irregular verbs, see the link below. 

Base Past Past Participle
be was, were been
become became  become
break broke broken
wake woke woken
grow grew grown
run ran run
see saw seen 

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs (also known as helping verbs) are used in combination with main verbs to indicate varying degrees of time and mood. Auxiliary verbs include: 

  • must
  • may
  • might
  • can
  • could
  • should
  • would
  • have
  • will
  • must 

Practice

Although these games and quizzes are designed for K-12 students, they provide very useful practice with immediate feedback. 

Present Tense

The present tense is used to indicate an action or a state of being that is occuring at the present time. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I schedule an appointment.  We schedule an appointment.
2nd Person You schedule an appointment.  You schedule an appointment.
3rd Person She schedules an appointment.  They schedule an appointment.

 

Present Progressive Tense

The present progressive tense indicates an action that is occuring at present. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I am completing the assignment.  We are completing the assignment. 
2nd Person You are completing the assignment.  You are completing the assignment. 
3rd Person She is completing the assignment. 
They are completing the assignment. 

Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is used to indicate an event or state of being which began in the past but has continued into the present. Note that the present perfect tense utilizes auxiliary verbs. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I have been painting for twenty-five years.  We have been painting for twenty-five years. 
2nd Person You have been painting for twenty-five years.  You have been painting for twenty-five years. 
3rd Person She has been painting for twenty-five years.  They have been painting for twenty-five years. 

 

Past Tense

The past tense is used to indicate an action or a state of being that occured prior to the present time. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I scheduled an appointment.  We scheduled an appointment.
2nd Person You scheduled an appointment.  You scheduled an appointment.
3rd Person She scheduled an appointment.  They scheduled an appointment.

Past Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is used to indicate an event or state of being which began and ended in the past prior to another event in the past. Note that the present perfect tense utilizes auxiliary verbs. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I had been working at a law firm before I switched careers.  We had been working at a law firm before we switched careers
2nd Person You had been working at a law firm before you switched careers. You  had been working at a law firm before you switched careers. 
3rd Person She had been working at a law firm before she switched careers. They  had been working at a law firm before they switched careers 

Future Tense

Future tense is used to indicate an action or state of being that will occur in the future. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I shall walk to the beach tomorrow.  We shall walk to the beach tomorrow. 
2nd Person You will walk to the beach tomorrow.  You will walk to the beach tomorrow. 
3rd Person She will walk to the beach tomorrow.  They will walk to the beach tomorrow.

Future Progressive Tense

The future progressive tense is used to indicate an on-going action that will occur at some point in the future. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I will be drafting my dissertation next semester.  We will be drafting our dissertations next semester.  
2nd Person You will be drafting your dissertation next semester.  You will be drafting your dissertations next semester. 
3rd Person She will be drafting her dissertation next semester. 
They will be drafting their dissertations next semester.

Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense is used to indicate an action or state of being that has not yet occured but will occur and be completed by a set time in the future. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I shall have completed my assignment by tomorrow morning.  We shall have completed our assignment by tomorrow morning. 
2nd Person You will have completed your assignment by tomorrow morning. You will have completed your assignment by tomorrow morning.
3rd Person She will have completed her assignment by tomorrow morning. They will have completed their assignment by tomorrow morning.

Past Progressive

The past progressive tense is used to indicate an occurance that was on-going at some time during the past. 

  Singular Plural
1st Person I was eating dinner when the doorbell rang.  We were eating dinner when the doorbell rang. 
2nd Person You were eating dinner when the doorbell rang.  You were eating dinner when the doorbell rang. 
3rd Person She was eating dinner when the doorbell rang.  They were eating dinner when the doorbell rang. 
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