Basic Forms of English Verb Tenses – Tabular View with Examples

English Verb Tenses Eduhyme

For grammarians in the ancient world, the verb was the key word in the sentence, and this view is shared by many modern grammarians too. Whether verbs are actually more important than, say nouns or adjectives might be debated, but there is no doubt that anyone who wishes to speak any language well must have a firm grasp of the verb grammar of that language.

Verbs and Tenses aims to help learners of English through the difficulties they may encounter when trying to master English verbs.

The basic forms of the English verb tenses are:

  Positive Negative Question
Present Simple Subject + verb (+ s )

  • I eat.
  • She eats toast.
Subject + do / does + not + verb

  • I don’t eat toast.
  • She doesn’t eat fish.
(Question word +) do / does + subject + verb?

  • Do you eat breakfast every day?
  • When does she eat lunch?
Present Simple with ‘be’ Subject + am / is / are

  • I am hungry.
  • She is in a cafe
Subject + am / is / are + not

  • I’m not hungry.
  • She isn’t happy
(Question word +) am / is / are + subject…?

  • Is he at home?
  • Why are you hungry?
Present Continuous Subject + am / is / are + verb-ing

  • She’s eating toast.
  • They are eating lunch now
Subject + am / is / are + not + verbing

  • He isn’t eating.
  • We are not eating at home.
(Question word +) am / is / are + subject + verb-ing?

  • When are they eating?
  • Is he eating now?
Present Perfect Subject + have / has + past participle

  • I’ve eaten breakfast.
  • He has eaten lunch
Subject + have / has + not + past participle

  • We haven’t eaten yet.
  • She hasn’t eaten the chocolate
(Question word +) have / has + subject + past participle?

  • What have you eaten today?
  • Has she eaten lunch?
Present Perfect Continuous Subject + have / has + been + verbing

  • I’ve been eating.
  • She’s been eating biscuits all day
Subject + have / has + not + been + verb-ing

  • They haven’t been eating.
  • He has not been eating toast
(Question word +) have / has + subject + been + verb-ing?

  • What has she been eating?
  • Have they been eating breakfast?
Past Simple Subject + past simple (verb +ed)

  • I ate an apple.
  • She ate some rice.
Subject + did + not + verb

  • She didn’t eat anything.
  • They did not eat breakfast
(Question word +) did + subject + verb?

  • Did you eat the chocolate?
  • What did they eat for lunch?
Past Simple with ‘be’ Subject + was / were

  • I was hungry.
  • They were in a restaurant.
Subject + was / were + not

  • We weren’t hungry.
  • She wasn’t at home.
(Question word +) was / were + subject…?

  • Why was she hungry?
  • Were you hungry?
Past Continuous Subject + was / were + verb-ing

  • I was eating.
  • They were eating lunch.
Subject + was / were + not + verbing

  • You weren’t eating.
  • She wasn’t eating a sandwich.
(Question word +) was / were + subject + verb-ing?

  • Where were you eating?
  • Was she eating an apple?
Past Perfect Subject + had + past participle

  • I had eaten.
  • She’d eaten lunch.
Subject + had + not + past participle

  • We hadn’t eaten.
  • He had not eaten an apple.
(Question word +) had + subject + past participle

  • Why had you eaten?
  • Had they eaten fish before?
Past Perfect Continuous Subject + had + been + verb-ing

  • I had been eating chocolate all day.
  • She’d been eating breakfast.
Subject + had + not + been + verbing

  • I hadn’t been eating.
  • She hadn’t been eating an apple.
(Question word +) had + subject + been + verb-ing?

  • Why had he been eating?
  • Had they been eating enough fruit?
Future Simple Subject + will + verb

  • I will eat later.
  • She will eat at home
Subject + will + not + verb

  • We won’t eat anything tonight.
  • He will not eat fish.
(Question word +) will + subject + verb?

  • What will you eat for lunch?
  • Will she eat meat?
Future Continuous Subject + will + be + verb-ing

  • I will be eating at 8pm.
  • She will be eating a sandwich.
Subject + will + not + be + verb-ing

  • They won’t be eating.
  • He will not be eating anything.
(Question word +) will + subject + be + verb-ing?

  • What will you be eating?
  • Will they be eating at 6pm?
Future Perfect Subject + will + have + past participle

  • I will have eaten lunch by 3 o’clock.
  • She’ll have eaten all the chocolate.
Subject + will + not + have + past participle

  • He won’t have eaten lunch yet.
  • They will not have eaten their sandwiches.
(Question word +) will + subject + have + past participle?

  • When will you have eaten?
  • Will she have eaten dinner by nine?
Future Perfect Continuous Subject + will + have + been + verb-ing

  • They will have been eating fruit.
  • We’ll have been eating all day.
Subject + will + not + have + been + verb-ing

  • I won’t have been eating fish.
  • They will not have been eating lunch
(Question word +) will + subject + have + been + verb-ing?

  • What will she have been eating?
  • Will you have been eating chocolate?

 You may also read:

Leave a Reply