Actions, events, or states that are true, in general



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Present time frame





Actions, events, or states that are true, in general

Something that is true now for stative (non-action) verbs

Actions, events, or states that happen habitually

Narration of past events in sequence (often a story)

Simple present

















Temporary states or actions that are not finished yet

Something happening now or in the extended present for action verbs

Repetition or duration. (with “always” or “constantly”, it indicates something annoying or shocking)

Present progressive






















Something beginning in the past and continuing to the present. Often used with

for” + a length of time or “since” + a starting point




A general completed action or experience up to now in life (something in one’s “bag of life experiences”)

A recently completed event or state, often with

  • already” (statement)

  • still”

  • yet” (question)

  • recently”

  • just” (very recent)

Present perfect
























Something beginning in the past and continuing to the present that is temporary or not finished yet






Present perfect progressive







Future Time Frame



A promise or unplanned future action made at the moment of speaking

A planned future action

A prediction or guess

will”


No




be going to”

No



[Gives the idea of a prior plan.]






Future progressive

No



[Seems more in the future, could change.]



No

Present progressive

No



[Seems closer to the present, quite sure.]



No

Simple present

No



[This is a fixed schedule, seems very sure, won’t change.]



No





A future action that is in an adverb clause




Simple present

















An action in progress at a specific time in the future, an interrupted action, or two actions happening at the same time.

Used to express the duration of some future action, usually with “for” + a length of time.

Future progressive
















An action, state, or event that will happen before a certain time in the future, often with

by + a certain time or

by the time + clause

The duration of a future event for stative verbs.

Future perfect


















An action, state, or event that began before a certain time in the future and isn’t finished yet, often with “for” + a length of time




Future perfect progressive





Past time frame




A general truth or habit in the past (often with an adverb of frequency)


A definite, single, completed action or state in the past

Simple past
















An action in progress (not finished) at a specific time in the past



Past progressive














An action, event or state completed before a certain time in the past, often with “by the time”, “when”, “before”, “after”, and “because”


Past perfect














An action (continuous or repeated) that began before another past event and that was temporary or not finished yet


Past perfect progressive













Use “was/were going to” or “would” + base form of the verb to describe an action, event, or state that was planned or expected in the past



Future in the past











Use “used to” + base form of the verb to show habitual action, event, state, location, or possession in the past

Use “would” + base form of the verb to express actions, habits, events, and predictable behaviours that occurred regularly during a period in the past.

Past habits, states, locations








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