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English Tenses Cheatsheet by Mind Map: English Tenses
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English Tenses Cheatsheet



Use, Facts and generalization, The government steals public money everyday, Habits and routines, I don't eat breakfast in the morning, Permanent situations, State verbs (eg. be, have, think, know), Fixed/official arrangement that we can´t change

Form, Subject + verb, I learn English every day, Subject + auxiliary verb + not + verb, They don't live in New York anymore, Auxiliary verb + subject + verb, Does he learn English everyday?


Use, Activities or Situations, happening around now, in progress now, incomplete, temporary, Future (personal) arrangements, Mike is preparing to eat his big chicken

Form, Subject + auxiliary verb to be + verb + ing, He is getting married this month, Subject + auxiliary verb + not + verb + ing, We aren't waiting for my uncle, Auxiliary verb + subject + verb + ing, Is she eating my cake now?


Use, Actions, which happened at indefinite (unknown) time before now, in the past which have an effect in the present moment, which began in the past and continue in the present

Form, Subject + have/has + past participle, I have bought new shades, Subject + haven´t/hasn´t + past participle, He hasn't taken any drug for two years, Have/has + subject + past participle, Where has she lived for the past 21 years?

Perfect Continuous

Use, Actions, that started in the past and continue in the present, that have recently stopped


Form, Subject + has/have + been + verb + ing, We've been waiting for a good offer to buy a car since March, Subject + hasn´t/haven´t + been + verb + ing, John hasn't been using his A drive for a long time, Has/have + Subject + been + verb + ing, Has Tom been walking the dog?



Use, Promises, [use example], Unplanned actions (spontaneous decisions), [use example], Predictions based on experience or intuition, [use example], Habits, She will always greet you.

Form, Subject + will + verb, I think he will regret his choice, Subject + won´t + verb, I won't take any equipment with me, Will + subject + verb, Will he be angry when he sees me?


Use, Future actions in progress, [use example], Guesses about the present or the future, [use example], Polite questions about somebody´s intentions, Will you be coming home?

Form, Subject + will + be + verb + ing, This time next week, I will be throwing a party., Subject + won´t + be + verb + ing, I won't be learning English tomorrow at this time., Will + subject + be + verb + ing, Will she be cooking when we knock at the door?


Use, Actions that will be finished before some point in the future, I read 40 pages a day. If I keep up the pace, I will have read the book by Tuesday.

Form, Subject + will + have + past participle, They will have graduated from Cambridge by July 2009., Subject + won´t + have + past participle, They won't have graduated from Cambridge by July 2009., Will + subject + have + past participle, Will I have retired by the end of the year?

Perfect Continuous

Use, Actions that will be in progress at a definite moment in the future., By tomorrow I will have been saving money for a new house for 4 years.

Form, Subject + will + have + been + verb + ing, We will have been driving 6 hours by the time I get home., Subject + won´t + have + been + verb + ing, She won't have been writing the book for four months by the end of October., Will + subject + have + been + verb + ing, How long will you have been learning German in July?



Use, [use description 1], [use example], [use description 2], [use example]

Form, [positive form], [positive example], [negative form], [negative example], [question form], [question example]



Use, Events in the past that are now finished, I went to school, Situation in the past, They lived a normal life unitl they won a lottery, A series of actions in the past, He entered a room, lit a cigarette and smiled at the guests

Form, Subject + verb + ed or irregular form, I lived in New York for 10 years, Subject + auxiliary verb + not + verb, I wasn't at my grandma's when you came, Auxiliary verb + subject + verb, How long did he work there?


Use, Actions in progress, [use example], Interrupted actions in progress, [use example], Actions in progress at the same time in the past, [use example], Irritation, [use example], Timid / Polite question, I was wondering if you could carry my bag.

Form, Subject + auxiliary verb was/were + verb + ing, We were all thinking about our holidays., Subject + auxiliary verb wasn´t/weren´t + verb + inbg, He asked me why I wasn't having dinner at the hotel., Auxiliary verb was/were + subject + verb + ing, Was she going to the theater when it started raining?


Use, A completed action before another activity in the past, [use example], Third conditional sentences, [use example], Reported speech, [use example], Dissatisfaction with the past, [use example]

Form, Subject + auxiliary verb had + past participle, My mum asked me whether I had visited grandma the previous day., Subject + auxiliary verb hadn´t + past participle, If I hadn't taken my keys from the drawer, I would be able to get into my house., Auxiliary verb had + subject + past participle, Had they had any pet before they bought the giraffe?

Perfect Continuous

Use, Duration of a past action up to a certain point in the past, [use example], Third conditional sentences, [use example], Reported speech, [use example]

Form, Subject + had + been + verb + ing, I had been running for an hour when it started raining., Subject + hadn´t + been + verb + ing, If it hadn't been raining, we would have played football., Had + subject + been + verb + ing, How long had the player been playing before he scored?

authored by @lfcipriani

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