Very often we can hear the students' complaints about difficulty in using verb tenses in English. And they are right. English language has got a lot of verb forms. But we shouldn't memorise all of them. We just have to understand the system of verb forms. Let's look at this table:
In the first line you can see the formulas for making the verb forms (to be Ving, to have V3, to have beenVing) and you have to memorise them. Changing the forms of the auxiliary verbs (to be,to have) you'll get all the tense forms.
It's really easy!
NOTE In this table V is a symbol for a verb.
V2 and V3 are the forms of the irregular verbs.
In our example they are drink (V)- drank (V2)- drunk (V3)
He drinks./ he drank. /he will drink
He is drinking ./ he was drinking./ He will be drinking.
He has drank. / He had drank. / He will be drank.
He has been drinking./ He had been drinking./ He will have been drinking.
Meanings of the groups
- The Simple verbs just name the action in present, past or future,
- The Continuous verbs express unfinished action in present ,past or future
- The Perfect verbs ,conversely, express the finished action in present,past and future and show its result.
- Perfect-Continuous emphasises the duration of an action which started in the past and continues till the moment in present, past or future.
Hope, this table of adverbs and time expressions will help you
to overcome the difficulties connecting with the recognizing tense forms of English verbs.
Certainly, each of the tense forms of English verbs has some peculiarities of using. But step by step we'll learn all of them.