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How to choose your English tenses

Using the correct tense and verb form is important in English grammar. Here's a simple rule to help you choose which tense to use – which tense you use depends on how you see the event or action.

Routine or permanent situations

– use the simple form. For example, "I live in London" tells you that "live" is true all the time – London is my home.

"I lived in the countryside when I was a child" – this was a long-term situation in the past.

Temporary or continuing situations

– use the continuous form. For example, "I'm working as a secretary at the moment" – the job isn't permanent and maybe I'm doing it for a while until I get another job.

"House prices are rising" – they are continuing to rise and haven't stopped rising yet.

"She was wearing a black dress" – she put it on before I saw her and she still wore it after I saw her – wearing the dress continued over a period of time.

Connecting different times

– use the perfect form to show that one event was completed before another, or to show that one situation continues from one time to another.

For example, "I have lived here for two years" – I started to live here two years ago and I still live here.

"I will have finished the report before next week" – some time before next week, but I don't know exactly when.

"He had studied law before he met her" – he studied law before he met her, but we don't know when.




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12 comments

narjess
thank you very much it's really helpful
Sami
Thank you +1
Nari
Thanks, the article help a lot! it becomes more easier for me to understand the uses of english tenses after reading this.
Tina
Thank you +1
Magic
Thx a+++
saima
its realy helpful.
aqsa
nice
aqsa
its very good for students
aqsa
good
Kimpindi
very clear. Thanks
kamil
it is avery good lessson for learing english
James Carter
Thank you for the help.!

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