Tense Chart In English | 12 Tenses in English with Examples

The tense chart gives us an overview of the types of tenses, and tense rules (tense structures). It shows us how to form a sentence in a particular tense using the tense formula or structure. Any time you have difficulty making sentences in English, you can refer to the Tense Chart in English for assistance.

Tense Chart In English With Examples

The purpose of the tense chart in English grammar is to help you remember the different types of tenses and tense structures. The tense chart ensures that you make no mistakes while making English sentences.

Here is the Tense Chart in English with Examples…

TENSE CHART WITH RULES AND EXAMPLES

Tense chart in English
Tense Chart in English with Examples

The tense chart in English is helpful for understanding how sentences are structured, but it doesn’t help you understand when to use which tense. There are other things to consider when making a sentence in a particular tense. That’s why it’s important to learn the 12 tenses in English grammar in order to speak, write, and understand English better.

It is possible to make mistakes while making sentences with a specific tense if you have not studied the tenses thoroughly. So, to avoid mistakes, you must learn all the tenses in English grammar in detail.

What is tense in English Grammar?

Tense in English grammar represents the time of an action or event. An explanation of the tenses is that they are the relationship between the form of the verb and three different concepts of time. Three concepts of time are past, present, and future.

Look at the below sentences:

  • I play tennis.
  • I played tennis.

In the first sentence, the verb is “play”, and the form of the verb is the present form (V1), so, it’s the present tense. In the second sentence, the verb is “played”, and the form of the verb is the past form (V2), so, it’s the past tense. It may be difficult for you to understand if you are unfamiliar with the verb forms. Let’s look at some of the verbs in their different forms to make it easier for you to understand.

Verb Forms

The main three forms of verbs that you need to know are:

  • Present Tense (V1)
  • Past Tense (V2)
  • Past Participle (V3)

Verbs with their three forms

Here is a list of some common verbs with their three forms.

Base formPast formPast participle
V1V2V3
arisearosearisen
awakeawokeawoken
becomebecamebecome
bitebitbitten
blowblewblown
breakbrokebroken
buildbuiltbuilt
burnburntburnt
burstburstburst
buyboughtbought
catchcaughtcaught
choosechosechosen
climbclimbedclimbed
comecamecome
cutcutcut
dealdealtdealt
drinkdrankdrunk
drivedrovedriven

Want to explore more verbs and their forms? Check out our article on Verb Forms V1 V2 V3 V4 V5 for an extensive list.

Types Of Tense

There are three types of tenses in English grammar: Present Tense, Past Tense, and Future Tense. Each Tense is further divided into four types: Indefinite Tense, Continuous Tense, Perfect Tense, and Perfect Continuous Tense. So, there are a total of 12 tenses in English grammar.

  1. Simple Present or Present Indefinite
  2. Present Continuous
  3. Present Perfect
  4. Present Perfect Continuous
  5. Simple Past or Past Indefinite
  6. Past Continuous
  7. Past Perfect
  8. Past Perfect Continuous
  9. Simple Future or Future Indefinite
  10. Future Continuous
  11. Future Perfect
  12. Future Perfect Continuous

Tense Structure – Tense Rule

You can make a sentence using various components like subject, object, verb, auxiliary verb, etc. But, these components must be in a proper order to form a correct sentence. Tense structure or Tense Rule helps us put the components in the correct order and use the proper verb form as per the tense type.

As we know there are 12 types of Tense in English grammar, therefore, we need 12 Tense structures or rules. Let’s look at the Tense chart below to understand the tense structure for all 12 types of Tense:

TENSE CHART WITH RULES AND EXAMPLES

TenseStructure/RuleExample
Simple PresentSubject + V1+s/es + ObjectShe plays tennis.
Present ContinuousSubject + is/am/are + V1 + ing + ObjectShe is playing tennis.
Present PerfectSubject + has/have + V3 + ObjectShe has played tennis.
Present Perfect ContinuousSubject + has/have been + V1 + ing + ObjectShe has been playing tennis.
Simple PastSubject + V2 + ObjectShe played tennis.
Past ContinuousSubject + was/were + V1 + ing + ObjectShe was playing tennis.
Past PerfectSubject + had + V3 + ObjectShe had played tennis.
Past Perfect ContinuousSubject + had been + V1 + ing + ObjectShe had been playing tennis.
Simple FutureSubject + will/shall + V1 + ObjectShe will play tennis.
Future ContinuousSubject + will/shall be + V1 + ing + ObjectShe will be playing tennis.
Future PerfectSubject + will/shall have + V3 + ObjectShe will have played tennis.
Future Perfect ContinuousSubject + will/shall have been + V1 + ing + ObjectShe will have been playing tennis.

Tense Chart With Rules and Examples!

12 Tenses in English with Examples

1.     Simple Present Tense

Rule: Subject + Verb (1st form) + e/es + Object

Simple Present Tense Examples:

  • We live in London.
  • He reads comic books.
  • She goes to yoga class.
  • I come here every day.
  • You work at the hospital.
  • They watch a movie on Sunday.
  • Mona sings at the club.

2.     Present Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject + is/are/am + Verb (ing) + Object

Present Continuous Tense Examples:

  • We are going to London.
  • He is reading a book.
  • She is going to a yoga class.
  • I am working.
  • You are playing.
  • They are watching a movie.
  • Mona is singing a song.

3.     Present Perfect Tense

Rule: Subject + has/have + Verb (3rd form) + Object

Present Perfect Tense Examples:

  • We have been to London.
  • He has read comic books.
  • She has done yoga.
  • I have worked here.
  • You have played well.
  • They have watched these movies.
  • Mona has sung a song.

4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject + has/have + been + Verb (ing) + Object

Present Perfect Continuous Tense Examples:

  • We have been visiting London.
  • He has been reading comic books.
  • She has been doing yoga.
  • I have been working here.
  • You have been playing all day.
  • They have been watching movies.
  • Mona has been singing a song.

5. Simple Past Tense

Rule: Subject + Verb (2nd form) + Object

Simple Past Tense Examples:

  • We lived in London.
  • He read comic books.
  • She went to yoga class.
  • I came here yesterday.
  • You worked at the hospital.
  • They watched a movie last Sunday.
  • Mona sang a song.

6. Past Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject + was/were + Verb (ing) + Object

Past Continuous Tense Examples:

  • We were going to London.
  • He was reading a book.
  • She was going to yoga class.
  • I was working.
  • You were playing.
  • They were watching a movie.
  • Mona was singing a song.

7. Past Perfect Tense

Rule: Subject + had + Verb (3rd form) + Object

Past Perfect Tense Examples:

  • We had gone to London.
  • He had read comic books.
  • She had done yoga.
  • I had worked here.
  • You had worked at the hospital.
  • They had watched these movies.
  • Mona had sung a song.

8. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject + had + been + Verb (ing) + Object

Past Perfect Continuous Tense Examples:

  • We had been visiting London.
  • He had been reading comic books.
  • She had been doing yoga.
  • I had been working here.
  • You had been playing all day.
  • They had been watching movies.
  • Mona had been singing a song.

9. Simple Future Tense

Rule: Subject + will/shall + Verb (1st form) + Object

Simple Future Tense Examples:

  • We shall live in London.
  • He will read comic books.
  • She will go to a yoga class.
  • I shall come here every day.
  • You will work at the hospital.
  • They will watch a movie on Sunday.
  • Mona will sing a song.

10. Future Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject + will/shall + be + Verb (ing) + Object

Future Continuous Tense Examples:

  • We shall be going to London.
  • He will be reading a book.
  • She will be going to yoga class.
  • I shall be working.
  • You will be playing.
  • They will be watching a movie.
  • Mona will be singing a song.

11. Future Perfect Tense

Rule: Subject + will/shall + have + Verb (3rd form) + Object

Future Perfect Tense Examples:

  • We shall have left London.
  • He will have read comic books.
  • She will have done yoga.
  • I will have worked here.
  • You will have done your work.
  • They will have watched a movie.
  • Mona will have sung a song.

12. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject + will/shall + have + been + Verb (ing ) + Object

Future Perfect Continuous Tense Examples:

  • We shall have been going to London.
  • He will have been reading comic books.
  • She will have been doing yoga.
  • I shall have been working.
  • You will have been playing.
  • They will have been watching movies.
  • Mona will have been singing a song.

FAQs

Why is tense important?

Tenses are a vital part of the English language and grammar. Tenses in English grammar help us express our past, present, and future actions and events. Without tenses, we won’t be able to describe or talk about the actions or events.

Which tense is used the most?

There is no specific answer to this question. All the 12 types of tense are important to have a good command of English grammar and language. However, our day-to-day conversations are mostly in the present tense. So, we can say that the frequency of the present tense in spoken English is higher than the other tenses.

How many tenses are there?

There are 12 types of tense in English grammar.
1.   Simple Present
2.   Present Continuous
3.   Present Perfect
4.   Present Perfect Continuous
5.   Simple Past
6.   Past Continuous
7.   Past Perfect
8.   Past Perfect Continuous
9.   Simple Future
10. Future Continuous
11. Future Perfect
12. Future Perfect Continuous

How do you identify tenses?

The verb form in the sentence can easily help you identify simple present and simple past tenses. If the verb form is the present form (V1), it’s the present tense. And, if the verb form is the past form (V2), it’s the past tense.
For example:
I go to the market. In this sentence verb “go” is in 1st form (V1), so it’s the simple present tense.
I went to the market. In this sentence verb “go” is in the 2nd form (V2), so it’s the simple past tense.
However, as there are 12 types of tense in English grammar, only the verb form may not be very helpful. You must learn the tense structure for all the 12 types of tense! You can refer to the Tense Chart for this.

What are the rules of tenses?

See the Tense Chart above.

How can I improve my tenses?

– Try to learn and remember verbs with their three verb forms (V1, V2, and V3).
– Learn all the 12 types of tense and tense structure. You can start with the Simple Present Tense.
– Follow the Tense Chart.
– Try making sentences using all the 12 tenses in English.
– Practice more and you will be comfortable using all the tenses!

30 thoughts on “Tense Chart In English | 12 Tenses in English with Examples”

  1. This is very very useful
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    Reply
    • Thank you so much Fatima for your wonderful feedback! We are thrilled to hear that our website proved to be extremely helpful for you during your exams. Your success and progress are truly our greatest rewards. Happy learning!

      Reply
    • Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciation! We’re delighted to hear that you found our website to be an easy and effective way to learn grammar. We wish you all the best on your grammar journey. Happy learning!

      Reply
        • Thank you for your comment! We appreciate your feedback and understand that learning English tenses can be challenging.

          To delve deeper into each tense, We recommend using the search box on our website. Simply type the name of the tense you’d like to explore (e.g., Simple Present Tense) to access the in-depth details and examples we’ve provided in individual posts.

          Feel free to explore at your own pace, and if you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out.

          Reply
  2. Thank you so much 😊 its very help to me. iam really struggling to learn grammar but I don’t full understand.but finallly I get this website it takes to understand only a minute.iam I appreciated you may allah protect you evil eye.

    Reply
    • Thank you for pointing that out! It appears there was a mistake in the verb list. We have fixed and updated it. We appreciate your diligence in helping us maintain accuracy. If you have any further questions or feedback, feel free to let us know.

      Reply

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