Tense Chart In English | 12 Tenses in English with Examples

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Verb Tense Chart In English

A tense chart in English provides a clear and systematic overview of the different types of tenses. It makes it easier for learners to grasp the tense rules, structure, and uses. You can use a tense chart as a quick reference guide when writing or speaking. It can help you choose the correct tense for expressing specific meanings.

Tense Chart In English With Examples

Below is a tense chart in English outlining various tenses. This chart includes tense structure and examples to illustrate how each tense is used in context.

TenseTense StructureExample
Present SimpleSubject + Verb (base form)She eats an apple every day.
Present ContinuousSubject + am/is/are + Verb (-ing form)They are playing football right now.
Present PerfectSubject + have/has + Past ParticipleHe has finished his homework.
Present Perfect ContinuousSubject + have/has been + Verb (-ing form)She has been studying for two hours.
Past SimpleSubject + Verb (past form)I visited Paris last summer.
Past ContinuousSubject + was/were + Verb (-ing form)Rita was reading a book when the phone rang.
Past PerfectSubject + had + Past ParticipleThey had already left when I arrived.
Past Perfect ContinuousSubject + had been + Verb (-ing form)He had been waiting for an hour before the bus finally came.
Future SimpleSubject + will + Verb (base form)We will go to the beach tomorrow.
Future ContinuousSubject + will be + Verb (-ing form)At this time tomorrow, they will be traveling to London.
Future PerfectSubject + will have + Past ParticipleBy next year, she will have finished her degree.
Future Perfect ContinuousSubject + will have been + Verb (-ing form)I will have been waiting for two hours by the time you arrive.
This tense chart provides a concise overview of the forms and usage of each tense in English.

Learning about English verb tenses from a chart helps us see how sentences are put together. However, only the tense chart is not good enough to know when to use each tense. There is more to it than that. That is why it is important to learn all the verb tenses in English grammar.  

What is tense in English Grammar?

Tense in English grammar refers to the form of a verb. It indicates the time when an action, or event occurs. Tense helps us understand the timing of actions in relation to the present, past, or future.

Key Components of Tense:

  1. Time Reference: Tenses indicate whether an action happened in the past, is happening in the present, or will occur in the future.
  2. Verb Forms: Each tense has specific forms of verbs that change based on the time frame of the action.
  3. Aspect: Some tenses also convey the duration or completion status of the action. It is known as aspect. The continuous aspects indicate ongoing actions. And, the perfect aspects indicate actions that are completed.

Verb Forms

In English grammar, verbs change their forms to specify tense, aspect, mood, voice, and agreement with the subject. To use tenses correctly, you need to understand the different forms of verbs. 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

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 Tenses

There are three main types of tenses based on the time frame of the action: past, present, and future. Each type is further subdivided into four different tenses.

So, there are a total of 12 tenses in English grammar. Each tense serves a specific purpose in expressing actions or events. By understanding each type of tense you can communicate about time-related situations. Here are the types of tenses:

PresentSimple Present or Present Indefinite
Present Continuous
Present Perfect
Present Perfect Continuous
PastSimple Past or Past Indefinite
Past Continuous
Past Perfect
Past Perfect Continuous
FutureSimple Future or Future Indefinite
Future Continuous
Future Perfect
Future Perfect Continuous
Types of tenses in English grammar

Verb Tense Chart with Rules and Examples

Tense Chart in English with Examples
Tense Chart in English with Examples

Tense Rules

In English grammar, understanding the tense rules is important for effective communication. These rules help us determine which tense to use in different situations.

English verb tenses can be complex at times. But, there are some basic rules to follow when selecting the appropriate tense. Here are some key verb tense rules to keep in mind:

Rule 1: Use the present simple tense to describe habits, routines, facts, or things that are generally true. Example: I visit the museum every Saturday.

Rule 2: Use the present continuous tense while describing actions happening at the moment of speaking. Example: They are studying for their exams right now.

Rule 3: Use the present perfect tense to describe actions that happened recently, or are connected to the present. Example: He has just submitted his assignment.

Rule 4: Use the past simple tense to describe actions that happened at a specific time in the past, and are now completed. Example: They bought a house last year.

Rule 5: Use the past continuous tense to describe actions that were happening at a specific time in the past. Example: I was cooking when they came.

Rule 6: Use the past perfect tense to describe actions completed before another past action or a specific point in the past. Example: The guests had already left when I arrived.

Rule 7: Use the future simple tense to describe actions that will happen in the future. Example: We will meet at the restaurant tomorrow.

Rule 8: Use the future continuous tense to describe actions that will be happening at a specific time in the future. Example: They will be traveling to London at this time tomorrow.

Rule 9: Use the future perfect tense while describing actions that will be completed before a specific point or event in the future. Example: My daughter will have finished her degree by next year.

Verb Tenses in English with Examples

Present SimpleI eatI do not eat / I don’t eatDo I eat?
He/she/it eatsHe/she/it does not eat / He/she/it doesn’t eatDoes he/she/it eat?
They eatThey do not eat / They don’t eatDo they eat?
Present ContinuousI am eatingI am not eatingAm I eating?
He/she/it is eatingHe/she/it is not eatingIs he/she/it eating?
They are eatingThey are not eating / They aren’t eatingAre they eating?
Present PerfectI have eatenI have not eaten / I haven’t eatenHave I eaten?
He/she/it has eatenHe/she/it has not eaten / He/she/it hasn’t eatenHas he/she/it eaten?
They have eatenThey have not eaten / They haven’t eatenHave they eaten?
Past SimpleI ateI did not eat / I didn’t eatDid I eat?
He/she/it ateHe/she/it did not eat / He/she/it didn’t eatDid he/she/it eat?
They ateThey did not eat / They didn’t eatDid they eat?
Past ContinuousI was eatingI was not eatingWas I eating?
He/she/it was eatingHe/she/it was not eatingWas he/she/it eating?
They were eatingThey were not eating / They weren’t eatingWere they eating?
Past PerfectI had eatenI had not eaten / I hadn’t eatenHad I eaten?
He/she/it had eatenHe/she/it had not eaten / He/she/it hadn’t eatenHad he/she/it eaten?
They had eatenThey had not eaten / They hadn’t eatenHad they eaten?
Future SimpleI will eatI will not eat / I won’t eatWill I eat?
He/she/it will eatHe/she/it will not eat / He/she/it won’t eatWill he/she/it eat?
They will eatThey will not eat / They won’t eatWill they eat?
Future ContinuousI will be eatingI will not be eatingWill I be eating?
He/she/it will be eatingHe/she/it will not be eatingWill he/she/it be eating?
They will be eatingThey will not be eating / They won’t be eatingWill they be eating?
Future PerfectI will have eatenI will not have eaten / I won’t have eatenWill I have eaten?
He/she/it will have eatenHe/she/it will not have eaten / He/she/it won’t have eatenWill he/she/it have eaten?
They will have eatenThey will not have eaten / They won’t have eatenWill they have eaten?
Tense Chart With Rules and Examples!


Why is tense important?

Tenses are a vital part of English grammar and language. Tenses in English grammar help us express our past, present, and future actions. 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 tenses are important for 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?

In English, there are 12 tenses: four simple tenses (present simple, past simple, future simple, and future perfect), four continuous tenses (present continuous, past continuous, future continuous, and future perfect continuous), and four perfect tenses (present perfect, past perfect, future perfect, and future perfect continuous).

How do you identify tenses?

To identify the tense in a sentence, look at the form of the verb and the auxiliary verbs (if any) used. Check the time reference of the action or event, and match it with the corresponding tense. For example: “They were watching TV when I arrived.” (The auxiliary verb “were” + present participle “watching” indicates an action in progress in the past.)

What are the rules of tenses?

Tenses in English follow specific rules for their formation and usage. Some key rules include:
– Using the base form of the verb for the present simple tense.
– Adding “-ed” for regular verbs to form the past simple tense.
– Using auxiliary verbs “have/has” with past participles for present perfect tense.
– Using time expressions like “yesterday,” “last week,” or “tomorrow” to indicate specific time frames.

How can I improve my tenses?

Practice writing sentences and paragraphs using various tenses. Engage in conversations or language exercises that focus on tense usage.

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

  1. This is very very useful
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    • 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!

    • 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!

        • 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.

  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.

    • 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.


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