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Present Simple

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FORM

[VERB] + s/es in third person

Examples:

  • You speak English.
  • Do you speak English?
  • You do not speak English.

USE 1 Repeated Actions

Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.

Examples:

  • play tennis.
  • She does not play tennis.
  • Does he play tennis?
  • The train leaves every morning at 8 AM.
  • The train does not leave at 9 AM.
  • When does the train usually leave?
  • She always forgets her purse.
  • He never forgets his wallet.
  • Every twelve months, the Earth circles the Sun.
  • Does the Sun circle the Earth?

USE 2 Facts or Generalizations

The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things.

Examples:

  • Cats like milk.
  • Birds do not like milk.
  • Do pigs like milk?
  • California is in America.
  • California is not in the United Kingdom.
  • Windows are made of glass.
  • Windows are not made of wood.
  • New York is a small city. It is not important that this fact is untrue.

USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near Future

Speakers occasionally use Simple Present to talk about scheduled events in the near future. This is most commonly done when talking about public transportation, but it can be used with other scheduled events as well.

Examples:

  • The train leaves tonight at 6 PM.
  • The bus does not arrive at 11 AM, it arrives at 11 PM.
  • When do we board the plane?
  • The party starts at 8 o’clock.
  • When does class begin tomorrow?

USE 4 Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

Speakers sometimes use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is happening or is not happening now. This can only be done with Non-Continuous Verbs and certain Mixed Verbs.

Examples:

  • am here now.
  • She is not here now.
  • He needs help right now.
  • He does not need help now.
  • He has his passport in his hand.
  • Do you have your passport with you?

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You only speak English.
  • Do you only speak English?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

  • Once a week, Tom cleans the car. Active
  • Once a week, the car is cleaned by Tom. Passive

 

EXERCISES AND RELATED TOPICS


17/11/2015 11:12 miprimerzarzablog #. ENGLISH No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Present Continuous

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FORM

[am/is/are + verb-ING]

Examples:

  • You are watching TV.
  • Are you watching TV?
  • You are not watching TV.

 

USE 1 Now

Use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now.

Examples:

  • You are learning English now.
  • You are not swimming now.
  • Are you sleeping?
  • am sitting.
  • am not standing.
  • Is he sitting or standing?
  • They are reading their books.
  • They are not watching television.
  • What are you doing?
  • Why aren’t you doing your homework?

USE 2 Longer Actions in Progress Now

In English, "now" can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous to say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress; however, we might not be doing it at this exact second.

Examples: (All of these sentences can be said while eating dinner in a restaurant.)

  • am studying to become a doctor.
  • am not studying to become a dentist.
  • am reading the book Tom Sawyer.
  • am not reading any books right now.
  • Are you working on any special projects at work?
  • Aren’t you teaching at the university now?

USE 3 Near Future

Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future.

Examples:

  • am meeting some friends after work.
  • am not going to the party tonight.
  • Is he visiting his parents next weekend?
  • Isn’t he coming with us tonight?

USE 4 Repetition and Irritation with "Always"

The Present Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. Notice that the meaning is like Simple Present, but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing."

Examples:

  • She is always coming to class late.
  • He is constantly talking. I wish he would shut up.
  • I don’t like them because they are always complaining.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Present Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Present.

Examples:

  • She is loving this chocolate ice cream. Not Correct
  • She loves this chocolate ice cream. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You are still watching TV.
  • Are you still watching TV?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

  • Right now, Tom is writing the letter. Active
  • Right now, the letter is being written by Tom. Passive

 

EXERCISES AND RELATED TOPICS

17/11/2015 11:15 miprimerzarzablog #. ENGLISH No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Past Simple

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FORM

[VERB+ed] or irregular verbs

Examples:

  • You called Debbie.
  • Did you call Debbie?
  • You did not call Debbie.

USE 1 Completed Action in the Past

Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.

Examples:

  • saw a movie yesterday.
  • didn't see a play yesterday.
  • Last year, I traveled to Japan.
  • Last year, I didn't travel to Korea.
  • Did you have dinner last night?
  • She washed her car.
  • He didn't wash his car.

USE 2 A Series of Completed Actions

We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.

Examples:

  • finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
  • He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.
  • Did you add flour, pour in the milk, and then add the eggs?

USE 3 Duration in Past

The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.

Examples:

  • lived in Brazil for two years.
  • Shauna studied Japanese for five years.
  • They sat at the beach all day.
  • They did not stay at the party the entire time.
  • We talked on the phone for thirty minutes.
  • A: How long did you wait for them?
    B: We waited for one hour.

USE 4 Habits in the Past

The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used to." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.

Examples:

  • studied French when I was a child.
  • He played the violin.
  • He didn't play the piano.
  • Did you play a musical instrument when you were a kid?
  • She worked at the movie theater after school.
  • They never went to school, they always skipped class.

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You just called Debbie.
  • Did you just call Debbie?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

  • Tom repaired the car. Active
  • The car was repaired by Tom. Passive

 

EXERCISES AND RELATED TOPICS

17/11/2015 11:15 miprimerzarzablog #. ENGLISH No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Past Continuous

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FORM

[was/were + verb-ING]

Examples:

  • You were studying when she called.
  • Were you studying when she called?
  • You were not studying when she called.

USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Past

Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.

Examples:

  • was watching TV when she called.
  • When the phone rang, she was writing a letter.
  • While we were having the picnic, it started to rain.
  • What were you doing when the earthquake started?
  • was listening to my iPod, so I didn’t hear the fire alarm.
  • You were not listening to me when I told you to turn the oven off.
  • While John was sleeping last night, someone stole his car.
  • Sammy was waiting for us when we got off the plane.
  • While I was writing the email, the computer suddenly went off.
  • A: What were you doing when you broke your leg?
    B: I was snowboarding.

USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption

In USE 1, described above, the Past Continuous is interrupted by a shorter action in the Simple Past. However, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.

Examples:

  • Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
  • At midnight, we were still driving through the desert.
  • Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.

IMPORTANT

In the Simple Past, a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. In the Past Continuous, a specific time only interrupts the action.

Examples:

  • Last night at 6 PM, I ate dinner.
    I started eating at 6 PM.
  • Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
    I started earlier; and at 6 PM, I was in the process of eating dinner.

USE 3 Parallel Actions

When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.

Examples:

  • was studying while he was making dinner.
  • While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television.
  • Were you listening while he was talking?
  • wasn’t paying attention while I was writing the letter, so I made several mistakes.
  • What were you doing while you were waiting?
  • Thomas wasn’t working, and I wasn’t working either.
  • They were eating dinner, discussing their plans, and having a good time.

USE 4 Atmosphere

In English, we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past.

Example:

  • When I walked into the office, several people were busily typing, some were talking on the phones, the boss was yelling directions, and customers were waiting to be helped. One customer was yelling at a secretary and waving his hands. Others were complaining to each other about the bad service.

USE 5 Repetition and Irritation with "Always"

The Past Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happened in the past. The concept is very similar to the expression "used to" but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing."

Examples:

  • She was always coming to class late.
  • He was constantly talking. He annoyed everyone.
  • I didn’t like them because they were always complaining.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Past Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Past.

Examples:

  • Jane was being at my house when you arrived. Not Correct
  • Jane was at my house when you arrived. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You were just studying when she called.
  • Were you just studying when she called?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

  • The salesman was helping the customer when the thief came into the store. Active
  • The customer was being helped by the salesman when the thief came into the store. Passive

 

EXERCISES AND RELATED TOPICS

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1st Conditional

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  • Conditional tenses describe the result of something that might happen (in the present or future) or might have happened but didn’t (in the past).

 

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2nd Conditional

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