Tense Tables – All 12 Tenses on One Page


The other day during class I wrote a table of the conjugation of four tenses in positive, negative and question forms on the board. The students enjoyed the visual overview of all tenses side by side which allowed them to see the minor differences between the various tenses quickly. At the end of the lesson, Tarsis (an English learning pilot from Brazil) asked me for the chart. What a great idea! I’ve put together these tense tables of all 12 tenses – 13 if you count the future with ‘going to’ – in the positive, negative and question form on one page. Another great way to review tenses is to use the visual tense charts providing time clues to usage. FInally, you can also get an overview of all the tenses and the relation to past, present and future by using this tense timeline.

This timeline tenses chart provides a handy reference sheet to English tenses and their relationship to one another and the past, present and future. Conjugated verbs are highlighted in bold. Tenses which are rarely used in everyday conversation are marked by an asterik (*).

 

TIMELINE

SIMPLE ACTIVE SIMPLE PASSIVE PROGRESSIVE / CONTINUOUS ACTIVE PROGRESSIVE / CONTINUOUS PASSIVE
PAST TIME
^
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She had already eaten when I arrived. The painting had been sold twice before it was destroyed.
^
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PAST PERFECT
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had been waiting for four hours when he finally arrived. The house had been being painted for over a month before they began to decorate the interior. *
bought a new car last week. The book was written in 1876 by Frank Smith.
^
|
PAST
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|
was watching TV when she arrived. The problem was being solved when I arrived late for class.
She has lived in California for many years. The company has been managed by Fred Jones for the last two years.
^
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PRESENT PERFECT
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She has been working at Johnson’s for six months. The students have been being taught for the last four hours. *
He works five days a week. Those shoes are made in Italy.
^
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PRESENT
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am working at the moment. The work is being doneby Jim.

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PRESENT MOMENT
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FUTURE INTENTION
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V
They are going to fly to New York tomorrow. The reports are going to be completed by the marketing department.
The sun will shine tomorrow. The food will be brought later.
|
FUTURE SIMPLE
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V
She will be teachingtomorrow at six o’clock. The rolls will be being baked at two. *
will have completed the course by the end of next week. The project will have been finishedby tomorrow afternoon.
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FUTURE PERFECT
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V
She will have been workinghere for two years by the end of next month. The house will have been being built for six months by the time they finish. *
FUTURE TIME
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V

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