The Twelve English Tenses

In order to become a fluent English speaker, it’s a good idea to practice the twelve tenses of English verbs until you can use them automatically. Let’s never forget that the purpose of practice is to make a skill automatic. Now that we remember that, what’s the best way to practice the twelve English tenses?

I like to use signals, or what I call cues to signal what each tense means. For example, for the present tense, I use the cue, “Today” to start my practice sentence: “Today, I walk.” Got it? Good. Let’s go.

1. Present Tense

Today, I walk.

2. Past Tense

Yesterday, I walked.

3. Future Tense

Tomorrow, I will walk.

4. Present Perfect Tense

In my life, I have walked.

5. Past Perfect Tense

Before yesterday, I had walked.

6. Future Perfect Tense

By tomorrow, I will have walked.

7. Present Continuous Tense (Present Progressive Tense)\

Right now, I am walking.

8. Past Continuous Tense

During yesterday’s parade, I was walking.

9. Future Continuous Tense

During tomorrow’s parade, I will be walking.

10. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Lately, I have been walking.

11. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Until yesterday, I had been walking.

12. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

By next week, I will have been walking.

 by John DePonte

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