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English Grammar – Simple Present


Form of Simple Present
 P: He speaks.
 N: He does not speak.
 Q: Does he speak?

Use of Simple Present


Simple Present is used for actions and situations in the present.

 Facts and situations in the present

Expresses a fact or given situation.

Examples:

Our secretary works very hard.


I do not agree with you.

 Actions in the present

Actions that take place never, once, several times or regularly. (see also: signal words)

Beispiele:

Mister Brown never attends a meeting. He always sends me.

 Actions set by a timetable or schedule

Actions in the future that we cannot influence, as their course is set by a timetable or
schedule.

Examples:

The train leaves at 6:24.


The conference starts at 9:30.

Signal Words of Simple Present


always, every …, never, normally, often, seldom, sometimes, usually If Clause Type I (If I talk …)

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Simple Present (Present Simple) - Introduction
Simple present is also called present simple.

The simple present expresses an action in the present taking place once, never or several times.
It is also used for actions that take place one after another and for actions that are set by a
timetable or schedule. The simple present also expresses facts in the present.

Simple Present - Form


be
Use:

 am with the personal pronoun II


 is with the personal pronouns he, she or it (or with the singular form of nouns)
 are with the personal pronouns we, you or they (or with the plural form of nouns)

Example: I am hungry.

affirmative negative question

I I am. I am not. Am I?

he/she/it He is. He is not. Is he?

you/we/they You are. You are not. Are you?

Exercise on simple present with 'be'

have
Use:

 have with the personal pronouns I, you, we und they (or with the plural form of nouns)

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 has with the personal pronouns he, she, it (or with the singular form of nouns)

Example: I have a dog. / I have got a dog.

'have got' is mainly used in British English. You can also use 'have' on its own (especially in
American English). In this case, however, you must form negative sentences and questions with
the auxiliary verb 'do' (see 'All other verbs').

positive negative question

I/you/we/they I have got. / I have. I have not got. / I do not Have I got? / Do I have?
have.

he/she/it He has got. / He has. He has not got. / He does not Has he got? / Does he
have. have?

Exercise on simple present with 'have got'

Exercise on simple present with 'have' + 'do'

All other verbs


Use:

 the infinite verb (play) with the personal pronouns I, you, we and they (or with the plural
form of nouns)
 the verb + s (plays) with the personal pronouns he, she, it (or with the singular form of
nouns)

affirmative negative question

I/you/we/they I play. I do not play. Do I play?

he/she/it He plays. He does not play. Does he play?

Tips on how to form negative sentences and questions

Negative sentences and questions are formed with the auxiliary verb 'do'.

Animation on negative sentences and questions

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The 3rd person singular of 'do' is 'does'. This means that in negative sentences
and questions the 's' of the main verb is placed behind 'do'.

Present Progressive - Introduction


The present progressive puts emphasis on the course or duration of an action.

The present progressive is used for actions going on in the moment of speaking and for actions
taking place only for a short period of time. It is also used to express development and actions
that are arranged for the near future.

Present progressive is also known as present continuous.

Present Progressive - Form


Use a form of to be and the infinite verb plus -ing.

Animation: form

Use:

 am with the personal pronoun I


 is with the personal pronouns he, she or it (or the singular form of nouns)
 are with the personal pronouns you, we, they (or the plural form of nouns)

affirmative negative question

I I am playing. I am not playing. Am I playing?

he, she, it He is playing. He is not playing. Is he playing?

you, we, they You are playing. You are not playing. Are you playing?

Tips on how to form negative sentences and questions

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Animation: negative sentences and questions

In negative sentences, we put not between the form of be and the verb.

In questions, we simply swop the places of subject and the form of be.

English Grammar – Simple Past


Exercise on Simple Past

Form of Simple Past


 P: He spoke.
 N: He did not speak.
 Q: Did he speak?

Use of Simple Past


Simple Past is used for actions and situations in the past.

 Facts and situations in the past

Expresses a fact or given situation in the past.

Beispiele:

Our secretary worked very hard.


I did not agree with you.

 Actions in the past

Actions in the past that took place never, once, several times or regularly. (see also: signal
words)

Examples:

Mister Brown never attended any meeting. He always sent me.

 Actions taking place one after another

Actions in the past that took place one after the other.

Examples:

Mister Sanders came into the office, checked his mailbox and went straight to the briefing.
What a horrible day: first my computer crashed, then our best customer cancelled their order
and on my way home my car broke down.

 Actions taking place in the middle of another action

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(Sudden) action that took place in the middle of another action. (see also: Past Progressive)

Examples:

I was sitting in a meeting, when my mobile suddenly rang.


When I came in, John was playing solitaire.

Signal Words of Simple Past


yesterday, 2 minutes ago, in 1990, the other day, last Friday, If Clause Type II (If I talked, …)

Simple Past (Past Simple)


Exercises on Simple Past

The simple past expresses an action in the past taking place once, never, several times. It can
also be used for actions taking place one after another or in the middle of another action.

Form of Simple Past

Positive Negative Question

no differences I spoke. I did not speak. Did I speak?

For irregular verbs, use the past form (see list of irregular verbs, 2nd column). For regular verbs,
just add “ed”.

Exceptions in Spelling when Adding ‘ed’

Exceptions in spelling when adding ed Example

after a final e only add d love – loved

final consonant after a short, stressed vowel admit – admitted


or l as final consonant after a vowel is doubled travel – travelled

final y after a consonant becomes i hurry – hurried

Use of Simple Past

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 action in the past taking place once, never or several times

Example: He visited his parents every weekend.

 actions in the past taking place one after the other

Example: He came in, took off his coat and sat down.

 action in the past taking place in the middle of another action

Example: When I was having breakfast, the phone suddenly rang.

 if sentences type II (If I talked, …)

Example: If I had a lot of money, I would share it with you.

Signal Words of Simple Past


 yesterday, 2 minutes ago, in 1990, the other day, last Friday
 If-Satz Typ II (If I talked, …)

English Grammar – Past Progressive


Exercise on Past Progressive

Form of Past Progressive


 P: He was speaking.
 N: He was not speaking.
 Q: Was he speaking?

Use of Past Progressive


Past Progressive is used for actions in the past and focusses on the course or duration of the
action.

 Action taking place at a certain moment in the past

Being in the middle of doing something at a certain time in the past.

Examples:

At two o’clock, Carla was preparing the contract.


Yesterday I was looking for Mister Miller’s phone number.

 Actions happening simultaneously

Actions in the past happening at the same time (over a longer period of time).

Examples:

While Claire was preparing her presentation, Tom was showing the customer around.
While Sarah was looking for the documents, I was keeping the customer on the line.

 Being in the middle of an action, when another action set in

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Action taking place over a longer period of time in the past when (suddenly) another (shorter)
action set in. (see also: Simple Past)

Beispiele:

I was sitting in a meeting, when my mobile suddenly rang.


When I came in, John was playing solitaire.

Past Progressive (Past Continuous)


Exercises on Past Progressive

The past progressive puts emphasis on the course of an action in the past.

Form

Positive Negative Question

I / he / she / it I was speaking. I was not speaking. Was I speaking?

you / we / they You were speaking. You were not speaking. Were you speaking?

Exceptions in Spelling

Exceptions in spelling when adding ing Example

final e is dropped (but: ee is not changed) come – coming


(but: agree – agreeing)

after a short, stressed vowel, the final consonant is doubled sit – sitting

l as final consonant after a vowel is doubled (in British English) travel – travelling

final ie becomes y lie – lying

Use of Past Progressive


 puts emphasis on the course of an action in the past

Example: He was playing football.

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 two actions happening at the same time (in the past)

Example: While she was preparing dinner, he was washing the dishes.

 action going on at a certain time in the past

Example: When I was having breakfast, the phone suddenly rang.

Signal Words of Past Progressive


 when, while, as long as

Active tense
Simple Present
Present Action or Non-action; Habitual
General Truths Future Time
Condition Action
• I hear you. • I like music.
• There are thirty • The train
• Here days in • I run on leaves at 4:00
comes the September. Tuesdays and p.m.
bus. Sundays.

Present Progressive
Activity in Progress Verbs of Perception
• I am playing soccer now • He is feeling sad

Simple Past
Completed Action Completed Condition

• We visted the museum yesterday. • The weather was rainy last week.

Past Progressive
Past Action that took place over a period
Past Action interrupted by another
of time
• They were climbing for twenty- • We were eating dinner when she
seven days. told me.

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Future
With will/won't -- Activity or event that will or With going to -- future in relation to
won't exist or happen in the future circumstances in the present
• I'm hungry.
• I'll get up late tomorrow.

• I'm going to get something to


• I won't get up early.
eat.

Present Perfect
To express
With verbs of state that begin in With events occuring at an
habitual or
the past and lead up to and indefinited or unspecified time in the
continued
include the present past -- with ever, never, before
action
• He has
worn
• He has lived here for • Have you ever been to Tokyo
glasses
many years. before?
all his
life.

Present Perfect Progressive


To express duration of an acton that began in the past, has continued into the
present, and may continue into the future
• David has been working for two hours, and he hasn't finished yet.

Past Perfect

to describe a past event or condition completed In reported speech


before another event in the past
• When I arrived home, he had already • Jane said that she had
called. gone to the movies.

Future perfect

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to express action that will be completed by or before a specified time in the future
• By next month we will have finished this job.

• He won't have finished his work until 2:00.

THE PASSIVE TENSES

Simple present
Active: Passive:
• The company ships the computers • Computers are shipped to many
to many foreign countries. foreign countries.

Present Progressive
Active: Passive:
• The chef is preparing the food. • The food is being prepared.

Simple Past
Active: Passive:
• The deliveryman delivered the • The package was delivered
package yesterday. yesterday.

Past Progressive
Active: Passive:
• The producer was making an • An announcement was being
announcement. made.

Future
Active: Passive:
• Our representative will pick up the • The computer will be picked
computer. up.

Present Perfect

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Active: Passive:
• Someone has made the • The arrangements have been
arrangements for us. made for us.

Past Perfect
Active: Passive:
• They had given us visas for three • We had been given visas for three
months. months.

Future perfect
Active: Passive:
• By next month we will have • By next month this job will have
finished this job. been finished.

Modals
Active: Passive:
• You can use the computer. • The computer can be used.

Sequence of Tenses
Strictly speaking, in English, only two tenses are marked in the verb alone,
present (as in "he sings") and past (as in "he sang"). Other English language
tenses, as many as thirty of them, are marked by other words called auxiliaries.
Understanding the six basic tenses allows one to recreate much of the reality of
time in his writing. The six are

Simple Present: They walk


Present Perfect: They have walked

Simple Past: They walked


Past Perfect: They had walked

Future: They will walk


Future Perfect: They will have walked

Problems in sequencing tenses usually occur with the perfect tenses, all of which
are formed by adding an auxiliary or auxiliaries to the past participle, the third
principal part.

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ring, rang, rung
walk, walked, walked

The most common auxiliaries are forms of "be," "can," "do," "may," "must,"
"ought," "shall," "will," "has," "have," "had," and they are the forms we shall use in
this most basic discussion.

Present Perfect

The present perfect consists of a past participle (the third principal part) with
"has" or "have." It designates action which began in the past but which continues
into the present or the effect of which still continues.

1. Betty taught for ten years. (simple past)


2. Betty has taught for ten years. (present perfect)
The implication in (1) is that Betty has retired; in (2), that she is still teaching.

1. John did his homework. He can go to the movies.


2. If John has done his homework, he can go to the movies.

Infinitives, too, have perfect tense forms when combined with "have," and
sometimes problems arise when infinitives are used with verbs such as "hope,"
"plan," "expect," and "intend," all of which usually point to the future (I wanted to
go to the movie. Janet meant to see the doctor.) The perfect tense sets up a
sequence by marking the action which began and usually was completed before
the action in the main verb.

1. I am happy to have participated in this campaign!


2. John had hoped to have won the trophy.

Thus the action of the main verb points back in time; the action of the perfect
infinitive has been completed.

The past perfect tense designates action in the past just as simple past does, but
the action of the past perfect is action completed in the past before another
action.

1. John raised vegetables and later sold them. (past)


2. John sold vegetables that he had raised. (past perfect)
The vegetables were raised before they were sold.

1. Renee washed the car when George arrived (simple past)


2. Renee had washed the car when George arrived. (past perfect)
In (1), she waited until George arrived and then washed the car. In (2), she had
already finished washing the car by the time he arrived.

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In sentences expressing condition and result, the past perfect tense is used in
the part that states the condition.

1. If I had done my exercises, I would have passed the test.


2. I think George would have been elected if he hadn't sounded so pompous.

Notice: There can be only one "would have" action group in a sentence.

Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect tense designates action that will have been completed at a
specified time in the future.

1. Saturday I will finish my housework. (simple future)


2. By Saturday noon, I will have finished my housework. (future perfect)

Review

1. Judy saved thirty dollars. (past)


2. Judy will save thirty dollars. (future)
3. Judy has saved thirty dollars. (present perfect)
4. Judy had saved thirty dollars by the end of last month. (past perfect)
5. Judy will have saved thirty dollars by the end of this month. (future perfect)

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