What Is Verb Tense?The tense of a verb is determined by when the action took place. The three main tenses are as follows:
- The Past Tense (e.g., I walked.)
- The Present Tense (e.g., I walk.)
- The Future Tense (e.g., I will walk.)
Table of Contents
- Easy Examples of Tenses
- Real-Life Examples of Verbs in Different Tenses
- The Full List of Tenses
- Explanation of All 12 Tenses with Examples
- The 4 Past Tenses
- The 4 Present Tenses
- The 4 Future Tenses
- Interactive Verb Conjugation Tables
- Test Time!
Easy Examples of TensesHere are some examples of verbs in different tenses:
- I walked to work. (The verb walked is in the past tense.)
- I walk to work. (The verb walk is in the present tense.)
- I will walk to work. (The verb will walk is in the future tense.)
- I was happy. (The verb was is in the past tense.)
- I am happy. (The verb am is in the present tense.)
- I will be happy. (The verb will be is in the future tense.)
Real-Life Examples of Verbs in Different TensesHere are some more examples of verbs in the past, present, and future tenses:
- The hardest that I have laughed at a movie was probably Team America. I laughed 'til I thought I was going to throw up. (Ron White) (The shaded verbs are in the past tense.)
- You laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at you because you are all the same. (Jonathan Davis) (The shaded verbs are in the present tense.)
- Nobody will laugh long who deals much with opium; even its pleasures are of a grave and solemn complexion. (Thomas de Quincey) (The shaded verbs are in the future tense.)
- Past Tense: laughed, was/were laughing, had laughed, had been laughing
- Present Tense: laugh, am/is/are laughing, has/have laughed, has/have been laughing
- Future Tense: will laugh, will be laughing, will have laughed, will have been laughing
The Full List of TensesThe table below shows the full list of the tenses:
|The 4 Past Tenses
|simple past tense
|past progressive tense
|I was going
|I was laughing
|past perfect tense
|I had gone
|I had laughed
|past perfect progressive tense
|I had been going
|I had been laughing
|The 4 Present Tenses
|simple present tense
|present progressive tense
|I am going
|I am laughing
|present perfect tense
|I have gone
|I have laughed
|present perfect progressive tense
|I have been going
|I have been laughing
|The 4 Future Tenses
|simple future tense
|I will go
|I will laugh
|future progressive tense
|I will be going
|I will be laughing
|future perfect tense
|I will have gone
|I will have laughed
|future perfect progressive tense
|I will have been going
|I will have been laughing
Explanation of All 12 Tenses with Examples
The 4 Past TensesSimple Past Tense. The simple past tense is used to describe a completed activity that happened in the past.
- I ran to the shops.
- I was running to the shops when I saw Bruno.
- I had run to the shops, but they were closed.
- I had been running to the shops, but I have now started walking.
The 4 Present TensesSimple Present Tense. The simple present tense is mostly used to describe facts and habits.
- I run daily.
- I am running to your house at the moment.
- I have run for 5 miles so far.
- I have been running for hours.
The 4 Future TensesSimple Future Tense. The simple future tense is used for an action that will occur in the future.
- I will run to the shops tomorrow.
- I will be running to the shops every day after today.
- I will have run to work by 12 o'clock.
- I will have been running for 3 hours by 12 o'clock.
Top 10 Regular Verbs
Top 10 Irregular Verbs
All 4 Past Tenses
|Past Progressive Tense
|Past Perfect Tense
|Past Perfect Progressive Tense
The simple past tense is for a completed activity that happened in the past.
The past progressive tense is for an ongoing activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action.
The past perfect tense is for emphasizing that an action was completed before another took place.
The past perfect progressive tense is for showing that an ongoing action in the past has ended.
All 4 Present Tenses
|Present Progressive Tense
|Present Perfect Tense
|Present Perfect Progressive Tense
The simple present tense is mostly for a fact or a habit.
The present progressive tense is for an ongoing action in the present.
The present perfect tense is for an action that began in the past. (Often, the action continues into the present.)
The present perfect progressive tense is for a continuous activity that began in the past and continues into the present (or finished very recently).
All 4 Future Tenses
|Future Progressive Tense
|Future Perfect Tense
|Future Perfect Progressive Tense
The simple future tense is for an action that will occur in the future.
The future progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will occur in the future.
The future perfect tense is for an action that will have been completed at some point in the future.
The future perfect progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future.