Simple Tense

Verb tense tells you when the action happens. There are three main verb tenses: present, past, and future. Each main tense is divided into simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive tenses.

Present Past Future
Simple finish finished will finish
Progressive am/is/are finishing was/were finishing will be finishing
Perfect have/has finished had finished will have finished
Perfect Progressive have/has been finishing had been finishing will have been finishing

Things to remember about simple tense:

a. Present tense is the original verb form.
b. Past tense has a few patterns.
c. Future tense needs will (shall) + verb.


  • I run a marathon twice a year. (present)
  • I ran a marathon last year. (past)
  • I will run a marathon next year. (future)


  • I eat lunch in my office.
  • I ate lunch an hour ago.
  • I will eat lunch in one hour.


  • I see a movie once a week.
  • I saw a movie yesterday.
  • I will see a movie tomorrow.


  • I know it.
  • I knew it the day before yesterday.
  • I will know it by tomorrow.


  • I learn English.
  • I learned English the last two years.
  • I will learn English next year.


  • I cook my supper every night.
  • I cooked our dinner already.
  • I will cook breakfast tomorrow.

[Quiz 10.1]

Fill in the blanks with appropriate verb forms.

1)I a song at the concert yesterday.
2)He a letter to his girlfriend tomorrow.
3)I to the library to borrow some books this weekend.

[10.1] 1) sang
2) will write
3) will go