English Grammar Rules

February 2016

Page list

  1. Past Tense
    1. Simple
    2. Continuous
    3. Perfect
  2. Present Tense
    1. Simple
    2. Continuous
    3. Perfect
  3. Future Tense
    1. Simple
    2. Continuous
    3. Perfect

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  1. About English course
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  3. TOEFL Tips
  4. English Grammar Rules
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  15. Travelling
  16. Present Simple vs Present Continuous
  17. Modals
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  19. Computer Programmer Job Description
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  21. Translate into English
english rules

Want to know lanquage, need to know rules.

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1.1. Simple Past Tense

The simple past refers to things that have already happened, and are finished doing their thing.

World War II was from 1939-1945.
Mom cooked supper.
I did the dishes.
Margaret aced her math exam.

Regular Verbs

Regular verbs are changed to the simple past by adding ‑ed to the end of the root form. If the verb already ends in ‑e, we just add ‑d.

  • Play – played
  • Type – typed
  • Listen – listened
  • Push – pushed
  • Love – loved

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs follow no pattern when they change to the simple past tense. You’ll have to check a dictionary if you’re unsure as to what the past tense might be.

  • See – saw
  • Build – built
  • Go – went
  • Do – did
  • Leap – leapt
  • Rise – rose
  • Dig – dug

1.2. Past Continuous Tense

The past continuous tense is used to refer to several temporal situations.

It’s made with the past tense of be + the present participle (the root word = ‑ing).


Narrative in past tense.

It was raining. The water was pouring down in sheets and the passersby were getting wetter with every step, despite their umbrellas.

When one action is happening at the time of another particular time.

It was raining at noon. It was raining during lunch.

When one action is happening at the same time as another.

It was raining while I was out walking.

Remember not to use the past continuous tense with non-action verbs non-action verbs like see, know, hear, feel, want, like, understand. These verbs should use the simple past.

I knew my neighbour quite well.

1.3. Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense is used to show that one action in a sentence finishes before a second action begins. Words like before and after are indicators that the past perfect tense may be used; however, there are no strict rules for this situation. You must choose the best verb tense for your sentence.

The past perfect is created by using I had, you had, he/she had, we had, you had or they had + past participle.

Both of these sentences are correct.

After he tied his shoes, he left the house.
After he had tied his shoes, he left the house.
The maitre d’ poured the dessert wine, but not until the cake had been cut.
The baby ripped the book before the mother had noticed him playing with it.

2.1. Simple Present Tense

The simple present tense is the one which we use when an action is happening right now, or when it happens regularly (or unceasingly, which is why it’s sometimes called present indefinite).

The simple present tense is formed by using the root form or by adding ‑s or ‑es to the end, depending on the person.

In present tense, regular verbs use the root form, except for third person singular (which ends in ‑s)

First person singular: I write
Second person singular: You write
Third person singular: He/she/it writes (note the ‑s)
First person plural: We write
Second person plural: You write
Third person plural: They write
I write grammar books.

2.2. Present Continuous Tense

When something is happening at the same time we’re talking about it, that’s when we use the present continuous tense.

We form it by using the present tense of be + present participle (the root word + ‑ing).

She is washing the car as we speak.
Are you coming with us to the party?
Where are we going?
I am not arguing with you; I am discussing the matter with you.

Remember not to use the present continuous tense with non-action verbs like see, know, hear, feel, want, like, understand. These verbs should use the simple present.

She seems tense.

2.3. Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect is used when an action began in the past yet is still relevant. It’s created by using the present tense of have + the past participle.

I have seen
You have seen
He/she/it has seen
We have seen
You have seen
They have seen
Martha has asked for the day off.
Who Has Seen the Wind is an excellent book.
They have slept in because it’s Saturday morning.
He has drunk all the milk again.
The dogs have lain down in front of the fire.
You’ve left your umbrella behind..

3.1. Simple Future Tense

The simple future is the tense we use when something will begin and end later. It’s created by putting will in front of the root word.

I will learn a new language.
Annie will make a cake.
The cat will sleep all day.
Will you come to the beach with us?
Who will become the next president?

3.2. Future Continuous Tense

The future continuous relates one action in the future to another specific action or time.

It’s formed this way: will + be + present participle (root word + ‑ing).

We will be going to the gym after work.
Will you be joining us?
At 5 a.m. tomorrow, they will be departing Alaska.
I’ll be returning home next Thursday.

Remember not to use the future continuous tense with non-action verbs like see, know, hear, feel, want, like, understand.; include be in this list for future continuous tense. These verbs should use the simple future.

She will be here at 3:00.

3.3. Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect is used to talk about an action that will be finished before something else happens in the future. It’s made by using will + have + the past participle.

Look for key words which suggest the action is in the future, such as later, tomorrow, next week and next year.

I promise I will have this finished by the end of today.
Hopefully, the prospectors will have found gold before winter comes.
Will you have shaken that cold by next week, do you think?
We will have eaten all the food by the time he arrives.