English Review of Tenses

    Beginner+ English - Level A2


    This unit offers a review of the simple present, present continuous, and simple past tenses for learners who have previously learned about this grammar in a previous English course.


    English Verb Tenses

    The Convention Center and Riverwalk at night in Tampa, Florida.

    Back to the Course

    English A2

    Review of Tenses

    There are a number of grammatical tenses in English. Those covered in previous modules and courses include: present simple, present progressive, past simple, future simple, and past progressive. 

    The present simple (or just present tense) consists of main verbs conjugated by adding an "s" to some forms of regular verbs or no ending to modal verbs (irregular verbs vary in their endings).

    They play tennis on the weekend.
    She listens to the podcast.
    The father does the laundry.
    He can jump far.

    The present progressive (or present continuous) consists of a form of the helping verb "be" plus a present participle (verb with an "ing" ending) of the main verb. It is used to talk about something that is happening now or at this moment.

    The dog is chasing the squirrel.
    We are going home.
    It is raining outside.

    The past simple (or simple past) is the one-word past tense of verbs. The past simple describes an action completed in the past. Most regular verbs just add "ed" to the end to form the past simple, but some endings vary. Some verbs ending in "ay" change the "y" to "i" and add a "d" (e.g. say > said, pay > paid; BUT play > played). Irregular verbs have stem vowel and/or other changes (e.g. sing > sang, go > went)

    Joshua paid the water bill.
    Simon and Cindy went to the park.
    I arrived late to the party.

    The future simple uses the auxiliary verb "will" plus an infinitive. It expresses future facts, predictions, promises, and spontaneous decisions.

    The FIFA World Cup will take place again in 2022.
    It will get hotter this afternoon.
    I will be home by 9 pm.
    I think I will go for a run now.

    The final tense to review is the past progressive. This tense is used to describe an action in the past or an action in progress while another takes place. This tense is formed by using the simple past form of "be" (was, were) followed by the present participle of the main verb.

    I was reading my favorite column last night.
    She was watching the news yesterday evening when her best friend called.
    The man was sleeping when thunder woke him up.

    Additional Activities

    Review the lesson above and complete additional activities to build your understanding of this topic. For the activities listed below, log in for additional access. It's free.

    Online Language Classes with an Instructor

    Online Language Training

    Start improving your learning experience by working with one of our incredible language instructors. Visit the shop today.

    officebusinessAsset 97@250x-8Business Language Training

    Start learning a foreign language at work with your team. Discover how CORE Languages can support an array of language services for your business.

    CORE Compass BlogDiscover the Compass Blog

    From PR to news updates to teaching tips and learning topics, let the Compass Blog be your guide to language services you need.