Teacher's notes on Past Tenses for those who learn English as a foreing language.

Essay by sophia_lispectator September 2003

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 77 times

What tenses are there in the English language?

1.Present Tense,

2.Past Tense,


4.Present Perfect Tense,

5.Past Perfect Tense, and

6.Future Perfect Tense.

Progressive (continuous) forms all contain present participles:

1.Present Progressive: I am working now.

2.Past Progressive: I was working yesterday.

3.Future Progressive: I will be working all day tomorrow.

4.Present Perfect Progressive: I have been working this morning.

5.Past Perfect Progressive: I had been working before he came in.

6.Future Perfect Progressive: This time next year I will have been working for two years.

A present participle is an -ing form used in compound verb forms (as shown above) or as an adjective (frightening story, grinding poverty, grueling work, et cetera).

What's a gerund?

Gerunds are nouns ending in -ing.

*Smoking is bad for your health.

*I have given up on doing this homework.

*My favourite activity is listening to the radio.

*Do you mind extinguishing that cigarette?

How do we distinguish between gerunds and present participles in the following situations?


*Running shoes

*Walking stick

*Dressing gown

*Running water

*Wedding ring

*Horrifying death

*Dashing young man

*Stirring sincerity

1.Gerunds answer to the question: "What's it for?"

2.Present Participles answer to the question: "What's it doing?"

What's a past participle?

A past participle is the third verb form, which can be regular (talk-talked-talked), in which case it ends in -ed, or irregular (speak-spoke-spoken). Past Participles are used:

*With "have" or "had" to form PERFECT TENSES:

oPresent Perfect: I have already talked with her this morning.

oPast Perfect: I had talked to her before she left the office.

*With "be" to form the PASSIVE:

oThe flight was delayed due to adverse weather conditions.

oThe door is locked and I can't come in.

*As adjectives:...