Students should already be familiar with:

  • helping verbs

  • past verbs

  • past participles

  • positive, negative, and question forms

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Past Basic

Making a verb phrase past might depend on the sentence structure. But there's a trick to remembering what the final sentence should look like. This applies to all past tenses.

 
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Printout

irregular verbs for elementary learners

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: With multiple helping verbs, change only the first one.

 
 
 
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Present Perfect

The Present Perfect tense allows us to bring the past and the present together, often when talking about experiences, status, or results. In this video we take a look at each of those three, as well as compare Present Perfect usage to Past Simple usage.

 
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Printouts

present perfect timelines

present perfect time expressions

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: since marks the start, for denotes the duration

 
 
 
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Past Perfect

Past Perfect is often used in narratives when actions or events are told out of chronological order (like a flashback). Past Perfect shows that the action/event had begun before the narrative context.

 
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Printout

time expressions for sequencing

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Slideshow

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Bonus Notes

e.g.: This numbering method works for past perfect continuous as well.

 
 
 
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Progressive / Continuous Tenses

We use Progressive Continuous tenses for temporary verbs that are not finished yet. This covers Past, Present, and Future.

 
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Printout

stative verbs

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Slideshow

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Insider Notes

e.g.: the same verb can be stative or not, depending on different definitions

 
 
 
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Future Forms

- coming soon -

 
 
 
 

The standard list for irregular verbs (which you'll find in the back of any course book) is great for looking things up.  But if you want a list to help with memorization, than grouping the verbs by the way they change would be better than ordering them alphabetically.

We've put one together for you!  Download away!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Related Teacher Tip

Define Your Own Terms:  When communication is key, it might be helpful to replace difficult terms with ones easier to remember.  We use 'V3' for 'past participle', and we use 'super past' for 'past perfect'.

Read the whole article.

 

 

Related Project

Movie Mania:  This project involves a range of tenses.  Students express predictions, review, narratives, and more.

Read the whole project idea.