Tenses

Tenses are used to express when verbs took place in relation to other verbs or time periods.

With this series, we not only explore the individual tenses, but the patterns among their aspects.

 
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level: ELEMENTARY-INTERMEDIATE

 
 

Students should already be familiar with:

helping verbs // past verbs // past participles // positive, negative, and question forms

Check out our video guide for tips.

 

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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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Insider Notes

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

 
 

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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Insider Notes

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

 
 

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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Insider Notes

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

 
 
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Continuous & Progressive

- 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.