Preparing to Write: Verb Tenses – Writing Better English For ESL Learners » Luyện thi Gò Vấp
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Verb Tenses 

Study the following examples, which show how verbs change in the various tenses. Some tenses require a form of to be and a present participle. Present participles have an -ing ending: is going, were singing. Other tenses require a past participle. Regular verbs form the past tense and past participle in the same way—just add -ed: worked, have worked. Use Appendix A of irregular verbs in the past tense and past participle to see how they are formed. 

The perfect tenses of both regular and irregular verbs are a combination of a form of to have plus a past participle: I have worked. She has seen. You had broken. Tom will have discovered. 

In the exercises that follow you will be making similar tense changes. 

TO SPEAK—a habit or repeated action

Present                                                        She speaks well.

Past                                                             She spoke well.

Present Perfect                                        She has spoken well.

Past Perfect                                             She had spoken well.

Future                                                      She will speak well.

Future Perfect                                        She will have spoken well.

TO BE SPEAKING—a continuous action

Present                                              Who is speaking?

Past                                                   Who was speaking?

Present Perfect                               Who has been speaking?

Past Perfect                                     Who had been speaking?

Future                                              Who will be speaking?

Future Perfect                                Who will have been speaking?

DO YOU SPEAK?—a question with a form of to do

Present                                            Do you speak Spanish?

Past                                                  Did you speak Spanish?

Present Perfect                             Have you spoken Spanish?

Past Perfect                                   Had you spoken Spanish?

Future                                             Will you speak Spanish?

Future Perfect                               Will you have spoken Spanish?

(Because the perfect and future tenses in the preceding example have an auxil-iary verb [have, had, will] in the question, a form ofto dois not necessary.)

SHE DOESN’T SPEAK—negation of the verb with a form of to do

Present                                           She doesn’t speak French.

Past                                                  She didn’t speak French.

Present Perfect                             She hasn’t spoken French.

Past Perfect                                    She hadn’t spoken French.

Future                                             She won’t speak French.

Future Perfect                               She won’t have spoken French.

(Because the perfect and future tenses in the preceding example have an auxiliary verb [hasn’t, hadn’t, won’t] in the sentence, a form ofto dois not necessary.)

Exercise 1

Exercise 1.1 Rewrite the following sentences in the tenses given. Use the examples given previously to help you maintain accuracy. 
  1. Present Her brother looks for us. 

Past ______________________________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

2. Present ____________________________________

Past Were you looking for your wallet? 

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

3. Present ____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future Will she help Tom? 

4. Present _____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect I haven’t filled out the app Ucatwns. 

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

5. Present Do they play soccer? 

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

Exercise 1.2 Rewrite the following sentences in the tenses given. Use the examples to help you maintain accuracy. 
  1. Present Her brother is very rich. 

Past _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

2. Present _____________________________________

Past Were the children good? 

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

3. Present _____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect_____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future Will she be ill? 

4. Present _____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect I have not been angry at all. 

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

5.  Present Do you go there often. 

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect_____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

Exercise 1.3 Rewrite the following sentences in the tenses given. Use the examples to help you maintain accuracy. Notice that you will be dealing with a wider variety of verbs here. 
  1.  Present Mark likes the new-giri. 

Past _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

2. Present Her boss is trying to understand. 

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

3. Present _____________________________________

Past The letter carriers went into the office,. 

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

Future Perfect _____________________________________

4. Present _____________________________________

Past Were you talking to Richard? 

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

5. Present _____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect His son has broken a window. 

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

Exercise 1.4 Rewrite the following sentences in the tenses given, but change the subject of each sentence to a different pronoun (I, you, he, she, it, we, they, or who). 

Present He sees you. 

Past I saw you. 

Present Perfect She has seen you. 

Past Perfect They had seen you. 

Future We will see you. 

  1.  Present Are you on time? 

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

2. Present _____________________________________

Past Didn’t she like the book? 

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

3. Present _____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect I have been driving very slowly. 

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future _____________________________________

4. Present _____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect We had found him just in time. 

Future _____________________________________

Future Perfect _____________________________________

5. Present _____________________________________

Past _____________________________________

Present Perfect _____________________________________

Past Perfect _____________________________________

Future They will arrange aparty for her. 

Future Perfect _____________________________________

Future Tense 

You have been forming the future tense by using will with a verb (I will go, she will sing, they will be taking). The auxiliary shall is often used in the first person singular and plural (I and we). But in casual English will is used nearly all the time. 

FORMAL 

I shall visit my uncle. 

We shall borrow some money. 

CASUAL 

I will visit my uncle. 

We will borrow some money. 

The future tense meaning is also expressed with the phrase to be going to (I am going to, you are going to, he is going to). It means the same thing as will and can replace it. 

WILL 

They will buy a new car. Will you help me? 

TO BE GOING TO 

They are going to buy a new car. Are you going to help me? 

The phrase to be going to can be conjugated in the past tense. Then it means that this was something that someone planned to do in the future. 

They were going to buy a new car. 

Were you going to help me? 

Exercise 2 Rewrite the following future tense sentences by changing will to to be going to. 

  1. Will they bring some dessert along? 
  2. I’ll be home at midnight.
  3. The janitor will sweep the offices after closing time. 
  4. He won’t return the money he borrowed. 
  5. This movie will be very exciting. 
  6. The party will be held at Maria’s house. 
  7. Will Martin apply for a new job? 
  8. She will probably spend the night at Mary’s apartment. 
  9. Will you order a hamburger or a hot dog? 
  10. The boys will clean the kitchen for you.
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