Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Teaching English Grammar Basic Tenses

My favorite grammar textbook for teaching English grammar basic tenses is Azar’s, Understanding and Using English Grammar. You can use this book to refresh yourself on the tenses and also to teach your students; plus it has grammar exercises you can give to your students.

There are essentially twelve English grammar basic tenses (I'm not including information on the Passive here). Most basic tenses have more than one name. It depends on the grammar book you use and on the teacher teaching the tenses.

Here’s a list of basic grammar tenses to teach ESL students. Actually, these can be taught to native-English speakers, as well!

  1. Simple Present or Present Simple

    • e.g., I play, you play, she/he/it plays, we play, they play

  2. Present Progressive, Present Continuous, Simple Present Progressive or Simple Present Continuous

    • e.g., I am playing, you are playing, she/he/it is playing, we are playing, they are playing

  3. Simple Past or Past Simple

    • e.g., I played, you played, he/she/it played, we played, they played

  4. Past Progressive, Past Continuous, Simple Past Progressive or Simple Past Continuous

    • e.g., I was playing, you were playing, she/he/it was playing, we were playing, they were playing

  5. Present Perfect or Simple Present Perfect

    • e.g., I have played, you have played, he/she/it has played, we have played, they have played

  6. Present Perfect Progressive or Present Perfect Continuous

    • e.g., I have been playing, you have been playing, he/she/it has been playing, we have been playing, they have been playing

  7. Past Perfect or Simple Past Perfect

    • e.g., I had played, you had played, he/she/it had played, we had played, they had played

  8. Past Perfect Progressive or Past Perfect Continuous

    • e.g., I had been playing, you had been playing, he/she/it had been playing, we had been playing, they had been playing

  9. Simple Future or Future Simple

    • e.g., I will play, you will play, he/she/it will play, they will play, we will play or I am going to play, you are going to play, he/she/it is going to play, we are going to play, they are going to play

  10. Future Progressive

    • e.g., I will be playing, you will be playing, he/she/it will be playing, they will be playing, we will be playing

  11. Future Perfect

    • e.g., I will have played, you will have played, he/she/it will have played, they will have played, we will have played

  12. Future Perfect Progressive

    • e.g., I will have been playing, you will have been playing, he/she/it will have been playing, they will have been playing, we will have been playing

You are free to copy this list of grammar tenses and examples, but I’d really appreciate if you cited this website on your copy.


amna said...

This is amna haq. I want to get some tutorials or any kind of assignments so that, it would help me towards improve my speaking, listening and writing english as a professional. Please take my request into your consideration and give me some suggestion as early as u can.

Name: Debra Garcia, M.A. said...

Hi Amna,

It's always difficult to address such requests in a public blog. I would have to ask you a lot more questions about what you need and even do a Needs Assessment.

I tutor students personally one-to-one. If you would like to take lessons with me, you could use the contact link on the top right of this page and we could discuss your needs.

Good luck,