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Language: tenses

How to write a text - Language: tenses

You want to write that

You use the

That´s the form


the person does something regularly

simple present

I go

He/she/it goes

I always go to the cafeteria for my lunch

He always goes home.


simple present

 + not

I don´t go

he/she/it doesn´t go

She doesn´t like eating meat.

They don´t live there any more.


simple present ?

(question word +) do you go?

(question word) does he/she it go?

Where do you usually have lunch?

the person is doing something right now

present progressive

am/are/is + infinitive + -ing

I am staying at a friend´s house


present progressive + not

am not/are not/is not + infinitive+ -ing

My dog is not eating a bone right now.


present progressive ?

are you /is he + infinitive+ -ing?

Are you staying at a hotel?

the person did something in the past (which is definitely over)

simple past

infinitive + -ed

OR second form of irregular verbs

I met him in 2010.


simple past + not

didn´t + infinitive

He didn´t meet his friends in his last holidays.


simple past ?

(question word +) did + you + infinitive?

When did you meet him first?

the person has never/ever/not yet done something



present perfect

I have + infinitive+-ed

OR I have + third form of irregular verbs

he/she /it has + infinitive+ -ed

OR he/she/it has + third form of irregular verbs


I have never been so happy .



present perfect + not

I have not + infinitive+ -ed

OR I have not+ third form of irregular verbs

he/she /it has not + infinitive+ -ed

OR he/she/it has not+ third form of irregular verbs

He hasn´t done his homework yet.


present perfect ?

have you + infinitive+-ed?

OR have you + third form of irregular verbs?


has he/she/it + infinitive+ -ed ?

OR has he/she/it + third form of irregular verbs?

Have you ever had such a nice experience before?


the result of something is important (bridge between the past and the present)

present perfect


I have sent a text to my friend and now he´s angry with me.

something happened before another event in the past

past perfect

had + infinitive+ -ed

OR had + third form of irregular verbs

I had hoped and wished to get a new mobile and I was so, so happy when I found it under the Christmas tree.



past perfect + not

hadn´t + infinitive + -ed

OR hadn´t + third form of irregular verbs

Although he hadn´t met his cousin before he invited her to the cinema.


past perfect ?

had + subject + infinitive+ -ed

OR had + subject + third form of irregular verbs

Had he really read the book when he gave the presentation on it?

somoene plans to do something in the future

going to-future

am/are/is going to + infinitive


I am going to fly there next weekend.


going to future + not

am not/are not/ is not going to + infinitive

They aren´t going to come to the cinema with us.


going to-future ?

am/are/is going to + subject + infinitive?

Are you going to read this book?

Someone predicts (vorhersagen) something about the future


will + infinitive

There will be many people at the concert.


will-future + not

will not (won´t) + infinitive

He won´t be happy to hear that.


will-future ?

will  subject  infinitive?

Will there be any nice food at the party?

it is possible that something happens

conditional I

if + simple present

will/won´t + infinitive

If he gets the chance to say sorry he will do so.

It is very unrealistic that something happens

conditional II

If + simple past

Would + infinitive

If someone gave me a lot of money I would be so happy.

Someone said that something happened at the same time

simple past


He said that he didn´t have time to go the movies that day.

Someone said that something had happened before

past perfect


He told me that he had seen that movie before.

Someone said something about the future

Conditional II

Would + infinitive


The announcement said that the train would be on time.

Someone said something about plans for the future

Was/were going to + infinitive


He said he was going to travel to France at Easter.


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