Simple Future

The simple future is used to express something that will happen in the future.

In English there are two common ways of expressing the future.

  1. With will. e.g. I will go to the store later
  2. With be going to. e.g. I am going to go to the store later.

In some cases either will or be going to can be used. If you are talking about predictions about the future,  either will or be going to is possible.

If you are making a promise or if something is in the immediate future, will can be used.
If you have prior plans or intentions, then use be going to.

  • E.g. You are talking to someone. You make a decision while you are talking to the person. You use Will.
  • E.g. You are talking to someone. You made the decision before talking to the person. You use be going to.
For more on the verb tenses check out the verb tense overview, or for exercises check out Englishpage.com

Simple Past

Simple past is used very often when people are telling stories about something that occurred in the past.

We use simple past for

  1. A completed action in the past. e.g. I walked to work yesterday.
  2. A repeated past action in the past. e.g. I studied hard in school.
  3. A sequence of events that happened in order. e.g. I walked home then a talked to a friend.
Some common keywords for the simple past
  1. Yesterday
  2. Last night/month/year
  3. Ten days ago
  4. In 1975

If you see one of these keywords, it indicates that the sentence is in the past.

For more on verb tenses, check out the verb tense overview, or for some practice check out Englishpage.com

Simple Present

How to use the simple presentSimple present is one of the most common tenses that we use.

  1. It is used for habits or repeated actions e.g. I work every day.
  2. It is used with general facts or ideas. e.g. The sun rises and sets every day
  3. It is used to express the future. e.g. The bus leaves  tomorrow at 10:00am
  4. It is used with non-progressive verbs (verbs that cannot be put in -ing form) e.g. I understand you. Not, I understanding you

Some common keywords for Simple present

  1. Every day
  2. Every weekend/month/year
  3. On weekdays/monts/years
  4. Usually
  5. Sometimes

Simple present is one of the basic tenses that second language learners need to master to move on to the harder tenses.

For more on verb tenses, check out the verb tense overview, or for some practice check out Englishpage.com