Tenses: tips and practice

Tips about the use of English tenses

In this lesson, Tenses: Tips And Practice, we will go through some important tips which, if you follow, you will know how to use tenses correctly. Also, we will provide you with practice exercises whose objective is to fix what you have learned.

  1. A verb in the present tense shows what is happening now. Many present-tense verbs that work with singular subjects end in -s or –es.


 In summer, Brian works at the tree nursery.

2. A verb in the past tense shows what has already happened.


The train left thirty minutes ago.

3. To form the past tense of most verbs, add –ed or just –e.


He invited me to his party.

4. For most one-syllable verbs that end in a single vowel and a consonant, double the final consonant and add -ed.


Thunder clapped in the sky.

5. When a verb ends in a consonant and y, change the “y” to” i” before adding ed.


Brian hurried home.

6. An irregular verb does not end in -ed in the past tense. It changes its form or part of it.


We felt afraid when he grew nervous.

7. Memorize the irregular verbs or use a dictionary.

8. A verb in the future tense shows action that will happen. Verbs in the future tense include the modal auxiliary will


In September, Brian will return to school.

Exercises for practicing English tenses

A. Write present, past, or future to show when each action takes place.

  1. Mr. Agnelli asks Brian to unload the truck.
  2. Those bags of fertilizer felt heavy at first.
  3. Brian’s muscles grow stronger every day.
  4. Gradually, the tasks become easier.
  5. By autumn, he will be ready for the wrestling team.
  6. Yesterday, Hank worked as a golf caddy.
  7. He carried two sets of clubs in the heat.
  8. The clubs weigh more than twenty-five pounds.
  9. The golfers will tip him at the end of the day.
  10. He will count his tips happily.
  11. Hank sleeps soundly after a day on the golf course.
  12. The hard work exhausts him.
  13. He dreams of heavy bags and wide, green fields.
  14. Once, he played golf for pleasure.
  15. By summer’s end, he will tire of the sport.

B. Change the tense of each underlined verb to the tense shown between brackets.

  1. Migdalia works in the bakery with her mother. (past)
  2. Her grandmother owned a successful bakery. (present)
  3. She buys it thirty years ago. (past)
  4. Migdalia loved the smell of yeast and butter. (present)
  5. She will taste the hot roll that was fresh from the oven. (past)
  6. For lunch this afternoon, they are warm, fresh rolls. (future)
  7. The huge ovens remained hot all morning. (present)
  8. In time, the family will become used to the heat. (past)
  9. Migdalia wiped the sweat from her forehead. (present)

C. Give the tense which the verbs are put in

  1. Mr. French assigned lab partners in science.
  2. Jorge and Celia tackle a project together
  3. They will share a microscope this semester.
  4. They will study the cells of a green plant.
  5. Jorge enjoys the role of a scientist.
  6. Celia took careful notes all week.
  7. She studied for today’s quiz all weekend.

D. Choose the correct answer from the list, A, B, C, or D

1. for my neighbor’s daughter every weekend last summer.

A. will care

B. cared

C. am caring

D. care

2. The little girl _____ school last month.

A. started

B. have started

C. will start

D. start

3. This afternoon, I _____ her home.

A. will walk

B. was walking

C. walking

D. has walked

4. I _____ a special game with her tomorrow.

A. played

B. had played

C. will play

D. play


Similar Posts