Tenses Chart With Examples, Rules, Usage

Tenses Chart with Examples and Usage
Tenses Chart with Examples and Usage

A tenses chart is a visual representation or table that displays the various verb tenses in a language along with their structures, examples, rules, and common usage. It serves as a concise reference guide for learners and users of the language to understand how verbs change to convey different time frames—past, present, and future.

Definition Of Tense From Different Dictionaries

Merriam-Webster: “A category of verbal inflection that serves chiefly to specify the time of the action or state expressed by the verb.”

Oxford English Dictionary (OED): Set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time, and sometimes also the continuance or completeness, of the action about the time of the utterance.”

Cambridge Dictionary: Any of the forms of a verb which show the time at which an action happened.” “A set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time of action or state.”

Lexico (powered by Oxford): “A set of forms taken by a verb to show the time of an action.”

Types Of Tense Chart

There are three main types of tense:

  • Present Tense
  • Past Tense
  • Future Tense

Further, there are four subforms:

  • Simple
  • Perfect
  • Continuous
  • Perfect Continuous

Tenses Chart with Examples

Below is a chart summarizing different English tenses along with examples:

Tenses Tense Forms
Present Tense 1. Simple Present Tense

2. Present Perfect Tense

3. Present Continuous Tense

4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Tense 1. Simple Past Tense

2. Past Perfect Tense

3. Past Continuous Tense

4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Future Tense 1. Simple Future Tense

2. Future Perfect Tense

3. Future Continuous Tense

4. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

Tenses Rules Chart with Examples in English

Here’s the chart with different examples:

Tense Rules and Formula Examples
Simple Present Tense Subject + Verb (base form/third person singular) + Rest of the sentence She Wears new clothes.
Present Continuous Tense Subject + Helping Verb (am/is/are) + Main verb + -ing + Rest of the sentence The birds are chirping.
Present Perfect Tense Subject + Helping Verb (have/has) + Past participle + Rest of the sentence Sarfraz has won the prize.
Present Perfect Continuous Tense Subject + Have/Has + Been + Verb + -ing + Rest of the sentence I have been reading in this school since 2000.
Simple Past Tense Subject + Verb (ed or past tense) + Rest of the sentence She boiled the eggs.
Past Continuous Tense Subject + Helping Verb (was/were) + Main verb + -ing + Rest of the sentence You were performing ablutions.
Past Perfect Tense Subject + Helping Verb (had) + Past participle of the main verb + the rest of the sentence along with the time frame. He had reached here till 2 o’clock.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense Subject + Had + Been + Verb + -ing + Rest of the sentence My friend had been looking for services for several months.
Simple Future Tense Subject + Will/Shall + Verb1 + Rest of the sentence You will pass the examination.
Future Continuous Tense Subject + Will be/Shall be + Verb1 + -ing + Rest of the sentence Pakistan will be progressing.
Future Perfect Tense Subject + Will have/Shall have + Verb3 + Rest of the sentence Our teacher will have taught us a lesson.
Future Perfect Continuous Tense Subject + Will have been + Verb1 + -ing + Rest of the sentence Birds will have been chirping since morning.
Select Tenses Chart With Examples, Rules, UsageTenses Chart With Examples, Rules

Tenses Chart With Examples, Rules

All Tenses Formulas

1. Simple Present Tense

  • Sub(subject) + v1 + Obj(object).
  • Sub +do not/does not + v1 + obj.
  • Do/Does + sub + v1 + obj?

2. Present Continuous Tense

  • Sub + is/am/are + v1 + ing + obj.
  • Sub + is/am/are + not + v1 + ing + obj.
  • Is/am/are + Sub + v1 + ing + obj?

3. Present Perfect Tense

  • Sub + has/have + v3 + obj.
  • Sub + has/have + not v3 + obj.
  • Has/ Have + sub + v3 + obj?

4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

  • Sub + (has/have)been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for.
  • Sub + has/have + not + been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for.
  • Has/have + Sub + been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for.

5. Simple Past Tense

  • Sub + v2 + obj.
  • Sub + did not + v1 + obj.
  • Did + sub + v1 + obj?

6. Past Continuous Tense

  • Sub + was/were + (v1) ing + obj.
  • Sub + was/ were + not + (v1) ing + obj.
  • Was/ were + sub + (v1) ing + obj?

7. Past Perfect Tense

  • Sub + had + v3 + obj.
  • Sub + had + not + v3 + obj.
  • Had + sub + v3 + obj?

8. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

  • Sub + had been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for.
  • Sub + had + not + been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for.
  • Had + sub+ been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for?

9. Simple Future Tense

  • Sub + will/shall + v1 + obj.
  • Sub + will/shall + not + v1 + obj.
  • Shall/Will + sub + v1 + obj?

10. Future Continuous Tense

  • Sub + will be/shall be + (v1) ing + obj.
  • Sub + (will/shall) not + be + (v1) ing + obj.
  • Will/shall + sub + be + (v1) ing + obj?

11. Future Perfect Tense

  • Sub + will have/shall have + v3 + obj.
  • Sub + will/shall + not + have + v3 + obj.
  • Will/shall + sub + have + v3 + obj?

12. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

  • Sub + will have/shall have been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for.
  • Sub + will/shall + not + have + been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for.
  • Will/shall + sub + have + been + (v1) ing + obj + since/for?

Tenses Example Sentences Chart

Present Simple Tense:

  1. I play tennis every Saturday.
  2. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
  3. The sun rises in the east.
  4. Plants need sunlight to grow.
  5. I wake up at 6:00 AM.

Past Simple Tense:

  1. I finished my homework yesterday.
  2. They visited Paris last summer.
  3. She woke up, had breakfast, and went to work.
  4. We used to play hide and seek as children.
  5. Once upon a time, there was a brave knight.

Present Continuous Tense:

  1. I am studying for my exams.
  2. They are playing basketball in the park.
  3. She is working on a project this week.
  4. The weather is getting colder.
  5. She is always interrupting me.

Past Continuous Tense:

  1. I was studying when the phone rang.
  2. He was cooking dinner when the doorbell rang.
  3. While I was working, he was watching TV.
  4. It was raining, and people were running for cover.
  5. The sun was setting as they reached the summit.

Future Simple Tense:

  1. I think it will rain tomorrow.
  2. The phone is ringing; I’ll answer it.
  3. The concert will start at 8:00 PM.
  4. I will help you with your homework.
  5. Our flight will depart in two hours.

Present Perfect Tense:

  1. I have visited London before.
  2. She has never eaten sushi.
  3. We have lived in this city for five years.
  4. They have just finished their project.
  5. He has already seen that movie.

Past Perfect Tense:

  1. I had already eaten when they arrived.
  2. She realized she had forgotten her keys at home.
  3. By the time I got there, they had already left.
  4. He had read the book before watching the movie.
  5. They had known each other for years before they got married.

Future Continuous Tense:

  1. This time next week, I will be relaxing on the beach.
  2. At 8:00 PM tomorrow, we will be attending the concert.
  3. She will be cooking dinner when you arrive.
  4. They will be studying for their exams all night.
  5. By this time next year, I will be working in a new job.

Future Perfect Tense:

  1. By the end of the month, I will have finished the book.
  2. She will have completed her degree by the time she turns 25.
  3. In two years, they will have been married for a decade.
  4. By next week, he will have traveled to five different countries.
  5. By the time you read this, I will have already left for the airport.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense:

  1. I have been studying for hours.
  2. She has been working on the project all day.
  3. They have been living in this city since last year.
  4. We have been waiting for the bus for 30 minutes.
  5. He has been practicing the guitar for weeks.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense:

  1. I had been reading for hours when she called.
  2. They had been working on the report before the deadline.
  3. By the time I arrived, they had been waiting for ages.
  4. She realized she had been driving in the wrong direction.
  5. Before the event, they had been rehearsing for days.

Future Perfect Continuous Tense:

  1. By 5:00 PM, I will have been working for eight hours.
  2. They will have been traveling for a week by the time they return.
  3. By the end of the year, she will have been living here for a decade.
  4. He will have been studying English for two years next month.
  5. By the time you arrive, I will have been waiting for an hour.
Tenses Example Sentences Chart
Tenses Example Sentences Chart

Tenses Quiz:

  1. She ___ (finish) her work when I called.
  2. By the time you arrive, I ___ (read) the book.
  3. I ___ (visit) my grandparents every summer.
  4. They ___ (be) friends since kindergarten.
  5. Next week, we ___ (go) on a vacation.
  6. The sun ___ (set) by the time they reach the beach.
  7. He ___ (work) on this project for three hours.
  8. We ___ (wait) for the bus when it started raining.
  9. I ___ (never/eat) sushi before last night.
  10. By this time next year, they ___ (graduate) from college.
  11. Yesterday, she ___ (buy) a new car.
  12. They ___ (travel) to Paris twice already.
  13. She ___ (study) for the exam all day.
  14. We ___ (live) in this city for ten years.
  15. When I was a child, I ___ (love) to play in the park.
  16. The concert ___ (start) by the time we get there.
  17. I ___ (have) lunch when you called me.
  18. They ___ (play) tennis every Sunday.
  19. She ___ (complete) her assignment by tomorrow.
  20. We ___ (not/see) that movie yet.


  1. had finished
  2. will have read
  3. used to visit
  4. have been
  5. will go
  6. will have set
  7. has been working
  8. were waiting
  9. had never eaten
  10. will have graduated
  11. bought
  12. have traveled
  13. has been studying
  14. have lived
  15. loved
  16. will start
  17. had
  18. play
  19. will have completed
  20. have not seen


Q1: What are verb tenses?

Verb tenses indicate the time of an action or state of being. There are three primary tenses: past, present, and future.

Q2: How many tenses are there in English?

There are three main tenses: past, present, and future. Each of these can be further divided into simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous forms.

Q3: What is the difference between simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous tenses?

Simple tenses express a straightforward action or state. Continuous tenses emphasize the duration of an action. Perfect tenses show completion and perfect continuous tenses highlight the duration leading up to a point in time.

Q4: When do I use the past simple tense?

Past simple is used for completed actions or states in the past.

Q5: What is the past continuous tense used for?

Past continuous is used for actions that were ongoing at a specific point in the past.

Q6: How do I form the past perfect tense?

The past perfect is formed with “had” + the past participle of the main verb and is used to show that one action in the past happened before another.

Q7: When do I use the present simple tense?

Present simple is used for general truths, habits, and scheduled events.

Q8: What is the present continuous tense used for?

Present continuous is used for actions happening at the present moment.

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