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English Grammar and Exercises for ESL learners.

Verb Tense Revision Chart

(Revision of all tenses of English verbs with a brief explanation and an example.)

Verb Tense Use Example

I play

Present Simple

-Regular activities / routine

Amy and Sue play tennis on Saturdays.

I am playing

Present Continuous

-Continuous present action

Amy and Sue are playing at the moment.

I have played Present Perfect

-Finished part of continuous action.

-Completed actions in
unfinished  time period.

-Recent events (unspecified time)

-Past action with a result in
the present.

-Experiences up to now.

-Amy and Sue have played two sets.

-They have played several other matches
 this year.

-Their parents have just arrived.

-Sue has broken her racket so she can't 

-They have played in many tournaments.

I have been

Present Perfect Continuous

Actions begun in the past which  continue today.

They have been playing tennis since

2 o'clock this afternoon.
I played Past Simple
Finished actions at a specific time in the past.

Last Saturday Sue played in another tournament.
I  was playing

Past Continuous

Past continuous actions.

At 2.45 pm they were playing the second set.

I had played Past Perfect Simple
Completed actions before a specific time or event in the past.

Two other people had played a match before Amy and Sue arrived.

I had been playing Past Perfect Continuous
Continuous actions before a specific  time or event in the past.

At 4 pm they had been playing for 2 hours.
I will play

Future Simple


-Spontaneous decisions/offers

Amy will win the match today.

I'll lend you my racket!
I will be playing
Future Continuous
Continuous future action
Tomorrow they will be playing in another club.

I will have played Future Perfect
Completed future action

By September they will have played ten matches.
I will have been playing Future Perfect Cont.
Continuous future action estimated at a time in the future.

A 5 pm  Amy and Sue will have been playing for 3 hours.

I would play Conditional Simple Probable action in an imaginary situation

I would play tennis if I had a racket.

I would be playing Conditional Cont. Continuous action in an imaginary situation
Amy would be playing tennis if you came by on  Saturday afternoon.

I would have
Conditional Perfect Speculation about imaginary situations in the past.
I would have played tennis yesterday if you had asked me.

I would have been playing Conditional Perf.Continuous Continuous hypothetical situations.
I would have been playing with Sue if I had won my last match.

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