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English Tenses Timeline Reference

This timeline tenses chart provides a handy reference sheet to English tenses and their relationship to one another and the past, present and future. Conjugated verbs are highlighted in bold. Tenses which are rarely used in everyday conversation are marked by an asterik (*).

For an overview of conjugation of these tenses, use the tense tables or the visual guide to tenses for reference. Teachers can use theses guides on how to teach tenses for further activities and lesson plans in class

TIMELINE

SIMPLE ACTIVE SIMPLE PASSIVE PROGRESSIVE / CONTINUOUS ACTIVE PROGRESSIVE / CONTINUOUS PASSIVE
PAST TIME
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She had already eaten when I arrived. The painting had been sold twice before it was destroyed.

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PAST PERFECT
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I had been waiting for four hours when he finally arrived. The house had been being painted for over a month before they began to decorate the interior. *
I bought a new car last week. The book was written in 1876 by Frank Smith.

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PAST
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I was watching TV when she arrived. The problem was being solved when I arrived late for class.
She has lived in California for many years. The company has been managed by Fred Jones for the last two years.

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PRESENT PERFECT
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She has been working at Johnson's for six months. The students have been being taught for the last four hours. *
He works five days a week. Those shoes are made in Italy.

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PRESENT
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I am working at the moment. The work is being done by Jim.

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PRESENT MOMENT
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FUTURE INTENTION
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They are going to fly to New York tomorrow. The reports are going to be completed by the marketing department.
The sun will shine tomorrow. The food will be brought later.

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FUTURE SIMPLE
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She will be teaching tomorrow at six o'clock. The rolls will be being baked at two. *
I will have completed the course by the end of next week. The project will have been finished by tomorrow afternoon.

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FUTURE PERFECT
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She will have been working here for two years by the end of next month. The house will have been being built for six months by the time they finish. *
FUTURE TIME
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Other Helpful Tense Reference Links

Upper Level Grammar Resources

Lower Level Grammar Resources

Grammar Quizzes

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