Verb tenses and modals auxiliaries album
Post on 21-Mar-2016
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DESCRIPTIONHow to use the verb tenses and Modals Auxiliaries.
The Present Simple Tense
(also called the simple present tense)
Simple present tense with 'be'
The verb 'be' is different from the other verbs in this tense. Let's look at 'be' first:
Here's the positive form (positive means a normal sentence, not a negative or a
question. This is sometimes called 'affirmative')
Positive Positive Short Form
I am I'm
you are you're
he is he's
she is she's
it is it's
we are we're
they are they're
Next, here's the negative. It's very easy. You only add 'not'.
Negative Negative short form
I am not I'm not
you are not you aren't
he is not he isn't
she is not she isn't
it is not it isn't
we are not we aren't
they are not they aren't
And finally let's talk about the question form of the present simple with 'be'.
Firstly, here's the 'yes / no' question form:
Yes / No Questions
am I ?
are you ?
is he ?
is she ?
is it ?
are we ?
are they ?
If you'd like to make a 'wh' question, you just put the question word at the front:
where am I ?
what are you ?
why is he ?
who is she ?
when are we ?
how are they ?
Present simple tense with other verbs
With all other verbs, we make the present simple in the same way.
The positive is really easy. It's just the verb with an extra 's' if the subject is 'he', 'she',
or 'it'. Let's take the verb 'play' as an example:
Positive (of 'play')
To make the negative form, you need to use 'do not' (don't) or ' does not' (doesn't).
Negative (of 'play')
I do not play I don't play
you do not play you don't play
he does not play he doesn't play
she does not play she doesn't play
it does not play it doesn't play
we do not play we don't play
they do not play they don't play
How about the question form of the present simple tense?
We use 'do' or 'does' before the subject to make the 'yes / no' question:
Yes / No questions
do I play ?
do you play ?
does he play ?
does she play ?
does it play ?
do we play ?
do they play ?
Just like with 'be', if you'd like to make a 'wh' question, you just put the question word
at the front:
where do I play ?
what do you play ?
why does he play ?
who does she play ?
when do we play ?
how do they play ?
1: First, we use the Present Simple when something is generally true:
The sun rises in the east.
People need food.
It snows in winter.
2: We also need to use this tense for a situation that we think is more or less
Where do you live?
She works in a bank.
They love coffee.
3: The next use is for habits or things that we do regularly. We often use adverbs of
frequency in this case
Do you smoke?
I play tennis every Tuesday.
We often go to the cinema.
She gets up at seven o'clock every day.
4: Four, we use the simple present to talk about what happens in books, plays, or films:
The hero dies at the end of the film.
A young woman travels through Europe, where she meets different people,
and finally falls in love.
In this book, an army invades Britain.
5: We use it in the first and the zero conditionals:
If it rains, I won't come.
If you heat water to 100 degrees, it boils.
6: Strangely, we can use this tense to talk about the future. When you are discussing a
timetable or a fixed plan, you can use this tense.
School begins at nine tomorrow.
Our train leaves at eleven.
What time does the film start?
7: We also use it to talk about the future after words like ' 'when', 'until', 'after',
'before' and 'as soon as' in a future sentence:
I will call you when I have time. (Not: 'will have')
I won't go out until it stops raining.
She'll come as soon as her babysitter arrives.
8: We need to use this simple tense with stative verbs (verbs which we don't use in
continuous tenses), in situations where we'd usually use the present continuous:
This soup tastes great.
You look fabulous.
I think she is very pretty.
How to make the Present Continuous Tense
(also called the Present Progressive Tense)
The present continuous (sometimes called the present progressive) tense in English is
really easy to make and is the same for all verbs. We make it using the present simple
of 'be' + verb-ing:
Here is how we make the positive:
Positive Positive Short Form
I am sleeping I'm sleeping
you are sleeping you're sleeping
he is sleeping he's sleeping
she is sleeping she's sleeping
it is sleeping it's sleeping
we are sleeping we're sleeping
they are sleeping they're sleeping
We can make the negative by adding 'not':
Negative Negative Short Form
I am not sleeping I'm not sleeping
you are not playing you aren't playing
he is not reading he isn't reading
she is not working she isn't working
it is not raining it isn't raining
we are not cooking we aren't cooking
they are not listening they aren't listening
Questions are also really, really easy. Just like we made the question with 'be' in the
present simple, here we also put 'am', 'is', or 'are' before the subject to make a 'yes /
Yes / No Questions
am I eating chocolate ?
are you studying now ?
is he working ?
is she doing her homework ?
is it raining ?
are we meeting at six ?
are they coming ?
For 'wh' questions, just put the question wor