Choosing the Correct Verb Tense

1. Does Tense = Time ?

    Not Always

2. Situation and Time Words determine Time

3. Time chooses Tense (not the other way around)


4. Present Time (Now)

    Present Continuous Tense

    I am eating my dinner right now.

    Present Tense for “non-action” verbs

    I want some chocolate ice cream.


5. Future Time

    Future with “will”

    I will leave tomorrow

    Future with “be going to”

    I am going to leave tomorrow.

    Future Continuous tense

    I will be leaving tomorrow.

    Future with Present Continuous tense

    I am leaving tomorrow

    Future with Present tense

    I leave tomorrow.

6. Past Time

    Facts: Use Simple Past Tense only

    I ate my breakfast at 7:00 this morning.

    Relationship between two times.

    I had eaten my breakfast when my roommate left.

    Relationship between events.

    I was eating my breakfast when the telephone rang.