Diagram of the Tenses of English with a timeline for each tense 4

Past present future

Past Present and Future (flickr.com/photos/freshelectrons)


Here’s a chart of all the ‘tenses’ of English. It contains the form, most common usage, example sentences and a timeline for each of the past, present and future tenses, plus conditionals. There’s an A4 students’ version, or an A3 version you can stick on the wall.

It’s designed for use when students are already familiar with most of the tenses as a kind of visual overview to help with revision and clarification. This won’t be right for all students, but some students really benefit from being able to see and compare the tenses side by side.

A word of warning, though: this chart may be overwhelming for some students. If you use it with your class, explain that you don’t expect them to know every tense right away, and you will be going through each tense in detail. Students need to look in more detail at grammar exercises for tricky distinctions, like the difference between present perfect simple and continuous.

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