- An activity of something happening now:
- A temporary situation:
I am not feeling well today
- A future plan:
They are having a party next week
- About change, development and progress:
Life is getting easier thanks to technology
- With always, to criticise or complain:
You are always interupting me!
- About things that are always true
- With words like never, sometimes, often, always, every day, etc to talk about regular and repeated actions:
My parents never eat meat.
- About general facts about our lives:
We live in a small house.
- For something happened in the past but has an effect in the present:
He has had a bad accident.
I have already seen the film.
- Refer to the very recent past:
He has just passed his exams.
- For somethign which started in the past and is still going on:
I have lived there for five years.
- About the past up to the present:
I have been to Canada.
- For something which still has not happened but is expected to happen:
I have not finished the book yet.
- Not to be used in a clause with a past time expression:
I read it last week.
- After words like when, after, until, as soon as, etc., to talk about something in the future:
I will write to you as soon as I have heard from Jenny.
Has gone and has been:
- Somebody has gone to a place means he is still there:
He has gone to school
- Somebody has been to a place means he went there once but he is not there now:
He has been to school
Present Perfect Continuous
- Continuous verbs: The action goes on for some time, e.g. drive, live, make, stand, study, travel, watch, wait, walk, work
- For emphasising how long something has been going on up to the present:
We have been travelling for three hours.
- To show that something is still going on:
I have been reading your book.
- To show something is temporary:
I have been working as a ski instructor, but now I am looking for a new job.
- To talk about things that happened in the past:
I stayed in that hotel last week.
- To talk about the general past, and about regular actions:
Our friends often visited us there.
- For an action which was interrupted by anther action:
I was reading the newspaper when the doorbell rang.
- For an action which was still in progress at a particular time:
At 2:15 we were still waiting for the bus.
- To set the scene for a story or for a series of events:
In was 1975. We were living in a small house in Liverpool.
One the day I had my accident, I was preparing for my examinations.
- When you are talking about past time, you use the past perfect for something which happened earlier and has an effect on the time you are talking about.
I didn’t go to the film with my wife because I had already seen it.
- Refers to something which had happened very recently:
I was feeling very tired because I had just finished work.
- For something which started earlier and was still going on at the time you are talking about:
I had lived there for five years.
- To talk about the time up to the time you are talking about:
In 1997, I had never been to America.
- For something which had not happened at the time you are talking about:
I had never met him before.
Past perfect continuous
- To talk about something which had been going on for some time:
We had been travelling for three hours
Present tenses for the future
- Use present simple for fixed date/time in the future:
The next train arrives at 11:30.
- Use present continuous tense for plans or arrangements for the future:
I am seeing Jill next week.
- Use present tense of verbs like hope, expect, intend, want with a to-infinitive clause for future with uncertain arrangements:
We hope to see you soon.
- After the verb “hope”, we use present simple to refer to the future:
I hope you enjoy your holiday.
- Present tenses are often used to refer to the future in clauses with “if” and with time words like “when” or “before”:
You will not get lost if you have a good map.
Will and going to
- When you know that something will happen, use present simple:
The next train arrives at 11:30
- When you predict something will happen, use “will” or “going to”:
It will be sunny tomorrow.
It is going to rain.
- Use “going to” for prediction with evidence:
I missed the bus. I am going to be late.
- Use “going to” for a warning:
Watch out, we are going to crash.
- Use “will” for a promise:
I will call you later.
- Use “going to” for a decision you have made:
I am going to stay at home tonight.
- Use “will” for a decision you have just made:
I will go to see him.
- “There is” for the noun is singular after “there”:
There is a book on the table
- “There are” for the noun is plural after “there”:
There are two books on the table
- “There is” for two nouns joined by “and” after “there” and the first noun is singular:
There is a man and two women.
- For questions: “there” is placed before “be” or after “is/was/were”:
Are there some oranges left?
Will there be enough time?
- “at” is for:
- Clock times, e.g. at 10:30
- Meals, e.g. at breakfast
- Festivals, e.g. at Easter
- “on” is for:
- days, e.g. on Monday
- dates, e.g. on 10 May
- parts of a specific day, e.g. on Tuesday evening
- special days, e.g. on Christmas eve
- special occations, e.g. on my birthday
- “in” is for:
- parts of the day, e.g. in the morning
- seasons, e.g. in winter
- months, e.g. in January
- years, e.g. in 2000
- centuries, e.g. in the 20th century
- Example: At 10:30 on 10 May in 2000