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English Tenses

How to use English tenses
English tenses are a time reference – they tell us when things happen. There are three broad categories of tenses: past, present and future. Within each of these three categories, there are several more specific tenses. Look at the diagram below for an overview of these tenses or visit individual tense pages to learn about simple, continuous and perfect verb tenses.
Confused by the different tenses? See our overview of the English tenses below:
Past Simple
I played tennis.
Present Simple
I play tennis.
Future Simple
I will play tennis tomorrow.
I’m going to play tennis tomorrow.
Past Continuous
I was playing tennis.
Present Continuous
I am playing tennis.
Future Continuous
I will be playing tennis.
Past Perfect Simple
I had played tennis.
Present Perfect Simple
I have played tennis.
Future Perfect Simple
I will have played tennis.
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been playing tennis.
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been playing tennis.
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been playing tennis.