Indirect speech: Rules for the change of tenses

When the reporting verb is in the past tense, all present tenses within the inverted commas are changed into the corresponding past tenses.

Simple present will change into simple past.

  • She said, „I am fine.“
  • She said that she was fine.

Continue reading „Indirect speech: Rules for the change of tenses“

Present perfect and simple past: differences

We do not use the present perfect with expressions that refer to a completely finished period of time, like yesterday, last week, when, then, five years ago, in 1995. The simple past is used with this meaning. Continue reading „Present perfect and simple past: differences“

The future progressive tense

Affirmative Negative Question
I shall/will be writing.
She will be writing.
You will be writing.
I shall/will not be writing.
She will not be writing.
You will not be writing.
Shall/will I be writing?
Will she be writing?
Will you be writing?


We use the future progressive to say that an activity will be in progress at a particular moment in the future. Continue reading „The future progressive tense“

The simple future tense

Affirmative Negative Question
I shall/will write.
She will write.
You will write.
I shall/will not write.
She will not write.
You will not write.
Shall/will I write?
Will she write?
Will you write?

British people use I shall/I will and we shall/ we will with no difference of meaning in most situations. However, shall is becoming much less common than will. Shall is not normally used in American English. Continue reading „The simple future tense“

The past perfect progressive tense

Affirmative Negative Question
I had been writing.
She had been writing.
You had been writing.
I had not been writing.
She had not been writing.
You had not been writing.
Had I been writing?
Had she been writing?
Had you been writing?


We use the past perfect progressive to talk about longer actions or situations which had continued up to the past moment that we are thinking about, or shortly before it. Continue reading „The past perfect progressive tense“

The past perfect tense

Affirmative Negative Question
I had written.
She had written.
You had written.
I had not written.
She had not written.
You had not written.
Had I written?
Had she written?
Had you written?

Uses of the past perfect tense

to refer to the ‘earlier past’

The past perfect tense denotes an action completed at some point in the past before some other past action commenced. When two actions in the past have to be referred to, the past perfect is used for the earlier action and the simple past for the later one. Continue reading „The past perfect tense“

The past progressive tense

Affirmative Negative Question
I was writing.
She was writing.
You were writing.
I was not writing.
She was not writing.
You were not writing.
Was I writing?
Was she writing?
Were you writing


to talk about past events in progress

The past progressive is used to talk about events that were in progress around a particular past time. Continue reading „The past progressive tense“

The past simple tense

Affirmative Negative Question
I wrote.
She wrote.
You wrote.
I did not write.
She did not write.
You did not write.
Did I write?
Did she write?
Did you write?

Uses of the simple past tense

We use the simple past tense to talk about many kinds of past events: short, quickly finished actions, longer situations, and repeated events. Continue reading „The past simple tense“

Present tenses to talk about the future

When we talk about future events which have already been planned or decided, or which we can see are on the way, we often use present tenses.

The present progressive

The present progressive is used mostly to talk about personal arrangements and fixed plans, especially when the time and place have been decided. Continue reading „Present tenses to talk about the future“

Present perfect progressive tense

Affirmative Negative Question
I have been writing
She has been writing.
You have been writing.
I have not been writing.
She has not been writing.
You have not been writing.
Have I been writing?
Has she been writing?
Have you been writing?

Uses of the present perfect progressive tense

We use the present perfect progressive to talk about situations which started in the past and are still going on, or which have just stopped and have present results. Continue reading „Present perfect progressive tense“