How to define times in English

How to define times in English

Often the people learning English meet difficulties with determining times in English. To understand it, it is necessary to acquire one simple thing: at British, as well as at all other people, 3 times (real, last and the future). And here types of action can be divided into four groups. It is simpler to tell about them on examples therefore we will pass directly to them.


1. So, regular actions. They can take place in any of three times. Let's take the verb "write". Present Simple: It writes. As this regular action, it is possible to expand the offer: He writes every day. Into English this sentence is translated by "He writes". General question: "Does he write?". Special question: "What does he write?"; "Who writes?" .Past Simple (past tense): "He wrote" (It wrote yesterday). Questions: "Did he write?", "What did he write", "Who wrote?", etc. Future time (Future Simple): "He will write" (He will write). Questions: "Will he write?", "What will he write?", "Who will write?".

2. Times of the Continuous group designate the actions happening at the concrete moment. "He is writing" - It writes now. Questions: "Is he writing?", "What is he writing?", "Who is writing?", "Is he writing or reading?", "He is writing, isn't he?", etc. Past Continuous: It wrote to 3 yesterday – "He was writing at 3". Questions: "Was he writing?", "What was he writing?", "Who was writing?", etc. Future Continuous: It will write to 3 tomorrow – "He will be writing at 3". Questions can be asked such: "Will he be writing?", "What will he be writing?", "Who will be writing?".

3. Times of the Perfect group designate the actions finished by the concrete moment. The present (Present Perfect) - "He has written" (He wrote). Questions: "Has he written?", "What has he written?", "Who has written?", etc. Past Perfect - "He had written by 3" (He wrote to 3 yesterday). Questions: "Had he written?", "What had he written?", "Who had written?". Future time (Future Perfect) - "He will have written by 3" (He will write to 3 tomorrow). Questions: Will he have written?", "What will he have written?", "Who will have written?", etc.

4. At last, Perfect-Continuous times. They are used, when it comes to actions which last during time period. Present Perfect-Continuous: "He has been writing for 2 hours" - It writes within two hours. Respectively, questions: "Has he been writing?", "What has he been writing?", "Who has been writing?". Past Perfect-Continuous: "He had been writing for 2 hours" - It wrote within two hours (when phone rang out). Questions: "Had he been writing", "What had he been writing?", "Who had been writing?", etc. And Future Perfect-Continuous: "He will have been writing for 2 hours" - It will write within two hours (when phone rings out). Questions: "Will he have been writing?", "What will he have been writing?", "Who will have been writing?", etc.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team