Present simple (I walk)
The present simple is used for general facts about the present descriptions, habits, routines, and schedules.
Turkey has a population of around 72 million. (general fact) This new model looks very modern.(description)
I start work at 7.30. (routine)
The ferry leaves Milazzo at 8.00. (schedule)
The present simple is used for stative verbs. These are verbs used to describe ways of thinking, possession, and senses (taste, hear, feel, etc.).
I don't like long meetings. (way of thinking)
The parent company owns four subsidiaries. (possession) I like your velvet coat. It feels lovely. (sense)
|2||Present continuous (I am walking)
The present continuous is used to talk about actions at the time of speaking, actions happening around now, and temporary actions.
He's eating lunch at the mament. (time of speaking) I'm working on a project in Lincoln far six months.(happening around now)
The company is waiting for news of the takeover. (temporary actions)
It is also used to express irritation at an annoying situation that often happens.
He's always working from home when I need to speak to him!
It is used to talk about the future to refer to definite future arrangements.
I'm meeting Pekka from head office at three this afternoon.
|3||Present perfect (I have walked)
The present perfect is used for actions which took place in the past. But it is used to describe actions in unfinished time periods, or for actions that have very recently finished. It may be used to report news.
I have worked here for fifteen years.
(unfinished time period =fifteen years ago to now) We haven't heard any news.
(unfinished time period = from start of waiting to now) Tom's been to Lisbon five times.
(unfinished time period = Tom's entire life up to now) I've just sent the report! Now I can relax.
(very recently finished)
The managing director has resigned! (news).
|4||The present perfect continuous (I have been working) is used in a similar way to the present perfect. It is preferred when we want to emphasize how long an action has taken.
Andrea's been cycling around Chile for six months.
The present perfect continuous is often used to talk about a past action with a visible present result.
He has been working non-stop for forty-eight hours and he looks like he'll fall asleep any minute.
(past action = working non-stop, present result = he looks like he'll fall asleep)
Past simple (I walked)
The past simple is used for actions that happened in finished time periods.
I worked in La Coruna for five years in the 1980s. (finished time period = the 1980s)
Kai spoke to the suppliers yesterday.
(finished time period = yesterday)
|6||Past continuous (I was walking)
The past simple is the most common tense used for past actions. The past continuous is often used with the past simple to emphasize background information, and longer actions.
When I arrived in Sweden, the wind was blowing and the snow was falling heavily. (= background information, weather) Fabio dropped all his papers while he was giving his presentation. (shorter action = dropped papers, longer action = was giving his presentation)
|7||Past perfect (I had walked)
The past simple is the most common tense used for past actions. The past perfect is used with the past simple to show earlier actions.
When I got back to the room, I discovered he had left.
Often, however, the past simple is used in both cases.
He was arrested after they discovered the theft.
There is also a past perfect continuous, used to emphasize the length of an action.
They were tired because they had been working all day.
Future simple (I will walk)
Will is used for general predictions about the future.
The cost of rent will fall over the next ten years.
Will is often used in the present for offers and immediate decisions.
The client has arrived early so I'll go downstairs and meet her. (= decide immediately to go downstairs)
I know you have had arguments with Julia, so I'll phone her instead. (= after to telephone Julia)
|9||Going to future (I am going to walk)
Going to and will can often be used in the same way to make predictions.
The cost of rent is going to fall over the next ten years.
Going to is used in predictions which are based on present evidence.
Because our suppliers are closing down, we're going to have difficulty getting new equipment. (present evidence = the suppliers are closing down, prediction = have difficulty getting new equipment)
Both going to and the present continuous are used to describe definite future arrangements.
I'm going to meet Pekka from head office at three this afternoon.
|10||Future continuous (I will be walking)
We use the future continuous when we predict what will happen at a specified future time.
Theresa will be leaving the office at six. (prediction = Theresa will be leaving the office, specified future time = at six)
It is often used to predict what people are doing at the time of speaking.
Yvain isn't answering his mobile. Oh, I know why: he'll be driving to work now. (prediction = he'll be driving to work)
Like going to and the present continuous, the future continuous is used to talk about future plans and arrangements.
The visitors from Pusan will be arriving at eleven tomorrow and then they'll be visiting the factory for the rest of the day. (plans and arrangements = arriving at eleven, visiting the factory)
|11||Future perfect (I will have walked)
The future perfect is used with other future tenses. It is used to show that an action happens before a specified future time.
The project will have ended by the start of next week. (action happening before = the project will have ended, specified future time = the start of next week)
it is used to show that an action happens before another future event.
They'll have sold all the tickets before the concert. (action happening before = they'll have sold all the tickets, future event = the concert)
There is also a future perfect continuous. This is used to emphasize the length of an action.
By the launch date at the end of this year, we'll have been working on the project for eighteen months.(action happening before = we'll have been working on the project, future time = the launch date at the end of this year)
A conditional is a sentence using 'if'.
Zero conditional (If you walk, it takes ten minutes)
The zero conditional is used to describe causes and effects that are always true. We use the present simple in both halves of the sentence.
If it rains, you get wet. (cause = rain, effect = get wet).
|13||First conditional (If you walk, you'll lose weight)
The first conditional is used for realistic possibilities. We use the present simple with the cause, and will with the effect.
If I save enough money, I'll go on holiday to Croatia. (cause = save money, effect = I'll go on holiday)
You can reverse the clauses too.
We'll make a good profit if we invest in Dubai. (cause = invest in Dubai, effect = make a good profit)
|14||Second conditional (If we walked to their office, it would take hours)
The second conditional is used for unrealistic and hypothetical situations.
If you made Chris the sales manager, the board would never agree to his appointment. (unrealistic situation, cause = made Chris the sales manager, effect = would never agree)
If the country had a population of 20 million, it would be a really good market. (hypothetical situation, cause = had a population of 20 million, effect = be a really good market)
Sometimes we give advice using if I were you ...
If I were you, I wouldn't tell them anything.
|15||Third conditional (If I had walked, I would have been late)
The third conditional is used for past possibilities.
if I hadn't got the taxi, I would have missed my flight. (cause = hadn't got the taxi, result = would have missed flight)
It can be a difficult structure to understand.
If Richard had known about the meeting, he would have come. (Richard didn't know, so he didn't come)
|16||Mixed conditional (If I had walked, I wouldn't be here now)
We use mixed conditionals when we want to talk about a past possibility with a present result.
If Susannah hadn't left the company, we wouldn't be in this mess now. (past possibility = Susannah hadn't left the company, present result = we wouldn't be in this mess now)
If you had asked yesterday, we would already know the answer. (past possibility = you had asked yesterday, present result = we would already know)
|17||The passive is used for various reasons. It Is made with the usual verb tense of be + past participle.
She was criticized by the boss yesterday. (usual tense of be Is past simple = was, past participle = criticized)
Rebecca will be made the new manager tomorrow. (usual tense of be is will = will be, past participle = made)
We may use a passive when we don't know who did an action.
My bag has been stolen! (we don't know who stole the bag) We may use a passive when the person who did an action is not important to us.
My brother has been sacked from his company! (= the speaker is interested in his brother, not who sacked his brother)
|18||The passive is used for various reasons. It Is made with the usual verb tense of be + past participle.
We may use a passive to describe a process, such as the manufacture of a product.
The oranges are picked in Florida. Then they are transported by road to the factory, where they are pressed by machines to make orange juice. (passive verbs = are picked, are transported, are pressed)
In a passive sentence, if we want to include who did the action, we use by.
My brother has been sacked from his company by the new boss! (who did the action = the new boss)
The indefinite article (a, an)
Use a (an) to talk about something for the first time.
I met a new client yesterday. (= first mention of the new client) There was a man waiting for you at reception. (= we have never talked about the man before)
Use a (an) to define something.
A cayman is a kind of crocodile. (definition of a cayman) Use a (an) when ordering one of something.
I'd like an orange juice and a croissant please. (more common than one orange juice and one croissant)
|20||The definite article (the) Use (the) when you talk about an object and you expect the other person to know exactly what (who) you are talking about.
I enjoyed the restaurant last night. (= everyone knows which restaurant we ore talking about)
Have you sent the report to the Spanish office yet? (= everyone knows which report this is)
Use (the) after mentioning something for the first time.
There was a man waiting for you at reception. I think he was the man who came to the meeting yesterday. (first time mentioned = a man, second time, etc. = the man)
Use (the) when there is only one of something.
Can you pass me the pen over there? (= there is only one pen which could be passed)
Many nouns use the structure the __ of __ .
the Bank of England, the Republic of Ireland, the CEO of IBM
General descriptions of uncountable nouns do not use an article.
Sugar is grown in Cuba. (uncountable noun = sugar) General descriptions of countable nouns do not use an article. The countable noun becomes plural.
Computers have made our lives much, much easier. (countable noun = computers)
Modal verbs are a kind of auxiliary verb that we use to show ability, obligation, or opinion. They include can, could, may, might, should, ought to, have to, must, and need to.
We can't hold the meeting in August because everyone will be on holiday. (can't = ability)
Thomas ought to help with the production of the prototype. (ought to = the speaker's opinion)
Modal verbs are followed by the bare infinitive (i.e. the infinitive without to).
You should leave at four. (should = modal, leave = bore infinitive)
He must read this report before he goes to Bellinzona. (must = modal, read = bare infinitive)
The illustrators might send you the pictures in PDF format. (might = modal, send = bore infinitive)
|23||Have to and need to
Have to and need to are exceptions.
The letters have to be filed at head office. We need to have a discussion about this.
Need can also be used with -ing.
The office really needs painting.
|24||Have to and must
In the present tense have to and must have a very similar meaning. It is more common to use have to.
I must email Yukiko.
I have to email Yukiko.
However, in the negative the meanings are different. Don't have to means 'you can choose'.
You don't have to wear a tie to work - most people don't. (= ifs your choice to wear a tie or not)
The negative of must means 'do not' - forbidden.
You mustn't take files marked 'confidential' outside the building. (= do not take the files outside the building)
In the past modal verbs are followed by have + past participle.
I should have got his telephone number before he left. (should = modal, have, past participle = got)
He may have been in the office last weekend. (may = modal, have, been = past participle)
|26||Past of could and was (were) able to
To talk about ability in the past use could or was (were) able to. Could is used to mean 'general ability'.
I could play the guitar when I was seven. (I had the general ability to play the guitar)
Was I were able to is used to talk about specific ability in particular occasions or events.
It was only because I worked till three a.m. last night that I was able to deal with all the paperwork. (on this particular occasion he dealt with the paperwork)
|27||Past of have to and must
To talk about past obligation use had to.
I had to change planes three times to fly to Patagonia. (had to = past obligation)
Before we had computers, we had to write all the letters on typewriters, and it took forever! (had to = past obligation)
Use must have + past participle to make hypotheses about the past when you are very certain.
Jo must have stayed at the Bristol Hotel last night. (past modal = must, have, past participle = stayed, the speaker is certain Jo stayed at the Bristol)
Wilhelm must have told them about the appointment - because only he and I know about it. (past modal = must, have, told = past participle, the speaker is certain Wilhelm told them)