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The good thing about verb tenses in English is that they are, in comparison to many different languages, that different for each subject.
While you have to deal with a different conjugation for each subject for several other languages (think Spanish, French, etc.), English only has a couple. The most effective way to learn these different tenses is up to each person, but a good way to do it is this:
Most Common VERB NOUN Collocations 🍦
1. Simple present tense: this is the tense that you will use most often. The only thing that you need to remember is that the third person singular (he, she, it, etc.) needs to have an -s at the end of the verb (he walks instead of he walk). There are only a few exceptions to this rule, with verbs such as be and have.
2. Present continuous tense: we use this a lot to talk about things that are happening now, and continue over a certain period of time. You can start with the different conjugations of the verb to be (am, is, are) and just remember to add the -ing ending for each verb phrase.
3. Simple past tense: the most simple way to express something that happened in the past. Most verbs only need and -ed added at the end to become past tense verbs, and there are a few exceptions.
4. Simple future tense: the easiest way to express something that will happen in the future. You can say that you will do something, I will do it, or someone will do it. No verb changes involved.
5. Past and future continuous: the only difference between these and the present continuous tense is that you need to say “was” or “were” doing, or “will be doing”.
6. Present perfect: you can usually get by without this verb tense, but if you want to learn all of them, this is useful for talking about things that you did in the past but are no longer doing.
For example, I have traveled to many different countries. For all subjects, you just need to remember which version of “have” to use (either have or has) and use the right past participle for the main verb. Most past participles are the same as the simple past tense verb, but there are a few exceptions.
7. Past and future perfect: use “had” for the past or “will have” for the future, in place of the present tense have or had for the perfect tense! Other than that, the same past participles from the present perfect tense apply
8. Present perfect continuous: use have and has in front of been and an -ing verb (I have been learning English for 4 years)
9. Past and future perfect continuous: substitute have and has with the right version of have. For the past, use “had”, and for the future, use “will have” in front of been and the -ing verb.
If you learn your verb tenses in an order like this, it will be most useful because these are the frequency that you would use most when typically talking or reading in English. Once you master the first few verb tenses, you should be able to express yourself accurately for most people to understand.
For the perfect tenses, especially the perfect continuous for present, past, and future, they will allow you to expand your expression ability but are generally not necessary for very high fluency in spoken English.