Present, Past, and Future are time words that tell us when things happen, in grammar we call them Tenses.
A verb tense tells you the when the verb happens. There are many tenses in grammar.
The first verb tenses we learn are Simple Past , Simple Present, and Simple Future.
Simple Present Tense
“Present” means “now“. But in grammar, the Simple Present Tense often means “in general” – things usually done the same way, regularly, on a schedule, or a habit.
Examples of Simple Present that mean in general, not right now:
- “I go to class on Wednesdays.” That means that every Wednesday I go to class.
- “We go home after class.” That means that after each class we do not go to another place before we go home.
- “Summer is very hot in Texas.” That means that it is normally very hot every summer in Texas.
Present Continuous Tense – “Right Now”
The Present Continuous Tense is the way we talk about what is happening right now, in the present, in this moment.
When you form the Present Continuous, you must do all of these things below:
- Verb/ing: add “ing” to any verb. Examples: playing, talking, eating, sitting, thinking, studying
- Use 2 verbs together: to be in Simple Present and any verb/ing.
- Only the verb “Be” changes. Verb/ing never changes.
Examples of Present Continuous:
- I am playing.
- You are talking.
- She is eating.
- We are sitting.
- You are thinking.
- They are studying.
Simple Past Tense
“Past” means “before now“. Some examples of “past”: yesterday, last week, years ago, 1 minutes ago.
Past Simple of the verb “Go”: I went, you went, he-she-it went, we went, they went, you went.
- Example of Past Simple: Yesterday, I went to class.
Simple Future Tense
“Future” means “after now“. The future has not happened yet. Some examples of “future”: tomorrow, next week, soon.
To form the Future Simple tense we always use “will” + verb.
Future Simple of the verb “Go”: I will go, you will go, he-she-it will go, we will go, they will go, you will go
- Example of Future Simple: I will go to school next Wednesday.
The future of “to go” is “will go”. It is not just “will”, but “will” with a verb.