The 12 Basic English Tenses

The 12 Basic English Tenses
The 12 Basic English Tenses

The word ”Tense” is determined from a Latin word ‘Tempus’ which means time. The tense of a verb shows the time and completeness of an action or event.

There are three main tenses in English.

  1. Present.
  2. Past.
  3. Future.

Each main tense has four different forms.

  1. Indefinite
  2. Continuous
  3. Perfect
  4. Perfect Continuous

Understanding Subjects, Verbs, and Objects

Subject: A subject is a part of a sentence that thing performing the action (or verb) in a sentence.

Verb: A verb is an action or situation of acting in a sentence. Verbs can be shown in different tenses, depending on when the action is being performed.

Object: in simple words, we say that an object provides us with the full meaning of a sentence


  • Present indefinite
  • Past indefinite
  • Future indefinite
  • Present continuous
  • Past continuous
  • Future continuous
  • Present perfect
  • Past perfect
  • Future perfect
  • Present Perfect Continuous
  • Past Perfect Continuous
  • Future Perfect Continuous
Present indefinite
1st Form of Verb + s/es
Helping Verb
(Do, Does)
Past indefinite
2nd form of verb
Helping Verb
Future indefinite
Helping Verb
(Will/Shall) +
1st form of verb
Present continuous
Helping Verb
(is/am/are) +
1st Form of Verb + ing
Past continuous
Helping Verb
(was/were) +
1st Form of Verb
Future continuous
Helping Verb
(will be/shall be) +
1st Form of Verb + ing
Present perfect
3rd Form of Verb
Helping Verb
Past perfect
Helping Verb
Had + 3rd Form of Verb
Future perfect
Helping Verb
(will have/shall have) +
3rd Form of Verb
Present Perfect
Has been/Have been +
1st Form of Verb + ing +
Past Perfect
Had been + 1st Form of
Verb + Since/For

Future Perfect
will have been/shall have been
+ 1st Form of Verb
+ ing + Since/For
1st Person2nd Person 3rd Person
Subjective Casei – weYouThey -He, She, it
Possessive CaseMy – Our
Mine – Ours
Their – His, Its
Theirs, His, Hers, Its
Objective CaseMe – UsYou.Them, Him, Her, It

Read More: Part Of Speech (Complete)


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