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Choosing the Correct Verb Tense      - Choosing the Correct Verb Tense 

Choosing the Correct Verb Tense

1. Does Tense = Time ?

Not Always


2. Situation and Time Words determine Time


3. Time chooses Tense (not the other way around)


4. Present Time (Now)

Present Continuous Tense

I am eating my dinner right now.

Present Tense for "non-action" verbs

I want some chocolate ice cream.


5. Future Time

Future with "will"

I will leave tomorrow

Future with "be going to"

I am going to leave tomorrow.

Future Continuous tense

I will be leaving tomorrow.

Future with Present Continuous tense

I am leaving tomorrow

Future with Present tense

I leave tomorrow.

Past Time

Facts: Use Simple Past Tense only

I ate my breakfast at 7:00 this morning.

Relationship between two times.

I had eaten my breakfast when my roommate left.

Relationship between events.

I was eating my breakfast when the telephone rang.


For Practice: See

Verb Choice (from The Internet TESL Journal)

See also:

Grammar: Verb List   


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