There are many different tenses in English, each with different grammar patterns. Here, you can learn English tenses free, with tests for you and a free worksheet below!
Below you can read about the most common tenses in English, with examples of how they are used. Then you can learn English tenses free by using the test questions in each section. Good luck!
Learn English Tenses Free: The present simple
The present simple is the base form of the verb, and we use it to describe three kinds of situation:
a) When something is always true:
e.g. “Ice melts when it is heated.”
“The Earth orbits the sun.”
b) For current habits and things that happen regularly:
e.g. “I play tennis every Wednesday and Thursday.”
“He studies English in the evening.”
c) For fixed events in the future:
e.g. “Our plane leaves at 12.00.”
“The movie starts at 19.30.”
Test your English tenses free! The Present Simple
Put the missing words in the gaps.
departs sit go call watch lives comes
- I to work every day except Sunday
- I always my mum on weekends, and we talk for ages!
- Quickly, we need to get to the station! Our train in 15 minutes!
- Maggie in Spain, but she from Australia.
- I am always tired after work, so I just on the sofa and TV.
Learn English Tenses Free: The present continuous
The present continuous is used to discuss events happening now.
e.g. “Sorry, I can’t talk on the phone. I’m driving.”
“She is thinking about quitting her job.”
It is also used to discuss future plans.
e.g. “We are meeting tonight at 20.00.”
“I am going to Disneyland in June.”
Test your English tenses free! The present simple and present continuous
Should you use the present simple, or the present continuous? Choose the correct form.
1. I play / am playing tennis every day after school.
2. She comes / is coming to my house tonight.
3. He believes / is believing in God.
4. It rains / is raining outside now.
5. I love / am loving her.
6. They listen / are listening to music now so can’t hear me call.
7. He listens / is listening to music whenever he exercises.
8. It’s a beautiful day! The birds sing / are singing and the sun shines / is shining. I feel great!
9. I work / am working until 22.00 tonight.
10. He has so much charisma. Everyone listens / is listening when he speaks.
Learn English tenses free: The past simple and the present perfect
The past simple is used to talk about a completed action in the past. It is used to describe a specific point in the past.
e.g. “I ate breakfast this morning.”
“He played football yesterday.”
“I lived in Germany when I was a child.”
The present perfect is used to talk about:
a) experiences at a general time in the past (not at a specific time).
e.g. “I have been to Scotland twice.”
“She has worked in many different countries.”
b) a situation continuing from the past into the present.
e.g. “I have been studying English for years.”
“They have been waiting at the station since 9 this morning.”
Test your English tenses free! The past simple and present perfect
Should you use the past simple, or the present perfect? Choose the correct form.
- I have been/went to Vietnam before, but want to go again. It was great!
- She has been/went to Brazil last year, but wants to go this year too.
- I have never been/didn’t go to America, but I am saving so I can. I want to go to New York and Los Angeles.
- Last year I have never been/didn’t go to a foreign country, but I will this year.
- I have never visited/didn’t visit the UK, but I am interested in British history.
- He loves British history, and he visited/has visited the UK many times.
- I tried/have tried sky diving last summer, and it was terrifying!
- We tried/have tried sky diving a few times, but don’t want to do it again.
- We all tried/have tried snowboarding last winter, and it was so much fun!
10. I thought it was a cool new song, but it turns out everyone heard / has heard it before.
- She learned/has learned English for years, and is very easy to understand. She still studies, though.
12. I saw/have seen a ghost last night!
13. I forgot/have forgotten my wallet. Can I borrow $20?
14. The movie we watched last night was the worst movie I saw/have seen.
15. It was the most delicious meal I ate/have eaten in my life.
How did you do with these free English tense activities? Did you understand the difference between each one? If not, you shouldn’t worry! Even fluent speakers of English might have difficulty explaining why one is correct, though they know that only one is right! That’s why it is important to connect with a teacher – like with the teachers and English speakers at Denwa Sensei!