Present Simple

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We use the present simple to talk about actions we see as long term or permanent. It is a very common and very important tense.  Here, we are talking about regular actions or events.  They drive to the office every day.  She doesn’t come here very often.  The news usually starts at 6.00 every evening.  […]

Present Continuous

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The present continuous is used to talk about present situations which we see as short-term or temporary. We use the present simple to talk about present situations which we see as long-term or permanent.  In these examples, the action is taking place at the time of speaking.  It’s raining.  Who is Kate talking to on […]

Present Simple or Continuous

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We use the Present Simple for regular actions or events I watch TV most evenings.  facts The sun rises in the east  facts know about the future The plane leaves at 5.00 in the morning . thoughts and feelings about the time of speakingI don’t understand. We use the Present Continuous at the time of speaking (‘now’) things which are […]

Past Simple

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We use the past simple to talk about actions and states which we see as completed in the past. We can use it to talk about a specific point in time. She came back last Friday. I saw her in the street. They didn’t agree to the deal. It can also be used to talk […]

Past Continuous

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We use the past continuous to talk about past events which went on for a period of time. We use it when we want to emphasize the continuing process of an activity or the period of that activity. (If we just want to talk about the past event as a simple fact, we use the […]

Past Simple or Continuous

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Both the past simple and the past continuous refer to completed actions in the past. Most of the time when we are talking about such actions, we use the past simple. This is by far the most common way of talking about the past. I lived there for 6 years. I only found out a […]

Irregular verbs

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All new verbs in English are regular. I photocopied the report. She faxed it to me. They emailed everybody about it. I googled my name and got more than 20 000 responses. There are approximately 180 irregular verbs. You don’t need to learn all of them because some of these are very rare but many […]

Present Perfect

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(Please note that British and American English have different rules for the use of this tense. The explanation and exercises here refer to British English. In American English, it is often acceptable to use the past simple in some of these examples.) We use the present perfect when we want to look back from the […]

Present Perfect-Simple or Continuous

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Often there is very little difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous. In many cases, both are equally acceptable. They’ve been working here for a long time but Andy has worked here for even longer.  I’ve lived here for 10 years and she has been living here for 12 years. To […]

Present Perfect Continuous

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This tense is used to talk about an action or actions that started in the past and continued until recently or that continue into the future: We can use it to refer to an action that has finished but you can still see evidence. Oh, the kitchen is a mess. Who has been cooking?  You […]

Past Simple or Present Perfect

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(Remember that British and American English have different rules for the use of the present perfect. The comments and the exercises here refer to correct grammar for British English. In American English, it is often considered acceptable to use the past simple in some of these examples.) The past simple is used to talk about actions […]

Past Perfect

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We use the past perfect simple to talk about what happened before a point in the past. It looks back from a point in the past to further in the past. I hadn’t known the bad news when I spoke to him. I checked with the supplier and they still hadn’t received the contract. She […]

Past Perfect Continuous

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We use the past perfect continuous to look back at a situation in progress. It was a good time to invest. Inflation had been falling for several months.  Before I changed jobs, I had been working on a plan to reduce production costs. We had been thinking about buying a new house but then we […]

Past Review 1

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We can use the past simple to talk about actions and states which we see as completed in the past. I left school when I was sixteen. I was very happy then. He told me all about his childhood. We can use the past continuous to talk about past events which went on for a period of time. While […]

Past Review 2

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We can use the past simple to talk about actions and states which we see as completed in the past. I left school when I was sixteen. I was very happy then. He told me all about his childhood. We can use the past continuous to talk about past events which went on for a period of time. While […]