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English Tense System

In some languages, verb tenses are not very important or do not even exist. In English, the concept of tense is very important.

In this lesson we look at how to avoid confusing tense with time, and the structure of the 12 basic tenses, with examples using a regular verb, an irregular verb and the verb "be".

Tense and Time
Don't confuse the name of a tense with time!

Basic Tenses
12 tenses in active voice + 12 in passive = 24

Basic Tenses: Regular Verbs
Structure of basic tenses with regular verb work

Basic Tenses: Irregular Verbs
Structure of basic tenses with irregular verb sing

Basic Tenses: Be
Structure of basic tenses with irregular verb be