Simple and Continuous Tense

Tenses tell us when an action takes place – in the past, present or future. However, tenses can get tricky when we add in a second related action. Take a look at how to use the simple and continuous tense:





Simple past
A past action

e.g. I sorted the recyclables yesterday.

Simple present
A present action
(may be habitual/repeated)

e.g. I sort the recyclables every day.

Simple future
An action that takes place in the future

e.g. I will sort the recyclables tomorrow.

Past continuous
An action in the past that was ongoing when another action happened

Present continuous
An action that began in the past and is ongoing

Future continuous
An action in the future that will be ongoing when another future action occurs

e.g. I was sorting the recyclables yesterday when you came.

e.g. I am sorting the recyclables now.

e.g. I will be sorting the recyclables when you come tomorrow.

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