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VERB TENSES

In this handout, we will know the main simple tenses we use in English. When we talk
about tenses, we have to focus in usage and form. All the tenses have different usages and all of
them have three forms: Affirmative (positive), interrogative (questions) and negative (not)
sentences.
These tenses are:
1.-Verb to be (present)
2.- Present simple
3.-Present continuous
4.-Past simple
5.-Future (will-going)
I VERB TO BE PRESENT (Ser o estar)
We often use the verb To Be to talk about personal information (your information or others)
PRESENT


SHORT FORM TRANSLATION USE
I am Im yo soy- yo estoy Personal information
You are Youre T eres - ests Personal information
He is Hes l es - est Personal information
She is Shes Ella es - est Personal information
It is Its El o ella es-est Para animales o cosas
We are Were Nosotros somos-estamos Personal information
They are Theyre Ellos son-estn Personal information

1.- AFFIRMATIVE FORM (+)
Examples
I am a student We are Chilean
You are my friend They are pigs
He is a policeman It is a dog
She is my mom

2.- INTERROGATIVE FORM (?)
Examples

Are you a student?
Is he your brother?
Is she your sister?
Is it a triangle?
Are they cars?

3.- NEGATIVE FORM (-)
EXAMPLES
I am not a student
You are not my friend
He is not a policeman
She is not my mom
It is not a dog
We are not Chilean
They are not pigs

II PRESENT SIMPLE
It is used to talk about daily routines,
important to notice that we are using the verb to be, but other verbs (see Irregular and regular
verbs list)
IMPORTANT: In affirmative form,
In the third person singular (HE-SHE
e.g He likes/ She visit
Short answers
POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Yes, I am No. Im not
Yes, he is No, he isnt
Yes, she is No, she isnt
Yes, it is No, it isnt
Yes, they are No, they arent
SHORT FORM
Im not
Youre not/ You arent
Hes not / He isnt
Shes not/ She isnt
Its not/ It isnt
Were not/ We arent
Theyre not/ They arent
routines, preferences, universal truths and laws of nature. It is
important to notice that we are using the verb to be, but other verbs (see Irregular and regular

IMPORTANT: In affirmative form,
SHE-IT), we usually add the letter S
/ She visits/ He plays
NEGATIVE
No. Im not
isnt
No, she isnt
No, it isnt
No, they arent
truths and laws of nature. It is
important to notice that we are using the verb to be, but other verbs (see Irregular and regular

We also add ES when the verbs end with the letters SH
e.g He watches TV/ she wash
In verbs ending in consonant +y , we change the Y and add ES : IES
e.g (FLY) The plane flies to USA/ (CARRY) She always carr
In the interrogative and negative form, we use the auxiliaries

We also add ES when the verbs end with the letters SH-CH-X-O
TV/ she washes the dishes/ He fixes the computer/ She goes
ending in consonant +y , we change the Y and add ES : IES
to USA/ (CARRY) She always carries her old bag

In the interrogative and negative form, we use the auxiliaries DO-DOES/ DONT DOESNT
es to London
DOESNT


III PRESENT CONTINUOUS
This tense is a mixture between Verb to be present and another verb ending with
Spanish means ando-endo. It is used to talk about something that happens
speaking (NOW)
AFFIRMATIVE FORM (+)
VERB TO BE ANOTHER VERB ENDING IN
ING
I am
You are
He is
She is LISTENING
It is
We are
They are
INTERROGATIVE FORM (?)
Here, you change the order of the verb to be. This comes first. Generally, we dont make question with the
pronoun I because it would be weird to ask
the end of the sentence.
VERB TO BE PERSONAL
PRONOUN
ANOTHER VERB
IN ING
are You
is he
is she
Is it LISTENING
Are we
Are they
This tense is a mixture between Verb to be present and another verb ending with ING
endo. It is used to talk about something that happens at the moment of
ENDING IN COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
Yo estoy escuchando msica
Tu ests escuchando msica
l est escuchando msica
to music Ella est escuchando msica
El/ella (animales-cosas) est escuchando
msica
Nosotros estamos escuchando msica
Ellos estn escuchando msica
Here, you change the order of the verb to be. This comes first. Generally, we dont make question with the
pronoun I because it would be weird to ask something to yourself. We only add the question
ANOTHER VERB ENDING

COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
ests escuchando
est l escuchando msica
Est ella escuchando msica
ING to music? (animales-cosas)
escuchando msica
estamos nosotros
msica?
Estn ellos escuchando msica?

ING that in
at the moment of
msica
msica
l est escuchando msica
Ella est escuchando msica
cosas) est escuchando
Nosotros estamos escuchando msica
Ellos estn escuchando msica
Here, you change the order of the verb to be. This comes first. Generally, we dont make question with the
We only add the question mark (?) at
TRANSLATION
ests escuchando msica?
escuchando msica?
escuchando msica?
cosas) l/ella est
escuchando msica?
nosotros escuchando
Estn ellos escuchando msica?

Short answers
POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Yes, I am No. Im not
Yes, he is No, he isnt
Yes, she is No, she isnt
Yes, it is No, it isnt
Yes, they are No, they arent

NEGATIVE FORM (-)
VERB TO BE NOT ANOTHER VERB ENDING
IN ING
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I am not Yo no estoy escuchando msica
You are not Tu no estas escuchando msica
He is not El no est escuchando msica
She is not Ella no est escuchando msica
It is not LISTENING to music l/ella no est escuchando msica
We are not Nosotros no estamos escuchando msica
They are not Ellos no estn escuchando msica







IV PAST SIMPLE
We use past simple to talk about actions that are completely finished. There are two types of verbs in
English: Regular and Irregular verbs (see list of verbs)



SHORT FORM ANOTHER VERB
ENDING IN ING
COMPLEMENT
Im not
Youre not
Hes not
Shes not LISTENING to music
Its not
Were not
Theyre not
a) Regular verbs: There are verbs which end with the letters ED. Their root doesnt change
e.g PRESENT: I listen (Yo escucho) ----------- PAST: I listened (Yo escuch)
(root)
b) Irregular verbs: These verbs CHANGE their form completely. The only way to learn the changes is
practicing!
e.g PRESENT: I go (Yo voy) ----------- PAST: I went (Yo fui)

IMPORTANT: The past form of verb TO BE (era - estaba) is the following

AFFIRMATIVE FORM (+)

PRONOUN VERB TO BE PAST COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I WAS tired Yo estaba cansado
He WAS at home l estaba en casa
She WAS happy Ella estaba feliz
It WAS in the living room Estaba en el living (una cosa)
You WERE at the mall yesterday T estabas en el mall ayer
We WERE students last year Nosotros ramos estudiantes el ao
pasado
They WERE friends Ellos eran amigos

INTERROGATIVE FORM (?)

VERB TO BE PAST PRONOUN COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
WAS He tired? l estaba cansado?
WAS She at home? ella estaba en casa?
WAS It in the living room? Estaba en el living? (una cosa)
WERE You at the mall yesterday? T estabas en el mall ayer?
WERE We students last year? Nosotros ramos estudiantes el ao
pasado?
WERE They Friends? ellos eran amigos?

Short answers
POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Yes, I was No. I wasnt
Yes, he was No, he wasnt
Yes, she was No, she wasnt
Yes, it was No, it wasnt
Yes, we were No, we werent
Yes, you were No, you werent
Yes, they were No, they werent




NEGATIVE FORM (-)

PRONOUN VERB TO BE PAST +
NOT
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I Was not /wasnt tired Yo no estaba cansado
He Was not/ wasnt at home l no estaba en casa
She Was not/ wasnt happy Ella no estaba feliz
It Was not/ wasnt in the living room No estaba en el living (una cosa)
You Were not/werent at the mall yesterday T no estabas en el mall ayer
We Were not/werent students last year Nosotros no ramos estudiantes el
ao pasado
They Were not/werent friends Ellos no eran amigos

Now, we will see the forms of other verbs (regular or irregular) except verb To be:
AFFIRMATIVE FORM (+)
In the affirmative form, the verb changes depending on if it is regular or irregular:
PRONOUN VERB IN PAST
(REGULAR OR
IRREGULAR)
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I Yo visit a mi pap - Yo tena un perro
You visited My (our) dad Tu visitaste a mi pap Tu tenias un perro
He El visit a mi pap El tena un perro
She Had a dog Ella visit a mi pap Ella tena un perro
It slept in the yard l durmi en el patio (animal)
We Nosotros visitamos a nuestro pap Nosotros tenamos un
perro
They Ellos visitaron a mi pap Ellos tenan un perro

INTERROGATIVE FORM (?)
Here we use the auxiliary DID for all the persons (subjects) and the verb now it has to be written in
infinitive form (present).
AUXILIARY PRONOUN VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
you Listen to music? escuchaste msica?
he visit his dad? visit l a su pap?
DID she clean her house? ella limpi su casa?
it bark last night? ladr anoche?
we play soccer yesterday? jugamos a la pelota ayer?
they write a book last year? Escribieron un libro el ao pasado?

Short answers
POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Yes, I did No. I didnt
Yes, he did No, he didnt
Yes, she did No, she didnt
Yes, it did No, it didnt
Yes, we did No, we didnt
Yes, they did No, they didnt

NEGATIVE FORM (-)
Here, we add not to the auxiliary (did not) or we can use the short form DIDNT.
PRONOUN AUXILIARY IN
NEGATIVE FORM
VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I listen to music Yo no escuch musica
You visit your dad T no visitaste a tu pap
He clean his house l no limpi su casa
She DID NOT work last night Ella no trabaj anoche
It DIDNT bark yesterday night No ladr ayer en la noche
We write a book last year Nosotros no escribimos un libro el ao pasado
They learn German Ellos no aprendieron Alemn

V FUTURE (WILL GOING TO)
There are two main forms of talking about the future. The first one is using WILL which is used to
talk about an action in the future that is not very sure to happen. It is usually a decision made at
the moment of speaking. The second one is using GOING TO which is used to talk about definite
plans, a decision already made and that is not going to change. The translation of the two forms
would be the following:
WILL I will go the party (Yo ir a la fiesta) Puede que ocurra o pase
algo que no me permita ir a la fiesta
GOING TO I am going to clean my bedroom (Yo voy a limpiar mi pieza) Es seguro que lo
har porque est muy desordenada desde
hace das)



4.1 FORM OF WILL
Here the translation of Will +another verb is ar-er,etc
AFFIRMATIVE FORM (+)
PRONOUN AUXILIARY VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I At the party Yo bailar en la fiesta
You At the party Tu bailars en la fiesta
He dance At the party l bailar en la fiesta
She WILL rain At the party Ella bailar en la fiesta
It tonight Llover esta noche
We At the party Nosotros bailaremos en la fiesta
They At the party Ellos bailarn en la fiesta

INTERROGATIVE FORM (?)
AUXILIARY PRONOUN VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
You At the party? Tu bailars en la fiesta?
He dance At the party? l bailar en la fiesta?
WILL She rain At the party? Ella bailar en la fiesta?
It Tonight? Llover esta noche?
We At the party? Nosotros bailaremos en la fiesta?
They At the party? Ellos bailarn en la fiesta?

Short answers
POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Yes, I will No. I will not /wont
Yes, he will No, he will not /wont
Yes, she will No, she will not /wont
Yes, it will No, it will not /wont
Yes, we will No, we will not /wont
Yes, they will No, they will not /wont






NEGATIVE FORM (-)
PRONOUN AUXILIARY VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I At the party Yo no bailar en la fiesta
You At the party Tu no bailars en la fiesta
He dance At the party l no bailar en la fiesta
She WILL NOT rain At the party Ella no bailar en la fiesta
It WONT Tonight No Llover esta noche
We At the party Nosotros no bailaremos en la fiesta
They At the party Ellos no bailarn en la fiesta

4.2 FORM OF GOING TO
Here we have to use again the verb to be present + going to and the translation of this would be
yo voy a
AFFIRMATIVE FORM (+)
PRONOUN +
VERB TO BE
PRESENT
GOING TO VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I am At the party Yo voy a bailar en la fiesta
You are At the party Tu vas a bailar en la fiesta
He is dance At the party l va a bailar en la fiesta
She is GOING TO rain At the party Ella va a bailar en la fiesta
It is tonight Va a llover esta noche
We are At the party Nosotros vamos a bailar en
la fiesta
They are At the party Ellos van a bailar en la fiesta

INTERROGATIVE FORM (?)
VERB TO BE
+PRONOUN
AUXILIARY VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
Are you dance At the party? vas a bailar en la fiesta?
Is he dance At the party? l va a bailar en la fiesta?
Is she dance At the party? ella va a bailar en la fiesta?
Is it GOING TO rain tonight va a llover esta noche?
Are we dance At the party? nosotros vamos a bailar en la fiesta?
Are they dance At the party? ellos van a bailar en la fiesta?

Short answers
POSITIVE NEGATIVE
Yes, I am No. I am not/ Im not
Yes, he is No, he is not /hes not
Yes, she is No, she is not/she isnt
Yes, it is No, it is not /it isnt
Yes, we are No, we are not /we arent
Yes, they are No, they are not /they arent

NEGATIVE FORM (-)
PRONOUN +
VERB TO BE
PRESENT+NOT
GOING TO VERB IN
INFINITIVE
COMPLEMENT TRANSLATION
I am not At the party Yo no voy a bailar en la fiesta
You are not At the party Tu no vas a bailar en la fiesta
He is not dance At the party l no va a bailar en la fiesta
She is not GOING TO rain At the party Ella no va a bailar en la fiesta
It is not tonight No va a llover esta noche
We are not At the party Nosotros no vamos a bailar
en la fiesta
They are not At the party Ellos no van a bailar en la
fiesta

In summary, these are the simple tenses of English. My advice for you is to practice them through
grammar exercises or when reading or listening a text.