Verb Tense Summary (for details, please see links)  

 

 

A)     Events taking place in the present:

1)        Present Simple (簡單現在式) 

i)        Events and actions happening in the present (now, at this moment). 

ii)      A general truth or permanent situation. 

iii)    A habitual or repetitive action, event, or condition (every weekend).

iv)     Schedule events in the near future.

v)       States or feelings.

 

2)       Present Continuous (現在進行式) 

i)        Temporary actions happening right now, at this very moment, as we speak.  – Whilst, simple present is used to describe a permanent situation.

ii)      Imminent actions going or not going to happen in the near future. Actions planned in the future and modified by adverbs of time such as tomorrow, next week, and etc.

iii)    Actions in progress, ongoing, developing, occurring over a period of time, including the present

 

B)      Events taking place in the past:

1)        Present Perfect (現在完成式)

i)        Actions began in the past, time unspecified, still happening in the present and may continue into the future, indicating changes that have happened over a period of time. 

ii)      Actions began in the past, time unspecified, completed in the recent past.  Whilst, simple past (time specified) is used to describe actions finished in a more distant past.

iii)    Uncompleted actions expected to happen. 

iv)     Life experience

 

2)       Present Perfect Continuous (現在完成進行式)

i)        Actions began in the past, continue in the present at the time of speaking, and will go on in the future.  Or continuous, ongoing actions, just finished at the time of speaking or writing.

ii)      Actions began in the past and stopped recently with a recent result.

iii)    Continuous actions without duration

 

3)        Past Simple (簡單過去式)

i)        Events and actions happened in the past.  A specific point in time in the past (a year ago). 

ii)      Actions began in the past and completed in the past.  Over a period of time in the past (for the past two years).  

iii)    Past facts and generalization (no longer true in the present).

iv)     A habitual or repetitive action or event happened and stopped in the past.

v)       Story-telling.

 

4)       Past Perfect (過去完成式)

i)        Used to indicate an event or action that happened or completed before another one or before a specific time in the past.  <In the case of “before” or “after”, which already indicates what happened first, you can also use past tense.  See http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/639613 >

ii)      Used to indicate an unreal situation in the past as in the case of 3rd conditional.  See http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/639518

 

5)       Past Continuous (過去完成式)

i)        State a longer action or event in the past interrupted by a shorter action or event that happened in the middle of the longer action or event, as in the sense of in the process of doing something at a particular moment in the past.   The action started before that particular moment in the past and continued over a period of time after that particular moment.  Overall, it states interrupted actions in progress.

ii)      Describe actions happening or in progress at the same time in the past.

 

6)      Past Perfect Continuous (過去完成進行式)

i)        Emphasize an event or action that has been in progress for some time before another event or action or a particular time in the past.  It emphasizes the duration of a past event or action up to a certain point in the past.

ii)      Used to indicate an unreal situation in the past as in the case of 3rd conditional.  See http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/639518

iii)    Used in storytelling or reported speech.

iv)     Past Perfect Continuous emphasizes duration of a past event or action up to a certain point in the past, while Past Continuous emphasizes interrupted actions.

v)       Past Perfect Continuous states actions or events that are still in progress up to a point in time in the past, while Past Perfect states actions or events that are completed. 

 

C)      Events taking place in the future:

1)        Future Simple (簡單未來式) 

i)        Events and actions that will / are going to happen in the future

ii)      Events and actions that we plan in the future.

 

2)       Future Perfect (未來完成式)

i)        State an action or event that will have been completed before another action or event or a specific time in the future.  Overall, it states a completed action in the future. 

 

3)       Future Continuous (未來進行式)

i)        State actions or events to be started before a particular moment in the future and continues over a period of time after that particular moment in the future, as in the sense of in the process of doing something at a particular moment in the future.  

 

4)      Future Perfect Continuous (未來完成進行式)

i)        Emphasize an event or action that will have been in progress for some time before another event or action or a particular time in the future.  It emphasizes the duration of a future event or action up to a certain point in the future.

ii)      Future Perfect Continuous emphasizes duration of a future event or action up to a certain point in the future.

 

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