Clase digital 1. Repaso de los tiempos gramaticales

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Repaso de los tiempos gramaticales


Hi everybody!!! Welcome to this new course. Hopefully you are feeling fully motivated to begin working in the skills to successfully achieve the following:

“Ser capaz de mantener una interacción y de hacerse entender en una variedad de situaciones formales o informales. Expresar de forma comprensible la idea principal que quiere dar a entender, ofrece y pide opiniones y consejos. Poder dar respuesta a quejas. Ser capaz de llevar a cabo una entrevista preparada, comprobando y confirmando información, aunque puede que tenga que pedir de vez en cuando que le repitan lo dicho si la respuesta de la otra persona es rápida o extensa; sabe describir cómo se hace algo dando instrucciones detalladas. Además, de ser capaz de hacer reservas, hablar y escribir acerca de transporte y poner quejas.”

Recuerda que el enfoque de nuestra clase es comunicativo y se espera que este nivel ya cuentes con un desempeño mayor a A2, por ello esta clase se desarrolla mayoritariamente en inglés.

In this first class we will focus on a review of the main grammatical tenses, but before we start…please answer the following questions:

  • Why English is important to learn?
  • How English is helping me now?
  • How English is going to help me in the future?
Imagen 1. ¿Por qué se estudia inglés?

The relevance of this class becomes current since we are using the internet for so many things and as you know, the language of internet and technology is the English language, so it is a very useful skill nowadays, but perhaps there are many other reasons to motivate you…use all those as a constant in your study of this language. 

Hopefully you are fully motivated, so…let’s start with a review of tenses…since we are going to talk about conjugations or tenses, can you answer:
What are “verb tenses”?

Well…. “Verb tenses” means all the changes made in the form of the verbs. 

These changes are important for meaning because they are “signals” about time, whether something is a continuing action, and other information.

We all understand past-present- future, but in English the verbs can be simple, continuous (or progressive), perfect, perfect progressive. Verb tenses in English express the TIME – when something happened (in the past, in the present or in the future) -, and the ASPECT, that is how we view the actions that we are talking about. There are 4 aspects in English: simple, continuous (sometimes called: progressive), perfect, and perfect continuous. Combine TIME and ASPECT and you’ll get 3×4, that is, 12 verb tenses.

Tiempos verbales en inglés

Imagen 2. Tiempos verbales en inglés.

Please check the following video for further explanation on this matter: 

Let’s start this course with a review of all the tenses in English.

Desarrollo del tema

How is your comprehension of all the tenses?  

Let’s warm up and check the following exercises with past tenses:

How did you do? Let´s review them one by one:

1. Past tenses

So, after the review we have found that the past tense in English is used:

  • to talk about the past
  • to talk about hypotheses (when we imagine something)
  • for politeness.

There are four past tense forms in English:

  • Past simple: I worked
  • Past continuous: I was working
  • Past perfect: I had worked
  • Past perfect continuous: I had been working

A. Past simple

The past simple forms as follow:

Imagen 3. Pasado simple.

We can use the simple past when you say when something happened, so it is associated with certain past time expressions like:

  • Frequency: often, sometimes, always
    • I sometimes walked home at lunchtime.
  • a definite point in time: last week, when I was a child, yesterday, six weeks ago
    • We saw a good film last week.
    • Yesterday, I arrived in Morelia.
    • She finished her work at seven o’clock
  • an indefinite point in time: the other day, ages ago, a long time ago
    • People lived in caves a long time ago.
    • She played guitar when she was a child.

For a review on the past simple, answer the question:

What did you do last weekend? 

 Check how the past simple is used in the following video:

B. Past continuous

The past continuous or progressive structures as follow:

Imagen 4. Estructura del pasado progresivo.

See how the past continuous tense is used in the following video:

Can you answer the question: What were you doing this weekend? Note how you used past continuous progressive to answer.

We use the past continuous to set the scene in a story.
Last night I was walking home and listening to my iPod when …

We use the past continuous for actions in progress in the past or longer actions interrupted by shorter actions in past simple.
After dinner I went into the living room and saw that she was crying. 

C.Past perfect simple

The past perfect simple has the following structure:

Imagen 5. Estructura del pasado perfecto.

We use the past perfect simple to talk about an earlier past: events which happened before the main event.

  • Earlier single events: We use the past perfect simple to talk about earlier events and experiences, or single actions completed earlier in the past.
    • When she opened the door, he had already left.
    • I realized that I had been there before.

We use the past perfect simple (and not continuous) to say how much or how many we had done of something earlier in the past.

  • We had driven 500 miles and we needed some rest.
  • How many hours had he slept when you woke him up?
  • Duration from earlier in the past (stative verbs)

We use the past perfect simple with stative verbs to talk about states or situations that had started earlier in the past. We often use how long, for or since, always, etc.

  • The day Anne died, they had been married for 48 years.
  • She told me she had always hated her sister.

Check the following video answering: what had they done? And notice how the past perfect simple is used in a real situation:

D. Past perfect continuous

Check the following video and pay attention to any sentences on past perfect continuous.

The past perfect continuous forms as follow:

Imagen 6. Estructura del pasado perfecto continuo.×350.jpg
  • Duration from earlier in the past (dynamic verbs)

We use the past perfect continuous with dynamic verbs to talk about longer continuous actions that started earlier in the past than the main events of the story.

  • I had been waiting for him in the cold, and he didn’t call to say he’d be late.
  • Repeated actions from earlier in the past (dynamic verbs)

We use the past perfect continuous with dynamic verbs to talk about repeated actions from earlier in the past.

  • I couldn’t believe it. She had been writing a letter every day for over a year.

For a fast review of all the past tenses grammar and uses, check the following video:

Imagen 7. Reglas gramaticales del tiempo pasado.

2. Present tenses

Now it is the turn of the present tenses

The present tenses in English are the Present Simple, the Present Continuous, the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous. An interesting point is that these present tenses can be used to talk about the present but can also be used to talk about the future…

As mentioned, we can use all these forms to talk about the present:

  • Washington is the capital of The United States.
  • He works at Walmart.
  • He is working at Walmart.
  • He has worked there for four months now.
  • He has been working there for four months now.
Do you know how to use them well?  Can you remember the rules?
Let us revise them one by one!
Let’s use all four present tenses in the following revision exercise on Present Tense:

So, you could probably work out most of the rules, but here is a nice summary of what you need to know:

A. Present simple:

We used it for things that we do regularly and for facts, habits, truths and permanent situations. We often use time expressions like every day, once a week, on Mondays.

  • I check my email every day. (Regular activity)
  • Marie works at the bank. (Permanent situation)
Imagen 8. Estructura del presente simple.

For positive sentences, use the same form as the infinitive without ‘to’ for I, you, we and they. For he, she, it, add –s or –es to the infinitive. Make questions and negatives with do / does + the infinitive without ‘to’.

  • They live in Guadalajara.
  • Amy starts work at ten o’clock and finishes at seven.
  • I don’t eat meat.
  • It doesn’t usually snow in October.
  • Why do you read the news online every day?
  • Does the supermarket sell vegetables?

B. Present continuous

We use the present continuous for things that are happening at the time we are speaking, for temporary situations, and for activities that are in progress.

  • Just a minute. I’m checking my email. (now)
  • He usually works in Queretaro, but he’s working from home this week. (temporary)
  • I’m studying Statistics (activity in progress)

We can also use the present continuous for future arrangements, usually with a time expression.

  • I ‘m seeing the doctor on Thursday morning.
Imagen 9. Estructura del presente continuo.

For positive sentences, the form is subject + am/is/are + verb-ing. Make questions and negatives with am/are/is + not + verb-ing.

  • Can I call you back later? We’re having dinner right now.
  • She isn’t answering his phone at the moment.
  • What are you doing?

Note: There are some verbs that we don’t usually use in the continuous form. They are often verbs of thinking and feeling, for example: hear, see, smell, hate, know, understand, want, need.

C.Present perfect

Imagen 10. Estructura del presente perfecto.
Use the present perfect for:
Life experiences in the past. We don’t say when these happened: we are interested in the experience, not the time or date. We often use ever and never.
  • I’ve seen all Star Wars films.
  • Have you ever eaten caviar? – Yes, I have. / No, I haven’t.

Recent past actions that are important now.

  • Oh no! I’ve left my phone on the bus.
  • The president has resigned.

Past situations that are still happening now. We often use how long with for (throughout a period of time) and since (from a point in the past until now).

  • I haven’t seen Kevin this morning. (It is still this morning.)
  • How long have you known Miriam? – I’ve known her for five years.
  • Jonathan’s been in Monterrey since June.

With just, already, yet to talk about recent events in the past. The exact time is not important. Use just and already mainly in positive sentences. Use yet in negatives and questions.

  • It’s just stopped raining. Let’s go out.
  • Can you feed the cat? – I’ve already fed her.
  • We can still watch the film. It hasn’t started yet.
  • Have you done your English homework yet?

For positive sentences, the form is subject + have/has + past participle. Make negatives with not and change the word order to make questions.

  • I’ve finished the report.
  • Jonathan’s been in Monterrey since June.
  • I haven’t seen Kevin this morning.

D. Present perfect continuous tense

The present perfect continuous tense (also known as the present perfect progressive tense) shows that something started in the past and is continuing at the present time.

Imagen 11. Estructura del presente perfecto continuo.

The present perfect continuous is formed using the construction has/have been + the present participle (root + -ing).

  • I have been reading War and Peace for a month now.

Of course, not all verbs are compatible with continuous action. Some examples of such verbs are to be, to arrive, and to own.

  • I have been owning my Mazda since 2007. (incorrect)
  • I have owned my Mazda since 2007. (Present perfect tense)
  • Gus has been being late for work recently. (incorrect)
  • Gus has been late for work recently. (Present perfect tense)

Let´s review all four present tenses in conversations:

3. Future

After being able to speak in the present and the past, we need to be able to express how we plan to do something in the future which is why we have brought you today’s class. Today’s aim is to review the different ways to express future plans or actions in English.

There are a number of different ways of referring to the future in English. It is important to remember that we are expressing more than simply the time of the action or event. Obviously, any ‘future’ tense will always refer to a time ‘later than now’, but it may also express our attitude to the future event. 

You can use the simple future, the going to – future, the present progressive and the present simple to write or talk about future actions.

There is often only a little difference between the future tenses, especially between the going to – future and the present progressive. It also depends on the country and region and on the communication what future tense is used. In written English the simple future is usually used while in spoken English we use the going to – future more often.

Let’s check how is your understanding of the future tenses, go to the following site and complete the exercises:

How did you do? For some tips on the use of future tenses check the following video:

Then let´s review all the future tenses…we know there are four future verb tenses in English.

  • Simple future tense
  • Future continuous tense
  • Future perfect tense
  • Future perfect continuous tense

In the following video all future tenses are explained:

A. Simple future

The simple future refers to a time later than now,  and expresses facts or certainty and it can be expressed using “will” or “be+going to”.

  • Simple future with “will”
  1. to talk about future actions we can’t influence or control.
  2. Predict future actions or to express hopes, expectations, fears, offers, promises and refusals.
  • I think he’ll win the election.
  • He will be a good doctor.

Key words: I’m sure, I believe, I expect, I hope, I suppose, I think, I’m afraid, I wonder, I fear, I worry, I promise, I guess or perhaps, possibly, surely, probably, maybe.

3. with I / we for spontaneous reactions or making promises, decisions that we take at the moment of speaking (instant decisions).

  • Oh, we don’t have sugar.’ ‘Don’t worry, I’ll buy some.’

I shall is sometimes used instead of I will.

  • Simple future with “be+going to”

To talk about future things you intend to do, plan or decided to do.

  • Did you know that Sarah is in the hospital? No, I didn’t. I’ll visit her this afternoon. (Spontaneous reaction will – future)
  • Yes, I’m going to visit her next month. (Planned action -going to – future)

We use “be going to” to talk about something that is very near to happen or that we see is going to happen (there is present evidence)

  • Don’t drive like a crazy man. We’re going to have an accident!
  • The doctor said I’m going to have a girl.

We use “be going to” for decisions that we have already taken at the moment of speaking (intentions or plans).

  • “Why are you undressing? Because I’m going to go to the swimming pool.”

We can also use be going to for future arrangements.

  • I’m going to play basketball with Lizzy today.

B. Future continuous

Refers to an unfinished action or event that will be in progress at a time later than now. 
The future continuous is made up of two elements: the simple future of the verb «to be» + the present participle (base+ing)
Subject+simple future of the verb «to be»+present participle
Youwill bewatching
AffirmativeNegativeInterrogativeNegative interrogative
I will be staying.I won’t be staying.Will I be staying?Won’t I be staying?

The future continuous is used for quite a few different purposes:

The future continuous can be used to project ourselves into the future. The future continuous can be used to project ourselves into the future.

  • This time next week I will be sun-bathing in Bali.
  • By Christmas I will be skiing like a pro.
  • Just think, next Monday you will be working in your new job.

The future continuous can be used for predicting or guessing about future events.

  • He’ll be coming to the meeting, I expect.
  • I guess you’ll be feeling thirsty after working in the sun.
  • You’ll be missing the sunshine once you’re back in England.

In the interrogative form, the future continuous can be used to ask politely for information about the future.

  • Will you be bringing your friend to the pub tonight?
  • Will Jim be coming with us?
  • Will she be going to the party tonight?
  • Will I be sleeping in this room?

The future continuous can be used to refer to continuous events that we expect to happen in the future.

  • I’ll be seeing Jim at the conference next week.
  • When he is in Australia he will be staying with friends.
  • I’ll be eating with Jane this evening so I can tell her.

When combined with still, the future continuous refers to events that are already happening now and that we expect to continue some time into the future.

  • In an hour I’ll still be ironing my clothes.
  • Tomorrow he’ll still be suffering from his cold.
  • Next year will she still be wearing a size six?
  • Won’t stock prices still be falling in the morning?
  • Unfortunately, sea levels will still be rising in 20 years.

C. Future perfect

The future perfect tense refers to a completed action in the future. When we use future perfect tense, we are projecting ourselves forward into the future and looking back at an action that will be completed sometime later than now. It is most often used with a time expression.

  • I will have been here for six months on June 23rd.
  • By the time you read this I will have left.
  • You will have finished your report by this time next week.
  • Won’t they have arrived by 5:00?

The future perfect is composed of two elements
the simple future of the verb «to have» (will have) + the past participle of the main verb

Subject+ will have+ past participle of the main verb
Hewill havefinished.
AffirmativeNegativeInterrogativeNegative interrogative
I will have arrivedI won’t have arrivedWill I have arrived?Won’t I have arrived?

D. Future perfect continuous

Like the future perfect simple, this form is used to project ourselves forward in time and to look back. It refers to events or actions that are currently unfinished but will be finished at some future time. It is most often used with a time expression.

  • I will have been waiting here for three hours by six o’clock.
  • By 2001 I will have been living in London for sixteen years.
  • When I finish this course, I will have been learning English for twenty years.
  • Next year I will have been working here for four years.
  • When I come at 6:00, will you have been practicing long?

The future perfect continuous is composed of two elements
the future perfect of the verb «to be» (will have been) + the present participle of the main verb (base + ing)

Subject+ will have been+ present participle
Hewill have beenplaying.
AffirmativeNegativeInterrogativeNegative interrogative
I will have been livingI won’t have been livingWill I have been living?Won’t I have been living?

***Present Progressive for future

We can substitute the going to-future with the Present Progressive when using an expression of time.

  • She is going to see Frank at the airport at 8.30. = She is seeing Frank at the airport at 8.30.

To talk about future things that are fixed, planned or definitely decided. The speaker must refer to the future and not to the present.

  • I am visiting my grandparents tomorrow.
  • What are you doing next Friday?

We often use the present progressive or continuous to talk about future events that are already planned or decided. When we use the present continuous for arrangements, we must always include when (at 7, this evening, next month, etc.) in the sentence.

  • I’m seeing the dentist at 6.
  • We are getting married next week.
  • I’m flying to New York tomorrow morning.

*** Present Simple in the future

To talk about times of arrivals and departures of traffic and times of events.

  • The train leaves at 10.20.
  • The bus goes at 8.30.

Use the present simple to talk about the future in sentences with when, as soon as, until, before, after.

  • I’ll retire when I’m 62 (NOT when I’ll be)
  • I won’t call you until I arrive (NOT will arrive.)

The following video helps you to understand better the use of present tenses for future:

For more exercises on future, go to:

Finally for a listening Practice on the use of future tenses go to:


Los tiempos verbales en inglés son modos que sirven para identificar cuándo sucede una acción o estado de lo que se habla en pasado, presente y futuro. Solamente afectan a los verbos de cada oración, sin embargo, su uso correcto es fundamental para la congruencia y claridad de textos escritos o discursos orales.  Como puedes ver, en todas las oraciones que escribas o digas, tienes que usar distintos tiempos verbales en inglés. Aparecen tanto en conversaciones formales como informales y al hablar de cualquier tema. Ahí radica la importancia de su buen uso al cual puedes llegar de dos formas que se complementan entre sí: aprende estas estructuras y sus usos, más la práctica constante.

Para cerrar, repasemos las 12 conjugaciones o “tenses”

Presente Simple

Este tiempo se utiliza para hacer oraciones en las que las acciones no cambian o se realizan habitualmente. Ejemplo: I watch TV.

Presente Continuo

Se usa para hablar de eventos que se están realizando en el momento y que se repiten con continuidad. Ejemplo: I am watching TV.

Pasado Simple

Se usa para mencionar acciones que comenzaron y acabaron en un determinado momento. Ejemplo: I watched TV.

Pasado Continuo

Este tiempo se emplea para hablar de una acción que estaba en progreso en el pasado. Ejemplo: I was watching TV.

Futuro Simple (Going To)

Se usa para indicar planes o decisiones de eventos futuros que están estrechamente relacionados con el presente. Ejemplo: I am going to be watching TV tonight.

Futuro Simple (will)

Se recurre a este tiempo para expresar decisiones espontáneas o prever una acción futura. Ejemplo: I will watch TV later.

Futuro Continuo

Este tiempo se emplea para referirse a acciones temporales que estarán en progreso en algún determinado momento futuro. Ejemplo: Tomorrow I will be watching TV.

Presente Perfecto Simple

Se utiliza para referirse a una acción que comenzó en el pasado y aún está en curso. Ejemplo: I have watched TV for more than 5 hours on this day.

Presente Perfecto Continuo

Es empleado para hablar sobre una acción ya finalizada en un tiempo reciente.
Ejemplo: I have been watching TV for about 3 hours.

Pasado Perfecto Simple

Este tiempo se usa para hacer oraciones en las que se expresa una secuencia de eventos que acontecieron en el pasado y así, destacar el que ocurrió primero. En una frase simple, es el tiempo más del pasado. Ejemplo: I had watched TV all day. I had to get out and go to the job.

Pasado Perfecto Continuo

Se recurre a este tiempo cuando se habla de una primera acción en el pasado, la cual comienza antes que otra. Ejemplo: I had been watching TV when you called me.

Futuro Perfecto

Este tiempo indica una acción que será completada en el futuro del cual se habla. Ejemplo: By the next month, I will have watched TV.

Futuro Perfecto Continuo

Se utiliza para mencionar que una acción continua en el futuro y será terminada o interrumpida por otro evento. Ejemplo: I will have been watching TV for two months when the summer ends.

For another quick review of all past tenses:
Simple PastPast ProgressivePast PerfectPast Perfect Progressive
action finished in the past.action was in progress at a special time in the past.Event that happed before the time of speaking in the long something had been happening before something else happened.
infinitive + ed irregular(check lists)
waswere infinitive + -inghad + past participle*had +  been + infinitive + ing
As for present tenses
Simple PresentPresent  ProgressivePresent PerfectPresent Perfect Progressive
Routines.Facts.Action happening now, at the time of speaking.Event that happed before the time of long something has been happening before something else happened.
infinitive + s 
Is, are, am + infinitive + -ingHave/has + past participleHave/has + been + infinitive + ing
And finally, a review of the future tenses
Simple futureFuture ProgressiveFuture PerfectFuture Perfect Progressive
Will: Predictions/ offers/ promises spontaneous decisions.Be going to: prediction with evidence/ plans/ arrangements.action in the future that overlaps another, shorter action or a time.Describes actions that will continue up until a point in the future.Describes actions that will continue in progress up until a point in the future.
Will+ verbIs/are/am +going to+ verb rootwill + be + verb root + -ingwill + have + verb past participle will + have + been + verb root + -ing

Practice as much as you can and over time your use of which tense to use to express will improve.

This sums up the present tenses in English.
So far, so good… we have reminded you of all the tenses, please don’t forget to work on your Consignas. 
Stay tune for the next class.

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