English Grammar Lessons

Past Simple or Present Perfect

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(Remember that British and American English have different rules for the use of the present perfect. The comments and the exercises here refer to correct grammar for British English. In American English, it is often considered acceptable to use the past simple in some of these examples.) The past simple is used to talk about actions […]

Past Perfect

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We use the past perfect simple to talk about what happened before a point in the past. It looks back from a point in the past to further in the past. I hadn’t known the bad news when I spoke to him. I checked with the supplier and they still hadn’t received the contract. She […]

Past Perfect Continuous

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We use the past perfect continuous to look back at a situation in progress. It was a good time to invest. Inflation had been falling for several months.  Before I changed jobs, I had been working on a plan to reduce production costs. We had been thinking about buying a new house but then we […]

Past Review 1

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We can use the past simple to talk about actions and states which we see as completed in the past. I left school when I was sixteen. I was very happy then. He told me all about his childhood. We can use the past continuous to talk about past events which went on for a period of time. While […]

Past Review 2

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We can use the past simple to talk about actions and states which we see as completed in the past. I left school when I was sixteen. I was very happy then. He told me all about his childhood. We can use the past continuous to talk about past events which went on for a period of time. While […]

Going to

There is no one ‘future tense’ in English. There are 4 future forms. The one which is used most often in spoken English is ‘going to’, not ‘will’. We use ‘going to’ when we want to talk about a plan for the future. I’m going to see him later today. They’re going to launch it […]

Will Future

Some people have been taught that ‘will’ is ‘the future’ in English. This is not correct. Sometimes when we talk about the future we cannot use ‘will’. Sometimes when we use ‘will’ we are not talking about the future. We can use ‘will’ to talk about future events we believe to be certain. The sun […]

Will be doing

We can use ‘will be doing’ to talk about something that will be in progress at a particular moment in the future. This time next week, I’ll be sitting on the beach in Barbados. I’ll be thinking about you all back in the office – and I’ll be laughing. We’ll be enjoying ourselves too, boss. […]

Will or Going to

When we want to talk about future facts or things we believe to be true about the future, we use ‘will’. The President will serve for four years. The boss won’t be very happy. I’m sure you’ll like her. I’m certain he’ll do a good job. If we are not so certain about the future, […]

The Future – present forms

We use the present continuous to talk about things that we have already arranged to do in the future. I’ve got my ticket. I’m leaving on Thursday. I’m seeing Julie at 5 and then I’m having dinner with Simon.  He’s picking me up at the airport.  The company is giving everyone a bonus for Christmas. […]

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