Which verb tense should I use?

What verb tense to use?

English has twelve verb tenses, which we can divide into three times (past, present, and future) and into four forms (simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous.) How can we know which one to use?

Obviously, the best form is the one that most closely fits what we want to talk about. Sometimes, though, we can use more than one tense correctly. If you can, use the simple form. If the simple form doesn’t work, use the continuous. If the continuous doesn’t work, try the perfect. If the perfect doesn’t work, then you must use the perfect continuous.

If you have a choice, use the simple form.


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