Verb Tenses in English: Introduction and Present Simple

Welcome!

Este curso es el primero de una serie de cursos cuyo objetivo es ayudarte a dominar todos los tiempos verbales en inglés. Antes de comenzar a navegar dedica un minuto a ver el vídeo

Si todavía piensas que el inglés es difícil...¡Este es tu curso!

Después, accede a las secciones siguiendo el orden. Good luck!

Types of verbs and revision

Introduction

¡Bienvenido!

Antes de empezar a aprender los tiempos verbales es muy importante que entiendas que, en inglés, no todos los verbos son iguales.

En inglés, los verbos se dividen en:

  • Normal verbs
  • Non-Continuous verbs
  • Mixed verbs

Tómate el tiempo necesario para entender y aprender los tipos de verbos antes de empezar con los tiempos verbales. Quizá necesites repasar qué significan algunos verbos en inglés.


Normal Verbs

¿Cuáles son?

Casi todos los verbos son "normal verbs". Estos verbos suelen ser acciones físicas que puedes ver hacer a alguien. Estos verbos pueden usarse en todos los tiempos verbales.

Algunos "normal verbs" son: To run, to walk, to fly, to eat, etc.

Veamos algunos ejemplos usando "to eat":

  • I ate dinner yesterday.
  • I eat dinner every day.
  • I am eating dinner now.
  • I was eating dinner when she arrived.

Non-continuous verbs

¿Cuáles son?

Este grupo de verbos es menor que el anterior. Estos verbos suelen ser cosas que no puedes ver hacer a alguien. Raramente se utilizan en tiempos continuos. Incluyen:

  • Verbos abstractos (Abstract Verbs): to be, to want, to cost, to seem, to need, to care, to contain, to owe, to exist, etc.
  • Verbos posesivos (Possession Verbs): to possess, to own, to belong...
  • Verbos de emociones (Emotion Verbs): to like, to love, to hate, to dislike, to fear, to envy, to mind...

Por ejemplo, sería incorrecto decir: "He is needing help now". Lo correcto sería: "He needs help now".



Mixed verbs

¿Cuáles son?

El más pequeño de todos, este grupo de verbos llamados "Mixed verbs" comprende aquellos que tienen más de un significado. En cierto modo, es como si cada significado fuese un verbo ¿Por qué? Porque según el significado que sea, el verbo se comportará como un "normal verb" o como un "non-continuous verb".

Lista de Mixed Verbs con ejemplos y definiciones:

A continuación podrás aprender algunos Mixed verbs. La lista no termina aquí ¡Sigue navegando cuando hayas leído esta página!

To appear:

  • Donna appears confused. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: Donna seems confused. 
  • My favorite singer is appearing at the jazz club tonight. Normal Verb. Meaning: My favorite singer is giving a performance at the jazz club tonight.  


To have:

  • I have a dollar now. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: I possess a dollar.
  • I am having fun now. Normal Verb. Meaning: I am experiencing fun now.


To hear:

  • She hears the music. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: She hears the music with her ears.
  • She is hearing voices. Normal Verb. Meaning: She hears something others cannot hear. She is hearing voices in her mind.


Mixed verbs 2

To look:

  • Nancy looks tired. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: She seems tired.
  • Farah is looking at the pictures. Normal Verb. Meaning: She is looking with her eyes.




To see:

  • I see her. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: I see her with my eyes.
  • I am seeing the doctor. Normal Verb. Meaning: I am visiting or consulting with a doctor. (Also used with dentist and lawyer.)
  • I am seeing her. Normal Verb. Meaning: I am having a relationship with her.
  • He is seeing ghosts at night. Normal Verb. Meaning: He sees something others cannot see. For example ghosts, aura, a vision of the future, etc.


To miss:

  • John misses Sally. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: He is sad because she is not there.
  • Debbie is missing her favorite TV program. Normal Verb. Meaning: She is not there to see her favorite program.


Mixed verbs 3

To smell:

  • The coffee smells good. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: The coffee has a good smell.
  • I am smelling the flowers. Normal Verb. Meaning: I am sniffing the flowers to see what their smell is like.

To taste:

  • The coffee tastes good. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: The coffee has a good taste.
  • I am tasting the cake. Normal Verb. Meaning: I am trying the cake to see what it tastes like.


To think:

  • He thinks the test is easy. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: He considers the test to be easy.
  • She is thinking about the question. Normal Verb. Meaning: She is pondering the question, going over it in her mind.


To weigh:

  • The table weighs a lot. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: The table is heavy.
  • She is weighing herself. Normal Verb. Meaning: She is determining her weight.


Mixed verbs 4

Verbos especialmente confusos

Algunos verbos pueden ser especialmente confusos.

To be:

  • Joe is American. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: Joe is an American citizen.
  • Joe is being very American. Normal Verb. Meaning: Joe is behaving like a stereotypical American.
  • Joe is being very rude. Normal Verb. Meaning: Joe is behaving very rudely. Usually he is not rude.
  • Joe is being very formal. Normal Verb. Meaning: Joe is behaving very formally. Usually he is not formal.

¡Cuidado! El verbo "to be" raramente se utiliza en su forma continua. Cuando se utiliza suele ser para decir que una persona se está comportando mal o de forma rara (es decir, es evidente que se está comportando de una manera distinta a la habitual).

To feel:

  • The massage feels great. Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning: The massage has a pleasing feeling.
  • I don't feel well today. Sometimes used as Non-Continuous Verb. Meaning:I am a little sick.
  • I am not feeling well today. Sometimes used as Normal Verb. Meaning: I am a little sick.

¡Cuidado! El segundo significado de "feel" es bastante flexible y en realidad no hay diferencia de significado entre decir "I don't feel well today" y  "I am not feeling well today".

Test your knowledge

Drag each verb into the correct blackboard.
  • To eat
  • To seem
  • To own
  • To look
  • To smell
  • To walk
  • To be
  • To feel
  • To dislike
  • To cost
  • To go
  • To fly

Verb revision

Choose the best Spanish translation/meaning for the following verbs:

"Beat" means...  

"Bet" means... 

"Build" means... 

"Forgive" means... 

"Hide" means... 

"Sew" means... 

"Sow" means... 

"Wind" means... 

"Swear" means... 

"Love" means... 

Present Simple

Explanation and uses



The present tense is the base form of the verb: I work in London.  To form the third person of the verb (he/she/it) we add an -s.  For example: She works in London.


Use

We use the present tense to talk about:

  • something that is true in the present:

                   a)I’m nineteen years old.

                   b)He lives in London.

                   c) I’m a student.

  • something that happens again and again in the present:

                   a)I play football every weekend.


We use words like sometimes, often. always, and never (adverbs of frequency) with the present tense:

                  a)I sometimes go to the cinema.

                  b) She never plays football.

  • something that is always true:

                  a)The adult human body contains 206 bones.

                  b)Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second.

  • something that is fixed in the future.

                  a)The school term starts next week.

                  b)The train leaves at 1945 this evening.

                  c)We fly to Paris next week.


Formation

How to use the Present Simple:

The verb "to do" is the auxiliary verb we use to write negative and interrogative sentences.

With the present tense we use do and does to make negatives. We use does not (doesn’t) for the third person (she/he/it) and we use do not (don’t) for the others. Why? Because that's how he use the verb "to do" in the present simple (check the image!)

We also use do and does to make questions. Again, we use does for the third person (she/he/it) and we use do for the others.

 We use do and does with question words like where, what and why:

  • Where do you live?
  • What do you think?
  • Why does she play soccer?

We don't use do and does with who questions:

  • Who lives in London?
  • Who plays soccer at the weekend?


Formulas

Affirmative sentences

To write affirmative sentences in present simple we only need to follow the structure:

Subject+verb+object. 

For example:

  • I play tennis
  • She plays the piano


Negative sentences

To write negative sentences in present simple we only need to follow the structure:

Subject+do/don't+ verb+object. 

For example:

  • I don't play tennis
  • She doesn't play the piano

Watch out! In the third person we add the -s to the verb "do", so in negative sentences we say "doesn't play". We don't say "doesn't plays". 

Affirmative questions

To write affirmative questions in present simple we only need to follow the structure: 

Do/does+ subject+verb+object+?

For example:

  • Do you play tennis?
  • Does she play the piano?

As you can see, in questions the auxiliary verb (do/does) is written BEFORE the subject!

Watch out! In the third person we add the -s to the verb "do", so in affirmative questions we say "does she play". We don't say "does she plays". 


Negative questions

To write negative questions in present simple we only need to follow the structure: 

Do/does+not+subject+verb+object+?

As you see, it's as easy as adding "not" to affirmative questions. For example:

  • Don't you play tennis?
  • Doesn't she play the piano?

Remeber! In questions, the auxiliary verb (don't/doesn't) is written BEFORE the subject!

Watch out! In the third person we add the -s to the verb "do", so in negative questions we say "doesn't she play". We don't say "doesn't she plays". 


Activity 1: Complete the sentences

  1. María  to play tennis.
  2.  you like ice-cream?
  3. We  to the radio.
  4. The firefighters  24 hour shifts and then they  48 hours.

 

Activity 2: True or False

  • With the present tense, we use do and does to make questions.
  • With the present tense, we use did and didn't to make questions.
  • We use "do" and "does" with "who" questions.
  • For negative sentences, we use does not (doesn’t) for the third person (she/he/it) and we use do not (don’t) for the others.
  • The formula for affirmative sentences in Present simple is: Subject+do+verb+object

Activity 3: Complete the gaps

Write the correct form of the verb in brackets:

  1. Usually, I (WORK) only in the mornings.
  2. María  (LOVE) to wear high heels with jeans.
  3. Carlos doesn't  (LIKE) cooking.
  4. We all  (THINK) that our father is a great man.
  5. Where  (DO) you  (LIVE)?
  6.  (DO NOT) you like my new haircut?
  7. My dog  (DO NOT) sleep at night.
  8. Who  (LIVE)here?
  9. Donal Trump  (TO BE) the President of the United States of America
  10. Hillary Clinton  (NOT TO BE) the President of the United States of America

Activity 4: Success Formula

Write the following formulas. Don't leave any spaces between words and use "+" to link them. Good luck!

Affirmative sentences:  

Negative sentences: 

Affirmative questions: 

Negative questions:  

Bibliography and suggestion box

Webs and books

Webs used:

The content used in this lesson was based on different resources. Here is a list of them in case you wan't to learn more!

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/

http://www.englishpage.com/

http://www.idioms4you.com/

Books used:

"Essential Grammar in Use" (Cambridge University Press, 2015) by Raymond Murphy. ISBN-10: 1107480558 ISBN-13: 978-1107480551

"Recycling Your English" (Georgian Press, Cambridge University Press, 2010) by Clare West. ISBN-10: 0521140757 ISBN-13: 978-0521140751


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