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How many tenses in English grammar?

Updated: May 9, 2023

Verb tenses are an integral part of the English language. The verb tenses allow speakers and writers to convey it’s time and continuity in the message. Understanding the different types of tenses in grammar is crucial for proper communication as they affect the clarity and the accuracy of the message that someone has conveyed. Most beginners have this confusion around the different types of categories of time. When you try to learn how many verb tenses are there in the English language, you come across different information, as a result the goal of mastering the English language looks unachievable.

How many tenses in English grammar?

Let us watch a youtube video to understand the verb tenses.



How many tenses in English are there—12 or more?


Old English grammar includes 12 verb tenses; however, the Self-teaching guidebook by Tatiana Trofimenko indicates 26 tenses. Based on many established online resources, there are 16, 24 or even 4 verb tenses.

There are mainly three verb tenses in grammar. By explaining these forms of tenses, you will learn all the other tenses in english grammar.


There are three main types of verb tenses past, present and future. Each group is further divided in four separate categories according to time.


The below table will help you to understand each categories of verb tenses:

English has how many groups of Time?

tenses with definition and examples | tenses in grammar

In the English language, there are mainly three groups of time 1. Present tense, 2. Past tense & 3. Future tense and they are further divided by four aspects of forms which are Perfect, Simple, Continuous, Perfect Continuous.


tenses use in english | Present tenses

Present tense is tense form that describes actions, events or situations that are happening currently. It is used to indicate such actions which are happening in the present time.


The table below will help you to understand all the four forms of present tense with definitions and examples.

Now let us watch a video to understand all the forms of present tense which is Simple Present, Present Continuous, Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous:

These are the main forms of the present tense in English, each with its specific usage, structure with examples and youtube video.


What is the Past tense?

tenses past perfect | Past tense

Past tense is tense form that is used to describe actions, events or states that have already happened in the past. It is used to indicate that something has already occurred. In English grammar, past tense has four main forms: simple past, past continuous, past perfect, and past perfect continuous.


The table below will help you to understand all the four forms of past tense with definitions and examples.

Now let us watch a video to understand all the forms of past tense which are Simple Past, Past Continuous, Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous

These are the main forms of the past tense in English, each with its specific usage, structure with examples and youtube video.


What is the future tense?

tenses picture | tenses use in english

The future tense is tense form that is used to describe actions, events or states that are anticipated or expected to happen in the near future. It is used to indicate action that is expected to happen after the present moment. The future tense can be expressed using different forms: simple future, future continuous, future perfect, and future perfect continuous.


The table below will help you to understand all the four forms of future tense with definitions and examples.

Now let us watch a video to understand all the forms of future tense which are Simple Future, Future Continuous, Future Perfect & Future Perfect Continuous

In this list, you will see all the 12 tenses, this will help you to practice and learn english.


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Nov 25, 2023

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