Simple Tenses:

Simple tenses are used whenever we are talking about a point in time.

Simple tenses timeline
Past Simple
Use for an action that happened at a point in time in the past.

e.g. - I had breakfast this morning.
Present Simple
Use when making a general statement of truth at the present point in time.

e.g. - I have breakfast every day.
Future Simple
Use for an action that will happen at a point in time in the future.

e.g. - I will have breakfast later.


Continuous Tenses:

Continuous tenses are used whenever we are talking about a length of time.

Continuous tenses timeline
Past Continuous
Use for an action that was happening for
a length of time in the past
when another action happened in the middle of it.

e.g. - I was having breakfast when my brother arrived.
Present Continuous
Use for an action that is happening now.


e.g. - Right now, I am having breakfast.
Future Continuous
Use for an action that will be happening
for a length of time in the future.


e.g. - I will be having breakfast from 9:00 to 9:30.


Perfect Tenses:

Perfect tenses are used whenever we are talking about a point in time before another point in time.

Continuous tenses timeline
Past Perfect
Use for an action that happened in the past before another action.

e.g. - I had already had breakfast when my brother arrived.
Present Perfect
Use for an action that happened in the past before the present moment.

e.g. - I have already had breakfast.
Future Perfect
Use for an action that will happen in the future before another action.

e.g. - I will have already had breakfast by the time my brother arrives.


Perfect Continuous Tenses:

Perfect continuous tenses are used whenever we are talking about a length of time up to a point in time.

Perfect continuous tenses timeline
Past Perfect Continuous
Use for an action that was happening for a length of time in the past up to the moment when another action happened.

e.g. - I had been having breakfast for 30 minutes when my brother arrived.
Present Perfect Continuous
Use for an action that was happening for a length of time up to the present moment.

e.g. - I have been having my breakfast for 30 minutes.
Future Perfect Continuous
Use for an action that will be happening in the future for a length of time up to the moment when another action will happen.

e.g. - I will have been having my breakfast for 30 minutes by the time my brother arrives.