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GRAMMAR Review of tenses (B2 Upper-Intermediate)

Learn or review GRAMMAR about review of tenses at B2 Upper-Intermediate level of English, with our free and interactive online exercises. Register and try our courses for free.

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Present simple

We use the present simple:
• for habits, repeated actions, facts and things which are generally true
   I usually do my homework after school.
   She writes stories for children.
• with state verbs for short-term states, verbs of preference and verbs of the senses.
I want to go home now.
  He likes playing football.

Present perfect simple

We use the present perfect simple:
• for experiences in our life without saying when they happened
I‘ve seen this film three times.
We‘ve never been to Cuzco.

• to focus on present states which started in the past and have continued up to the present
I‘ve lived here since I was a child.
   She‘s worked for the company for five years.
• to focus on past completed actions that are recent (often with just) or which have a connection with the present.
I‘ve sent the email.
   They‘ve just arrived.

Present continuous

We use the present continuous:
• for actions in progress now (at the moment of speaking) or around now
 Sorry, I can’t talk now – I‘m having an important meeting.
   He‘s writing a book about his experiences in war.
• for temporary situations.
   I‘m studying English at LANGCOM this year to get my Cambridge certificate.
   We‘re learning to play the guitar this month at school.

Past simple

We use the past simple:
• to talk about completed past actions and states. We often specify the time in the past with the past simple:
   I lost my phone two days ago, so I bought a new one yesterday.
   We went to the USA last year. 

Past perfect simple

We use the past perfect simple:
• for actions and events that happened before a particular moment in time
   We had decided to go home by the time you arrived at the restaurant.

• for reasons (after because).
   I didn’t go to work because I had had an accident earlier.

Past continuous

We use the past continuous:
• to describe actions that were in progress at a particular moment in the past
   He was watching TV when the earthquake happened.

• for actions or events in progress at the time of a shorter, past simple action.
   Mum phoned while I was doing my homework.


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