Simple Past tense

The simple past is used for a completed action that happened at one specific time in the past.
Examples :
Carlos went to Spain last year.
Sue washed the dishes after dinner.

List of irregular verbs click here

Past Progressive (USA)  or Continuous (UK)

 It is used to talk about (now) in the past. What time is it now? At this time yesterday, what were you doing at this time (now) yesterday? What were you doing at 1:00 PM yesterday?
I was playing soccer with my friends at 1:00 yesterday.
The kids were taking a test at 1:00 last Friday.

Other special cases
Case #1: two actions happening at the same time (in the past)
Example: While she was preparing dinner, he was washing the dishes.
Case #2: One main event or action interrupts an action going on at a certain time in the past.
Example: When I was taking a shower, the phone suddenly rang.
Reading Comprehension
Exercsie # 1 Surfing- The life of Jack O' Neill


Simple Present Tense

Habitual actions

The simple present can be used with or without an adverb of time to describe habitual actions, things that happen repeatedly :

    I get up at 7.

    John smokes a lot. 

We can be more precise about habitual actions by using the simple present with adverbs of indefinite frequency (always , usually, often,seldom, never) or with adverbial phrases such as every day

/ I sometimes stay up till midnight.  She visits her parents every day.

We commonly use the simple present to ask and answer questions which begin with How often7

How often do you go to the dentist? - I go every six months

Questions relating to habit can be asked with ever and answered with e g never and sometimes not ever

Do you ever eat meat? - No I never eat meat

it is used to indicate present time (now) with the following stative verbs; know, understand, have, believe, hate, need, hear, love, appear, see, like, seem, smell, want, taste, wish, sound, and own. Simple present tense is also used to indicate a regular or habitual action.
Examples :
Chuck usually walks to the club everyday  (habitual action)
They want to leave now. It is very late.   (stative verb
) We never say: They are wanting to leave..

Present progressive or continuous

The  present progressive is used to indicate present time (now) with all but the stative verbs listed previously.
Examples :
The chef is cooking the entrees now.   (present time)

Special case
Case # 1: it is also used to indicate future time.
She is flying to Los Angeles next month  (future time)

Case # 2: temporary present situation:
She is living in San Diego because of work.  She is originally from Seattle, her permanent home.



Will  is sometimes called 'the pure future', and it should be distinguished from many other uses of will and shall.  AT one particular time in the future, THIS WILL HAPPEN:
IIt will rain tomorrow. (fact)
Tim will watch TV tonight.  (inevitable action)
When I start work, I will ride the bus to work every morning.
(routine in the future) 

WILL can be used to predict events, for example, to say what we think will happen, or to invite prediction:


Manchester United will win on Saturday.

It will rain tomorrow.

Will food prices rise again next month?

I don't know if I shall/will see you next week. (SHALL is unusual in American English)

Case # 1: Instant Decisions

Example # 1:
What will it be for you guys today? + What would you like to eat?
I'll have the cheese burger meal, please. And I'll have a regular Cola.
Example # 2:
Is Susan there?
No she isn't here right now. Is there anything I can do for you?
Can you please tell her to call me ASAP?
Sure, I WILL give her the message.

Case # 2 Predictions

Example # 1:
In the year 2090, cars will fly, and cows will fly too.

Example # 2:
I think I will marry a prince.