Understand English tenses better with timeline

I take notes from this video that the lecturer reviews all of the tenses she has previously covered in their‘Learn The Tenses’ series, including all present, past and future tenses.

1. Present

1.1 Present Simple

I do, he does

(1)A fact
e.g., She is an author. She writes books.

(2)A habit
e.g., She always writes in the morning.

(3)A regular action
e.g., She writes two books a year.

1.2 Present Continuous

I’m doing, she’s doing, we’re doing

A temporary action in progress at present
e.g., She is currently writing a new book.

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1.3 Present Perfect Continuous

I’ve been doing, she has been doing

An action that has already started and is still going on
e.g., She has been writing books for over 20 years / since she was 18.

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1.4 Present Perfect

I’ve been done, she has been done

(1)With an action verb: A completed action without a specified time in the past

The following expressions require this tense:

so far, already, no yet, recently, just, ever, never, today(until now), this year(until now), in the last few years, in the past week

e.g., She has already written 40 books.

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(2)with a state verb, e.g. to be, to have, to know, etc

A state verb doesn’t take a continuous stance. With a state verb, the present perfect replaces the present perfect continuous which means that with a state verb, the present perfect shows a state that continues from the past to the present.

e.g., She has been (been being) a writer for 15 years.
e.g., I have known (been knowing) her since 2010.

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2. Past

2.1 Past Simple

I did, she did, …

A completed action at a specified time in the past.Any time expression that refers to a specific time in the past requires this tense, such as:

yesterday, last year, a week ago, when I was young

e.g., She wrote that novel many years ago

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2.2 Past Continuous

I was doing we were doing …

Action in progress in the past either:

  • when a shorter action took place
  • at a very precise moment

e.g., She was writing that novel when she became ill.

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2.3 Past Perfect

I had done, we had done …

Action that was completed in the past either:

  • before another action took place
  • before a very precise moment

e.g., She had written that novel before she became ill.

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2.4 Past Perfect Continuous

I had been doing, we had been doing …

Action that had started, continued for some time and was still in progress in the past:

  • before another action took place
  • before a very precise moment

e.g., She had been writing that novel for a few months before she became ill.

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3. Future

3.1 Future Simple

I will do, she will do …

(1)A decision at the time of speaking
(used mainly in dialogues, and in contracted form)

–Dan called earlier. He wants you to call him back.
–O.K. I’ll call him as soon as I can.

(2)A possibility in the future
(usually in combination with an expression of possibility)

e.g., I will probably call him this afternoon

3.2 Be going to

I am going to do, she is going to do …

(1)Action in the future that has already been planned by the speaker

e.g., I am going to call Dan after lunch.

(2)Something that is certain to happen in the near future

e.g., I know he is going to invite me out.

3.3 Present Continuous with a future time marker

I am doing … tomorrow, she is doing … next week, etc.

A fixed arrangement for the future.

–Dan has invited me out for dinner, and I have accepted his invitation.
–I am having dinner with Dan tonight.

3.4 Future Continuous

I will be doing, we will be doing …

(1)An action in process at a specific time in the future
(the equivalent of Present and Past Continuous Tenses)

–Will you be home at 9 o’clock tonight?
–No, I will be having dinner with Dan at that time.

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(2)Occasionally, as an alternative to ‘going to’ for a future plan or ‘be doing’ for a future arrangement

–Are you going to pay for the meal?
–Yes I will be paying because he paid last time.

–Which restaurant are you going to?
–We will be going to the Mexican restaurant.

3.5 Future Perfect

I will have done, we will have done, …

Action that will be completed in the future either:

  • before another action takes place
  • before a specific moment

e.g., We will have left the restaurant by midnight.

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3.6 Future Perfect Continuous

I will have been doing, we will have been doing, …

Action that will be started, continued for some time and will still be in progress in the future:

  • before another action takes place
  • before a specific moment

e.g., We will have been drinking for a few hours by the time we leave.

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References:
[1]YouTube: All Tenses – English Lesson

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