Let’s Play With English: Four Basic Verb Tenses For the First Level

The four basic verbs tenses that are on the first level are simple present tense, present tense continuous, simple past tense, and simple future tense.

  1. Simple present tense is not very complicated in English. The key word for simple present tense is “every” (everyday, every year, every month…). If you know the meaning is “every” or see the word “every” in a sentence, you will need this tense. Most all of these verbs are conjugated the same way. You use the basic form of the verb for most of it, but in third person singular, you need an “s.”

Here are some examples:

Singular(only one) Plural (more than one)

First person: I go We go

Second person: you go you go

Third person: he goes, she goes, it goes they go


first person: I am We are

Second person: you are you are

Third person: he is, she is, it is they are

For most third person simple present verbs, all you need is an “s” after the verb, but some need a little more. Here are a couple of examples of needing a bit more. If you have never seen a verb, put an “s” after third person singular. It is the major rule you must learn. There are irregular verbs like “be” and “go,” but even they need an “s”after third person singular. They all need an “s” after third person singular simple present tense.

If a verb ends in a consonant and a “y,” take the “y” off and add “ies” when you add the “s.” If it ends in a vowel and a “y,” simple add “s” for third person. Examples: play—plays, study—studies, marry—marries, cry–cries.

If a verb ends in “s,” “ch”, “z”, “sh,” or “x,” you need to add an “e” before you put the “s.” Examples: watch—watches, pass–passes, fix—fixes,—push–pushes, catch–catches.

2. Simple Past Tense: With this tense, it happened at one time in the past, and it is finished. It didn’t continue. It is finished. This is the most complicated tense to learn, so if you don’t know it already, you may have to study this tense to get it right. There are many irregular verbs in English, and the verbs we use the most are the most irregular. If there is a verb you have never seen, the rule is just to put an “-ed” on the end, but I will give you a verb chart to study for the past tense. You will need adverbs like: yesterday, two days ago, the day before yesterday, last month, last year, twenty years ago, two minutes ago….

Simple Past Tense Red Verbs:

Here is a copy of the list I gave my students at KCU:

The Pink Verbs in Simple Past Tense:

A copy of the list I gave my students at KCU of he pink verbs in simple past tense.

3. Another important verb tense is the present progressive tense. These are verbs that happen right now. Often, you will see the adverb “now” in these sentences or get the feeling that it is now. To form these verbs, you will need two separate verbs. You need the “be” verb that is conjugated above. Added to that, you need the verb you want to conjugate, plus an “ing” added to the end of the verb. If you only use the “ing” form of the verb without the “be” form in front of it, it becomes a noun or an adjective, so don’t forget to use both parts. If a verbs ends with and “e,” take the “e” off before you add “ing.” This is a continuous action. Here are some examples:


Singular: I am going, you are going, he is going, she is going, it is going Plural: we are going, you are going, and they are going.


Singular: I am eating, you are eating, he is eating, she is eating, it is eating. Plural: we are eating, you are eating, they are eating.


Singular: I am making, you are making, he is making, she is making, it is making. Plural: we are making, you are making, they are making.

4. The last verb tense on Level 1 is simple future tense. It is the easiest. It happens in the future. All you have to do is take the basic verb form and put “will” before it. Adverbs you may use or see in a sentence with this tense are words like: tomorrow, next year, or next week. Prepositional phrases you may use or see are: in the future, after I go to school, in the afternoon, after eating,.. These verbs don’t change for every person. They are much easier than all the others. Examples:

will go, will do, will see, will be, will eat, will look, will study, will want…..

If you think you know all of this, you are ready for the first level.

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