As international students learn the English language their lessons are riddled with holes that sooner or later show up. For example, students who regularly do well with speaking and listening still lack strong reading and writing grammar skills.

So, here is a tip.

If you really want to find out how strong you are at verbs choose one in the base or root form and give it a try. Choose a common verb such as “to eat,” and write out a sentence with tense tags to discover your own abilities. Let us first consider Simple Present: I eat chips every day. Simple Past: I ate chips last night. And, Simple Future: I will eat chips tonight. Notice how the tense tags confirm if the verb is conjugated in Present, Past, or Future.

Now try and complete your own examples for Present Perfect, Past Perfect, and Future Perfect by using the same verb, “to eat.”  Next repeat with Present continuous, Past Continuous, and Future Continuous.  Use the same verb to keep it easy.

Finally, do the same exercise with Present Perfect Continuous, Past Perfect Continuous and Future Perfect Continuous. Don’t forget to use your tense tags and to have fun! One more thing, if you need to practice, write the base or root verb on one side of an index card and your sentence example on the other. Practice with a partner by showing the one side of the card and them telling you the tense or sharing the example sentence.

Wayne Dupuis