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Here at Live Lingua, we’re all about making your language learning journey as fun and enjoyable as possible. One of the biggest things our students ask for is written assistance with English verb tense.

The best way to learn English is to memorize the tenses, and use them in immersive conversation. Here, we’ll cover the tenses, offer hints for speaking and practicing English, and offer a sweet deal to help you practice with a native English speaker.

English Verb Tense

We’ve compiled this quick guide to the three tenses in which verbs are used in the English language.

When it comes to English verb tense, there are three separate tenses that you need to be aware of and know how to use. These are similar to other languages: past, present, and future.

English verbs in past tense describe something that has already happened, while present tense verbs describe an action that is happening, and future tense verbs refer to an action that is to come.

Here is a guide to the English verb tenses:

Simple PresentSimple PastSimple Future
eat breakfast every morning.ate a big breakfast this morning.will eat eggs for breakfast tomorrow.
Present ContinuousPast ContinuousFuture Continuous
am eating breakfast right now.was eating breakfast when you called.will be eating breakfast when you arrive at my house.
Present PerfectPast PerfectFuture Perfect
have eaten breakfast every day this week.had eaten eggs for breakfast every day until today.will have eaten eggs for fifty days straight by the end of the week.
Present Perfect ContinuousPast Perfect ContinuousFuture Perfect Continuous
have always eaten a big breakfast.had been eating eggs every day for at least a month.will have been eating breakfast for an hour by the time you arrive.

We’ve looked in-depth at English Past Tense and English Present Tense

Conjugating Present Tense in English

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If you’re looking for help conjugating present tense in English, you’re in the right place!

Many people struggle with verb conjugation regardless of the language they’re learning.

But it doesn’t have to stress you out!

Here are the four present tenses for English and examples of their conjugations.

  1. Simple Present Tense

Use the simple present when you’re talking about situations that repeat or stay the same, like habits and generally accepted facts or truths. You can also use it to describe fixed arrangements for the present and even for the future.

Rules to conjugate the simple present:

  • Use the infinitive with I, you, and we. (I eat. You eat. We eat.)
  • For regular third person singular verbs, add -s (He eats. She eats. It eats.)
  • If the verb ends in -y, change it to -ies for third person pronouns (He flies. She flies. It flies.) unless it ends in a vowel + y. (He says. She says. It says.)
  • Verbs that end in -ch, -sh, -x, -ss, add -es for third person pronoun. (He watches. She crashes. It boxes.)

Here are some more examples:

Facts/General Truths: Water boils at 100 C. Football is a sport.Many people live in Barcelona.

Habits/Repeated Actions: He only drinks coffee. He eats at noon every day.

Giving Instructions/Directions: Open the door. Make a left turn.

Fixed Arrangements: You leave tomorrow at 6. Winter break starts the 16th.

If you want more practice, check out our post that includes examples of present simple tense irregular verbs and negations.     

Present Continuous Tense

It’s important to think of context when conjugating verbs.

We use the present continuous to express an action that is occuring now and that is not complete. You can also use it to describe a planned action for the future.

To form the present continuous tense, you use the present tense of the verb to be + the present participle of the main verb. The present participle is just the base of the verb+ing.

Let’s see some examples:

  • You are reading (read+ing) now.
  • We are not speaking (speak+ing).
  • They are going to Spain in September.

Present Perfect

Conjugating the present perfect tense in English can give language-learners trouble.

Here’s how to do it:

The present perfect makes a connection between the past and the present when the timing is unimportant.

Form it by using the correct form of helping verb to have+past participle of main verb (base+ed for regular verbs).

Examples include:

  • I have visited (visit+ed) Portugal (The timing isn’t important, but the result is.)
  • He has seen (irregular) the Statue of Liberty.
  • We have played (play+ed) that game many times.

Present Perfect Continuous

The present perfect continuous tense looks similar to the present perfect.

But we use this tense to describe actions that began in the past and are still continuing right now. That is, we are interested in the result and the action itself.

To form this tense, use the present perfect of to be+present participle of main verb (base+ing).

Check out these examples:

  • He has been living (live+ing) here for many years.
  • I have been writing (write+ing) my biography.
  • You have been learning (learn+ing) English since you were 3 years old.

Need help with conjugating present tense in English?

Learn about negations and irregular conjugations with one of our expert instructors to sound more fluent and impress your friends!

If you have further questions, our native English speakers would love to help! We are offering a free 60-minute trial lesson for any who sign up on our website. Our immersive lessons are taught via Skype and built around your needs – the curriculum is fully customizable!

English Past Tense

For our full guide to English past tense, where we look at conjugation, examples, and use, please see this detailed article:

English Present Tense

For our full guide to English past tense, where we look at conjugation, examples, and use, please see this detailed article:

How To Pronounce English Words Correctly

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Ahh, the perils of learning a new language. Especially English — for a language so widely spoken in business and social circles, the English language sure can be a pain to learn how to pronounce. If you need to learn how to pronounce English words correctly, this is the guide for you. As you’ve already figured out, pronouncing words in English can be quite a challenge — until you get the hang of it. With time and practice, you’ll be speaking better English — and maybe even landing a great new job.

It’s all about repetition

The first thing you need to do to learn how to pronounce English words correctly is to say the word you are learning over and over. When you hear or read a new word, practice it out loud several times before you try to speak it to someone else. English is tricky in that many words are spelled the same but have different pronunciations and meanings (we know, it’s like the ultimate cruel trick).

If you’re still confused, look up the word on YouTube or Google and watch how others pronounce it.

Spend time on each letter

To further the cruel trick, many letters have multiple pronunciations, particularly when theyare combinede with other letters. TH is a perfect example — and we cover how to pronounce ‘TH’ in English here. Vowels (a,e,i,o,u, and sometimes y) are another example. They can be soft or hard, depending on context. The letter ‘j’ falls into this trap as well.

Then there the dreaded silent letters. Sometimes at the front of a word, the first letter will go unpronounced — it becomes silent. Challah is a perfect example (the type of bread). We can help you with how to pronounce English words correctly in a free one-on-one Skype trial lesson — sign up at the link below:

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Pay attention to regional diction

As you may have noticed, Americans speak differently than British English speakers. Australians also have their own diction, as do other English speaking countries and regions. A big part of how to pronounce English words correctly stems from knowing who you are talking to.

As you learn new words, jot down how to pronounce them based on who you speak to most often.

Also, despite its complications and inconsistencies, English is a highly phonetic language. If you can piece together the letters, you should at least be on the right track.

Greetings in English

greetings in english

Greeting someone in English is often more informal than it is in many other languages, largely because there are so many accepted ways to greet someone and of those, a high percentage are originally derived from slang terms that have made their way into the mainstream.

These common greetings in English will help guide you through basic introductions. You can, of course, customize them to fit your location, level of English proficiency, and the formality of the situation.

Hello.

This is an informal greeting, used most often with people whom you already know or have a relationship. Variations include:

  • Hey
  • Hi
  • What’s up? (in extremely informal settings — such as close friends or family)

To which you might reply:

  • Hey
  • Hello. How are you?
  • Not much. What’s up with you?

How are you doing today?

A common way of inquiring as to how someone’s day is going. This greeting can be used in both formal and informal settings and will widely be interpreted the same way. Variations can include:

  • How’s it going?
  • What’s going on?
  • How have you been? (a slightly formal way of asking how someone has been doing since you last spoke to them)

To which you might reply:

  • I’m good/well/great. How are you?
  • It’s going well. How about you?
  • I’ve been better (if you are not doing so well)

Good morning/afternoon/evening

A formal way of greeting someone, in professional situations or when speaking to a group.

To which you might reply:

  • Good morning/afternoon/evening
  • Hello
  • How are you today?

It’s good to see you/it’s nice to see you

An informal way to let someone know that you are happy to be speaking or meeting with them.

To which you might reply:

  • Great to see you as well.
  • It’s been too long!
  • How have you been?

Nice to meet you

A slightly formal way to greet someone you’ve just met, after the initial introduction has taken place. Variations can include:

  • Great to meet you
  • Nice to finally meet you in person (for someone whom you have talked with via phone or internet, but have yet to physically meet).

To which you might reply:

  • Nice to meet you as well.
  • Same to you.
  • The pleasure is mine.

Where are you from?

The common way of asking a person’s hometown, this phrase is used in both formal and informal settings. It is a great way to ‘break the ice’ and show interest in a person, as well as get a conversation going.

To which you might reply:

  • I’m from Boston. How about you?
  • I grew up in California but now I live in New York.
  • I’m Indonesian/Chinese/etc.
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Family Members in English

family members in english

One of the first and most important things you want to learn in the English language is how to refer to the people in your life. As you work towards fluency in the English language, knowing the family members in English will be incredibly helpful.

With this guide, you will be able to correctly refer to the people closest to you in life — a crucial communication step even for beginning English learners.

Your English instructor can help you learn and memorize each of these terms and will make sure you have a firm understanding of family members in English. Live Lingua is currently offering a free 60-minute trial English lesson with a native speaker — sign up here.

A guide to family members in English

  • mother, mom
  • father, dad
  • parent, parents
  • children, child, kids, kid
  • son
  • daughter
  • sister, little sister, big sister, older sister, younger sister
  • brother, little brother, big brother, older brother, younger brother
  • siblings
  • grandmother, grandma
  • grandfather, grandpa
  • grandparent
  • grandson
  • granddaughter
  • grandchild, grandkids
  • aunt
  • uncle
  • niece
  • nephew
  • cousin, second cousin
  • husband
  • wife
  • spouse, partner
  • sister-in-law
  • brother-in-law
  • mother-in-law
  • father-in-law
  • fiancé
  • girlfriend
  • boyfriend
  • significant other

We hope you have enjoyed our rundown of basic greetings in English. If you’re ready to learn more of the English language, we are happy to offer a FREE English Survival Crash Course. Every day for five days, we’ll send engaging and actionable eBooks to your email to help you learn English fast.

We offer a free trial lesson. Sign up today!

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