English grammar explained using clear and simple explanations.

The Past Simple

We use the past simple when the action and time period are finished. So we can say: I went to America in 1990. If we don’t say when it happened we cannot use the past simple and we have to use the present perfect. The past tense of regular verbs is easy – we add –ed. Present simple Past Simple walk work […]

Read more

The Past Perfect Simple

We use the past perfect when there are 2 actions in the past. The first action is the past perfect and the second action is the past simple. I had had breakfast before I went to work. He had already finished school by the time he was 16. We went to Wembley last night. We had never been there before. Look at the construction: Subject had past participle […]

Read more

The Past Perfect Continuous

We use the past perfect continuous when there are 2 actions in the past. The first action lasted a long time and we use the past perfect continuous to describe it. The action stops when the second action takes place. For the second action we use the past simple. I had been living in Italy for 3 years before I went to Rome. […]

Read more

The Present Simple

We use the present simple to talk about things which happen in general, when we talk about things which we do every day, always, sometimes or often (see also adverbs of frequency). I get up at 7 am. I play tennis three times a week. You drink two cups of coffee a day. You sleep out every night (Big Rock Candy Mountain) The present simple of regular verbs uses the base form for all its forms except the 3rd person […]

Read more

The Past Continuous

We use the past continuous to talk about an action which was happening at an exact time in the past. I was sleeping at 6 o’clock this morning. The construction is the same as the present continuous except the verb to be is in the past. The present continous refers to a specific moment in the present -now- while the past continuous refers […]

Read more

The Passive

We use the passive form when the action is more important than who performs it: Look at the constructions: Present simple / Past simple Subject to be past participle of verb (by + object pronoun/name) The song is sung by Bob Dylan. The song was sung by Bob Dylan. Grapes are grown in France. The dishes were washed by my mother. Present continuous / Past […]

Read more

Modal verbs of Probability – must, might, may and could

Impossible (0%) Possible (50%) Only possibility (100%) can’t might may could must We use modal verbs of probability when we have thought about something and we say the possibility of something happening. We don’t know for a fact but, having thought about it we can say what we believe. Might, could and may all have the same meaning, namely that’s it’s possible. We use might and could more […]

Read more

Introduction to Modal verbs

The following are all modal verbs: can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, would. General things to remember about moda lverbs 1. They stay the same in every form. We never add -s. Examples He should go. She would love it. It will be great. 2. After the modal verb we always use the base form of the main verb. Examples I can drive. You could see. She must save all her salary. This is true also in the past when […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 6