Use this cheat sheet to help you remember the English tenses forms, usage, and typical sentence and question structures. In part I  we’ll focus on the present simple , present continuous, past simple and past continuous. 


SENTENCE FORM :         Subject + verb 1st form + continue sentence

QUESTION FORM :         Do (auxiliary verb) + subject + verb 1st form + continue                        

USAGE 1: Normally like this 

I go to see a show at least once a week.

 I don’t go to see a show at least once a week

 Do you go to see a show at least once a week?

USAGE 2: timetables

The train leaves at 7:00. 

The train doesn’t leave at 7:00 

What time does the train leave?

USAGE 3:  Facts

Black Flag is an American band.

Black Flag isn’t an American artist

Where is Black Flag from?

USAGE 4:  permanent situation

I live in crazy Žižkov.

I don’t live in crazy Žižkov .

Where do you live


SENTENCE FORM:            subject + is/ am/are + verb ing + continue sentence

QUESTION FORM:              is/ am/ are + subject + verb ing + continue  

USAGE 1: happening now 

I am taking photos.

I‘m not taking photos

What are you doing now ?

USAGE 2: temporary situation  

We are staying in Bali for the summer. 

We aren’t staying in Bali for the summer.

Are we staying in Bali for the summer?

USAGE 3: repeated annoying habits

John is always forgetting to bring a cable. 

John isn’t always forgetting to bring a cable.

Is John constantly forgetting things? 

USAGE 4: arranged plan    

The musicians are playing at 7:00 pm  

The musicians aren’t playing at 7:00 pm

When are the musicians playing? 


SENTENCE FORM:            Subject + verb 2nd form + continue sentence

QUESTION FORM:            Did (past auxiliary verb) + subject + verb 1st form + continue   

USAGE 1: a list of what was done 

Yesterday, I slept all day, painted, and later got super drunk.                                              

Yesterday, I didn’t do anything. 

What did you do yesterday? 

USAGE 2: completed action 

I finally finished recording the album on Friday !      

I didn’t finish the album last week. 

Did you finish the album on Friday ?   

USAGE 3: Past fact

Grand Theft Auto came out on PlayStation in 1997

Grand Theft Auto didn’t come out on PlayStation until 1997

Did Grand Theft Auto come out on PlayStation in 2000 ?


SENTENCE FORM  :           Subject + was/were + verb ing + continue sentence

QUESTION FORM:              was/ were + subject + verb ing + continue  

USAGE 1: was happening together with another action ( 2 sentences) 

He was photographing down the street when a kid fell off his skateboard

He wasn’t doing anything when a kid fell off his skateboard 

What was he doing when the kid fell

USAGE 2: background situation

It was raining and very cold that night 

It wasn’t raining that night

Was the sun shining that night? 

USAGE 3: happening all day in the past

You were doing graphic design all day 

You weren’t doing graphic design all day

Were you working all day?

USAGE 4: happening at a specific time in the past

At 4 am we were driving to Krakow 

At 4 am we weren’t driving to Krakow

Were you sleeping at 4am ?  

Part II focuses on the present perfect simple, present perfect continuous, past perfect simple and past perfect continuous 

Practice this topic with me, an American instructor, for a one hour session online. Get in touch or purchase directly here 

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