Verbs forms can use either the simple aspect or the
The infinitive can also be used in the simple or continuous
The simple aspect indicates one or both of the following:
That an action or series of actions is complete.
That the situation is permanent or is regarded as permanent.
It uses both dynamic and stative verbs.
The continuous aspect indicates one or more the following:
That the action or series of actions are in progress.
That the action is not complete.
That the situation is temporary.
It uses dynamic verbs only.
A. SIMPLE & CONTINUOUS ASPECTS
Stative verbs – a state of being and not an
Feelings : love, hate;
Thinking/believing : think, suppose, expect;
Wants and preferences : want, need, prefer;
Perceptions and the senses : look, smell;
Possession : have, own, belong;
Being/seeming : be, seem, appear.
Dynamic verbs – activities.
Activities: drive, watch, listen.
1. STATIVE & DYNAMIC VERBS
Some verbs which are normally stative verbs can
become dynamic verbs with some change in
I think it‟s a good idea. (expresses opinion);
You‟re very quiet. What are you thinking about? (activity of
This cake tastes nice. (describing the effect on one of the
Army is tasting the cake to see if it‟s all right. (activity of
1. STATIVE & DYNAMIC VERBS (CONT…)
It indicates that the event took place before the time
being referred to or that it covered a period of time
up to the time being referred to.
It also shows that this event has some relevance to
the time being referred to:
John has left.(present perfect)
John left before present time. He is not here now.
John had left when we got there.(past perfect)
John left before we got there. He was not there when we got there.
John will have left when we get there. (future perfect)
John will leave before we get there. He will not be there when we
B. THE PERFECT ASPECT
The infinitive can also have a perfect aspect:
He is sure to be there (infinitive with “to”)
He is sure to have been there (perfect infinitive with
Modals can be followed by the infinitive or the
Pam may tell him the news. (infinitive)
Pam may have told him the news. (perfect infinitive)
B. THE PERFECT ASPECT (CONT…)
A regular repeated activity;
Something that is generally true; a statement of fact;
With stative verbs;
In clauses of time and condition, referring to the future;
Introduction a quotation;
In newspaper headlines;
For dramatic narrative;
To give information about a future event.
C. THE PRESENT TENSE
Activity in progress at this moment;
An activity that is taking place in the present
time period and will continue for a limited
A situation that is in the process of changing;
A future intention with a verb of motion.
C. THE PRESENT TENSE (CONT. . .)
Past habit or regular event;
Past situation at the point in time
D. THE PAST TENSE
Your mother phoned a few minutes ago
We went out for a meal every
evening on holiday.
In 1950, there were fewer than 50 million
cars in use around the world.
Used in conjunction with the past simple to describe an action
or event that started before the event in the past simple and
was in progress when the event in the past simple occurred;
To describe an action, event or situation that was in progress
at a specified time in the past;
Used with “while” and “when”;
With adverbials beginning with “all”;
To describe the background and set the scene for a narrative n
D. THE PAST TENSE (CONT…)
Past Continuous versus Simple Past
I was reading a book about astrology last night.
I read a book about astrology last night.
It was raining all day.
It rained all night.
While I was making the dinner, the children were watching television.
While I made the dinner, the children watched television.
I was having a bath at 8 o‟clock.
I had a bath at 8 o‟clock.
D. THE PAST TENSE (CONT…)