Let’s Get Tense About Tenses

Being able to use verb tenses correctly in English is the mark of an excellent student (T.Lee’s opinion).  Let’s look at verb tenses in several different forms (active voice, passive voice, regular and progressive).

Active Regular Tenses

Let’s call the following table the REGULAR tenses in ACTIVE VOICE for the verb “to break”
(break/broke/broken):

Tense Name Verb Form
Present I break
Past I broke
Future I will break
Present Perfect I have broken
Past Perfect I had broken
Future Perfect I will have broken

Active Progressive Tenses

Let’s call the following table the PROGRESSIVE (or continuous) tenses in ACTIVE VOICE for the verb
“to break”  (break/broke/broken):

Tense Name Verb Form
Present I am breaking
Past I was breaking
Future I will be breaking
Present Perfect I have been breaking
Past Perfect I had been breaking
Future Perfect I will have been breaking

Passive Regular Tenses

Let’s call the following table the REGULAR tenses in PASSIVE VOICE for the verb
“to break”  (break/broke/broken):

Tense Name Verb Form
Present I am broken
Past I was broken
Future I will be broken
Present Perfect I have been broken
Past Perfect I had been broken
Future Perfect I will have been broken

Passive Progressive Tenses

Let’s call the following table the PROGRESSIVE (or continuous) tenses in PASSIVE VOICE for the verb
“to break”  (break/broke/broken):

Tense Name Verb Form
Present I am being broken
Past I was being broken
Future I will be being broken
Present Perfect I have been being broken
Past Perfect I had been being broken
Future Perfect I will have been being broken

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