IELTS Basic Grammar - Verbs and Tenses (Part 2)
The Present Perfect Tense:
The present perfect tense shows action in the indefinite past. The present perfect tense is also used to show action begun in the past and continuing into the present. To make the present perfect tense, use have or has and a verb that ends in ed.
• We have lived in this house for five years. (= and we still live there)
• Your plane has already landed. (= and it’s still on the ground)
• She has dirtied her new shoes. (= she made them dirty and they’re still dirty)
Irregular Past Participles
Remember that irregular verbs don’t have a simple past form that ends in -ed. Irregular verbs also have unusual past participles that don’t end in -ed. The past participle of some verbs is the same as the simple past tense.
» fight - fought - fought ; have - had - had ; lose - lost - lost ; teach - taught - taught; win - won - won etc.
The Future Tense :
To show future action use the verbs shall and will with another verb that describes the action.
• You can use either shall or will with the pronouns I and we.
• Use will with the pronouns you, he, she, it and they.
• Will is also used with singular nouns like ‘my dad’ and with plural nouns like ‘all the boys in my class’.
" I shall do my homework after dinner."
" I will miss you when you leave."
" We shall take the dog for a walk later."
" We will visit Grandma this weekend."
" He will be home later. "
To make the negative form, use will and shall with not. The contraction for will not is won’t.
" I will not help you unless you help me first."
" It won’t be very sunny again until next summer. "
To talk about facts in the future or plans that will not change, use the simple present tense.
" Tomorrow is Sunday."
" Summer vacation ends on Friday. "
You can also talk about plans for the future and other future happenings
by using be going to and another verb. Remember to:
• Use am and was with the pronoun I.
• Use is and was with the pronouns he, she and it, and with singular nouns like ‘my mom’ and ‘the teacher’.
• Use are and were with the pronouns we, you and they, and with plural nouns like ‘my friends’ and ‘John and Sally’.
" I am going to visit my cousin tomorrow."
" I am going to see the new Star Wars movie next week."
" My friend John is going to move to Chicago next year. "
" My friends are going to teach me how to play chess."
" Mom and Dad are going to buy a new computer."
" Your books are going to fall off the shelf if you’re not careful."
do, does and did
The verb do is used to talk about actions. The words do and does are the simple present forms of the verb do.
• Use do with the pronouns I, we, you and they, and with plural nouns such as ‘my parents’ and ‘Tom and Susan’.
• Use does with the pronouns he, she and it, and with singular nouns such as ‘my dad’ and ‘the teacher’.
" I always do my homework after dinner."
" I do drawings with coloured pencils."
" We do our shopping at the supermarket."
" You do magic tricks very well."
" They do their housework on the weekend. "
The infinitive is the base form of a verb. It is often preceded by the word to. Infinitives often appear after other verbs.
" The rain began to fall."
" Sally and I agreed to meet this afternoon."
" I’ve arranged to see the doctor at 3 o’clock."
" I hope to visit Disneyland someday."
Some verbs have an object before the infinitive.
" Simon asked me to help him."
" The teacher told us not to run in the corridor. "
Infinitives often appear after adjectives. " The boys were afraid to cross the busy road."
" I’m very pleased to see you again."
" This problem will be difficult to solve."
You can also use infinitives after some nouns and pronouns to say what you are using something for.
" Take a book to read."
" I phoned for a taxi to take us to the airport."
" Has everyone got something to drink?"
Infinitives sometimes follow words like how, what, which and where.
" My brother is learning how to cook."
" I can’t decide which to choose—the ice cream or the pudding. "
Infinitives are also used after helping verbs such as will, can, should, may and must. After these helping verbs use infinitives without the word to.
" I can swim."
" We think she will win the race."
" You must try harder."
The Imperative Form of Verbs
When you give an order or command, use the base form of a verb, such as give, read or come. This base form is called the imperative.
" Open your books to page 25."
" Stop and look before you cross the road."
" Come to the front of the class. "
Imperatives are very direct. To be more polite, you can use please before the imperative.
" Please show me your homework."
" Please read the first sentence out loud."
" Please come to the front of the class."
To make negative imperatives, use do not or don’t before the base form of the verb.
" Do not bring calculators into the exam room."
" Please don’t change anything on my computer."
A gerund is the ing form of a verb used as a noun. Sometimes a gerund is called a verbal noun because it comes from a verb.
" Running is a good way to keep fit."
" Susan is very good at drawing."
" He loves dancing and singing. "
[ Sometimes it is difficult to know whether an ing word is a gerund or a present participle. If you can replace the ing word or its phrase with the pronoun it, then the word is a gerund. Look again at the examples on the left. Try replacing the words in bold with it. ]
Some gerunds can be used in front of other nouns, like adjectives.
" a washing machine = a machine that does washing"
" a shopping bag = a bag for carrying your purchases "