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Verb tenses manual

Following is a list of the 12 main verb tenses for an active verb.


In addition to the 12 main verb forms, there are four modal forms that introduce imaginary or hypothetical action.


While you need to know how to conjugate verbs, just knowing the verb form does not guarantee that you will be able to use it correctly. Look at the simple present tense of the verb to have.

These are all correct forms and uses of the verb.


You can see that the verb to have has four meanings and, therefore, four uses.

  1. One meaning is the sense of owning or possessing
    We have a car.
  2. A second meaning is when we use I have to to mean I must
    I have to finish my assignment tonight or I will not be able to hand it in on time.
  3. A third meaning is when we use to have in combination with ‘going to’ to indicate a plan of action
    We are going to have dinner at that restaurant on Sunday.
  4. A fourth use of have is as an auxiliary verb when we construct the perfect tense forms
    The business has been operating since 1987.


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