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Osceola Writing Center

Verb Tenses

Verb tenses are used to give information about time and action. In general, people tend to say that there are 12 English verb tenses, but that number varies based on the person's definition of a verb tense. Some might say that we only have 2 real tenses (past and present) because those are the only 2 tenses that change form in the main verb alone. Others included tenses that are formed by adding auxiliary words. In any case, verbs are very important in English, and an understanding of how and when each tense is used can help one become a better writer.

Helpful Resources

Rather than reinvinting the wheel on our page, we have provided links below that are very good resources for understanding verb tenses. If you need any help or have questions, feel free to come in to the Writing Center for a consultation.

English Page (includes explanation & exercises)

English Grammar Online

PDF 1 (with color coding)



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