Verb Tenses

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.”  Zadie Smith

I plan on writing a sequence of blog posts of the nitty-gritty of teaching verbs – tenses, moods and agreements and adjuncts – at some point in the near future. For now at the bottom of this brief post you will find a handy little infographic that outlines the tenses specified in the primary national curriculum: the progressive tense in Year 2 and the perfect tense in Year 3 (the simple tense isn’t mentioned directly, but the progressive and perfect tenses are best understood in comparison to the simple tense). It’s not perfect (no pun intended) by any means. It doesn’t include all possible uses of each of the six tenses covered. There are many more, but for clarity (and my own obsession for order) I’ve outlined three uses of each tense. I’ve been judicious with the amount of included detail to make the infographic simple and, hopefully, pleasant to look at it.The lines can be blurry between the varying tenses (which I shall clarify in future blog posts). I don’t for a second think that primary children ought to know every use to which these tenses can be employed, but hope it might be a handy guide for teachers to aid teacher explanations: “I’m going to use the progressive tense here to describe the atmosphere of this scene.” Click on the image for a full PDF version. Be kind. Please don’t remove logos. Rather than share, please point people here where they can freely download.


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