Teaching the Basic

Present Simple / Present Continuous – Present Progressive

Note: Contrast between habits and temporary actions

The Basics – Past Simple

There are two principal past tenses used to make general statements about the past: The past simple and the past continuous. The two tenses are quite different. Use the past simple to talk about an event which happened at some point in time in the past.

  • Matthew flew to Chicago last week.
  • John visited his friends in Florida two months ago.


The Basics – Past Continuous

The past continuous is usually used to refer to events happening at the same time that something important happened in the past.

  • They were doing their homework when she arrived.
  • Christ was studying while Dom was cooking dinner..

The past continuous is also used to express what was happening at a precise moment in the past.

  • I was attending a lecture at 2.30 yesterday afternoon.
  • Megan was reading a book at six yesterday evening.


Past Simple Structure


Subject + Verb + ed OR Irregular Past FormĀ + Objects

I, You, He, She, We, They –> played golf yesterday afternoon.
I, You, He, She, We, They -=> went lunch at noon.


Subject + did not (didn’t) + Verb + Objects

I, You, He, She, We, They –> didn’t go on vacation last summer.

Subject + did not (doesn’t) + Verb + Objects


(Why, What, etc.) + did + Subject + Verb + Objects?

Did –> I, you, we, they –> attend the meeting last week?


Past Continuous Structure


Subject + conjugate the helping verb “be” + verb + -ing.

I was, You were, He was, She was, We were, You were, They were –> watching TV when I arrived.


Subject + conjugate the helping verb “be” + not + verb + -ing.

I wasn’t, You weren’t, He wasn’t, She wasn’t, We weren’t, You weren’t, They weren’t –> working when he came into the room.


Question word + conjugate the helping verb ‘be’ + subject + verb + -ing

What –> were you, they –> doing at seven o’clock?
What –> was I, he, she –> doing at seven o’clock?

Past Continuous

Note: Focus on use with the past simple to describe ‘interrupted actions’ in the past

Present Perfect

Note: focus on use of present perfect for unfinished time – i.e. the duration form. Focus should also include adverbs commonly used with the present perfect: since, for, just, already, yet

Future with ‘Will’

Note: Contrast this form with future intentions form – i.e. future with ‘going to’

Future with ‘Going to’

Note: Contrast this form with future predictions form – i.e. future with ‘will’

Present Continuous (Present Progressive)

Note: Use for future intentions and plans, discuss similarities to future with ‘going to’

First/Real Conditional

Note: Used for probable or realistic situations

Modal Verbs of Deduction

Note: Use of ‘must be’, ‘might be’ and ‘can’t be’ use in the present

Some – Any

Note: Call to attention the irregular use of some in requests and offers


Note: too, enough, a lot of, a few, much, many (in question and negative forms), etc.

Prepositions of Place

Note: in front of, opposite, behind, between, across, etc.

Prepositions of Movement

Note: straight on, on your right, past the house, into, out of, etc.

Common Phrasal Verbs

Note: get on with, look after, fed up with, put off, make up, etc.

Verb + Gerund

Note: like doing, enjoy doing, go swimming, etc.

Verb + Infinitive

Note: hope to do, want to do, manage to do, etc.

Basic Verb and Preposition Combinations

Note: listen to, arrive at, go through, etc.

Comparatives & Superlatives

Note: taller than, more beautiful than, as tall as, happier than, the tallest, the most difficult, etc.