Tuesday, 2 August 2016

How to give Time Expressions in English...





Time Expressions and Tenses

Days of the Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Notice that all days of the week are capitalized. When speaking about an action that is repeated EVERY Saturday, Monday, etc. use the day of the week + 's'
Mondays
Tuesdays
Wednesdays
Thursdays
Fridays
Saturdays
Sundays
The Weekend
British English: at the weekend OR at weekends (in general)
American English: on the weekends OR on weekends (in general)
Examples:
I play tennis at weekends.
She visits her mother Tuesdays.
Times of the Day
Use the following time expressions to express things that happen during the day.
in the morning
in the afternoon
in the evening
at night
NOTE: Make sure to note that we say 'at night' NOT 'in the night'
Examples:
They do the cleaning in the morning.
He goes to bed late at night.
Time Expressions to Use with the Present Simple
every day, month, year, etc.
Examples:
She travels to Las Vegas every year.
Jack tries to exercise every day.
adverbs of frequency (usually, sometimes, often, etc.)
Examples:
They sometimes play golf.
She rarely smokes.
Time Expressions to Use with the Present Continuous
now - Tom is watching TV now.
today - I'm working on the Smith project today.
at the moment - Jane is doing her homework at the moment.
Time Expressions Often Used in the Past
last - used when speaking about the previous week, month or year
Example:
They went on holiday last month.
yesterday - used when speaking about the previous day
Example:
I visited my best friend yesterday.
ago - used when speaking about X days, weeks, months, years before. NOTE: 'ago' follows the number of days, weeks, etc.
Example:
We flew to Cleveland three weeks ago.
in - used with specific years or months
Example:
She graduated in 1976.
when - used with a past time clause
Example:
I played tennis every day when I was a teenager.
Time Expressions Used in the Future
next - We are going to visit our friends in Chicago next week.
tomorrow - He'll be at the meeting tomorrow.
in X weeks, days, years time - use this expression with the future continuous to express what you will be doing at a specific of time in the future.
Example:
We will be swimming in a crystal blue sea in two weeks time.
by (date) - use this form with the future perfect to express what you will have done up to that point in time.
Example:
I will have finished the report by April 15.
by the time + time clause - use this form with the future perfect to express what will have happened up to a specific action in the future.
Example:
She will have bought a new home by the time he arrives.
Days of the Week
Time expressions to use to speak about days in the present, past and future
Using the days of the week in English is more than just learning the names of the days of the week. However, that's where you begin. Here are the days of the week:
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

That was the easy part! Using the days of the week in conversation about present habits, past events and future plans involves using a number of different time expressions. Here are the most common time expressions used with days of the week arranged by time with numerous examples.
Present
Repeating Events, Habits and Routines
On - Days with 'S'
Use days of the weeks ending in 's' with the preposition 'on' to speak about activities that happen every week together with the present simple to speak about weekly routines.
I usually sleep in on Saturdays.
Mary takes her daughters to ballet class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Events Recurring on Specific Days Each Month
Use the phrase "the first/second/third (day) of / in the month" with the present simple to state that something happens every month on that date.
We meet on the second Friday of the month.
New classes begin on the first Monday in the month.
Use the words each / every / alternate to express that something happens on a particular day each week.
I visit on clients in Portland on alternate Thursdays.
The class meets every Wednesday evening from six to eight o'clock.
Past / Present / Future
These forms can be used in the past, present or future with days of the week.
On
Use 'on' to refer to a specific day during the week. With the past and the future, this generally refers to that during the present week. With the present, use 's' (see explanation below.).
I'll see you on Friday.
We had lunch on Tuesday.
We meet on Mondays.
All Day
Use 'all day' to explain that something takes place over the entire day.
The workshop is all day Saturday.
We're going to be in Los Angeles all day Sunday.
Morning / Afternoon / Evening / Night
You can modify which time of a day by using the expressions 'morning, afternoon, evening' or 'night' immediately following the day of the week.
Let's talk about this on Thursday morning.
I usually play golf on Saturday afternoons.
Past
Last
Use 'last' to refer to a day one week in the past.
I saw Tom last Friday.
We met up last Tuesday.
The Previous ...
Use 'the previous (day)' or to refer to a day one week in the past from the moment referred to. This form is often used in reported speech to indicate that the day occurred one week before the moment of speaking that is reported.
We discussed the issue at the meeting the previous Wednesday.
Alan said he had seen Frank the previous Saturday.
The Following ...
Use 'the following (day)' or to refer to a day one week in the after the moment referred to. This form is often used in reported speech.
Jason told us he met Doug the following week.
Anna decided to move to Chicago the following week.
The ... Before Last
Use 'the (day) before last' to refer to a day of the week two weeks in the past.
Did you go to the meeting the Tuesday before last?
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to speak to Peter the Thursday before last.
Future
Next
Use 'next' to indicate that something happens in one week's time on the day.
Let's discuss this next Friday.
We're meeting next Wednesday to go over the plans.
This / On
Use 'this' or 'on' to indicate that something happens in a future day in the current week.
Jack is flying to San Francisco this Thursday.
Peter is having a party on Friday.
A Week On ...
Use 'a week on (day)' to indicate that something will happen seven days from the day mentioned.
OK, we'll meet here a week on Saturday.
Jennifer told me she'd have the report ready a week on Friday.
By
Use the preposition 'by' to state that something will be finished before that day.
I will finish by next Tuesday.
The report will be ready by next Wednesday.
After, Before, When
Key Time Expressions used in Adverb Clauses

The time expressions after, before and when are used to indicate when something happens in the past, present or future. After, before and when introduce a full clause and require a subject and verb. Therefore, the time expressions after, before and when introduce adverb clauses.
Each time expression uses different tenses depending on whether the action occurs in the present, past or future. However, the general rule is that time expressions take the simple form of a given tense. In in other words, after, before and when are followed by either the present simple for present and future situations, or the past simple for past events. The following guide provides an explanation past, present and future use indicating tenses required for both the time clause and the main clause. Examples are provided for each usage to provide context.
After
The action in the main clause occurs after what occurs in the time clause with after. Notice the use of tenses:
Future: What will happen after something occurs.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: future
Examples:
We'll discuss the plans after he gives the presentation.
Jack is going to propose to Jane after they have dinner on Friday!
Present: What always happens after something else occurs.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: present simple
Examples:
Alison checks her mail after she gets home.
David plays golf after he mows the lawn on Saturdays.
Past: What happened after something (had) occurred.
Time clause: past simple or past perfect
Main clause: past simple
Examples:
They ordered 100 units after Tom (had) approved the estimate.
Mary purchased a new car after she (had) researched all her options.
Before
The action in the main clause happens before the action described in the time clause with 'before'. Notice the use of tenses:
Future: What will happen before something else occurs in the future.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: future
Examples:
Before he completes the report, he will check all the facts.
Jennifer will speak with Jack before she makes a decision.
Present: What happens before something else occurs on a regular basis.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: present simple
Examples:
I take a shower before I go to work.
Doug exercises every evening before he eats dinner.
Past: What (had) happened before something else occurred at a point of time in the past.
Time clause: past simple
Main clause: past simple or past perfect
Examples:
She had already eaten before he arrived for the meeting.
They finished the discussion before he changed his mind.
When
The action in the main clause happens when something else occurs. Notice that 'when' can indicate different times depending on the tenses used. However, 'when' generally indicates that something happens after, as soon as, upon something else occurring. In other words, it happens just after something else occurs. Notice the use of tenses:
Future: What happens when something else occurs in the future.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: future
Examples:
We'll go out to lunch when he comes to visit me. (general time)
Francis will give me a call when he gets the confirmation. (after in a general sense - it could be immediately, or later)
Present: What always happens when something else occurs.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: present simple
Examples:
We discuss the bookkeeping when she comes every month.
Susan plays golf when he friend Mary is in town.
Past: What happened when something else (had) occurred. The past tense of 'when' can indicate that something happened regularly or one specific time in the past.
Time clause: past simple
Main clause: past simple
Examples:
She took the train to Pisa when he came to visit her in Italy. (once, or on a regular basis)
They had a great time seeing the sights when they went to New York.


Verb Conjugation
Understanding Basic Verb Conjugation Patterns in English

Learning English tenses over time becomes easier because of the patterns that carry over from each tense. This tense learning grid helps English learners identify the patterns that a verb form will have whether in the past, present or future form. Of course, these patterns are not the only use for each of these tenses. However, understanding these verb conjugation patterns will help students identify at a more abstract level when forms are used.
There are four basic verb conjugation forms in English.
  • Simple Tenses
  • Progressive Tenses
  • Perfect Tenses
  • Perfect Progressive Tenses
Simple Tenses
Use simple tenses to speak about something that happens repeatedly in the present. Simple tenses are used in the past and future to speak about something that occurs once.
  • Mary often plays tennis on weekends.
  • Peter visited his parents in New York last month.
  • Tom will come to the event next week.
Progressive Tenses
Use progressive tenses to express actions that are in progress at a specific moment in time.
Do not use stative verbs with progressive tenses (i.e. love, like, hate, taste, feel, etc.)
  • The children are doing their homework at the moment.
  • Doug was cooking dinner when she arrived.
  • Christian will be enjoying his vacation this time next week.
Perfect Tenses
Use perfect tenses to express something that what has been completed from one point in time to another. Perfect tenses express what happens over time.
  • Susan has read four books by Hemingway.
  • They had already eaten before he arrived.
  • William will have finished the report by six o'clock.
Perfect Progressive Tenses
Perfect progressive tenses are a combination used to express the duration of a specific activity from one point in time to another. As with all progressive tenses, perfect progressive tenses do not take stative verbs (feel, think, hear, etc.)
  • We've been playing tennis since five o'clock.
  • They had been waiting at the bus stop for thirty minutes by the time it arrived.
  • Henry will have been studying for six hours by the end of this hour.
Notice how most tenses use time expressions to define a point in time as reference. These time expressions can also be time clauses which express an action as reference reference for the conjugation of the main clause. These time expressions can be thought of in the following ways based on the basic verb conjugation form.
  • Simple Tenses - time expressions or time clauses that define in a general way when something happened.
  • Progressive Tenses - time expressions or time clauses that define the specific moment in time when something happens.
  • Perfect Tenses - time expressions or time clauses that define the moment up to which something is completed.
  • Perfect Progressive Tenses - time expressions that indicate the duration of an action from one point in time to another.
Using this approach, you can see that there are twelve tenses in English. One tense for each verb conjugation form in the present (4 tenses), past (4 tenses), and future (4 tenses). Here is a chart that you can use to quickly review the twelve tenses of English:
Verb Conjugation Grid


Simple Tenses
Simple Tense Example
Progressive Tenses
Progressive Tense Example
Perfect Tenses
Perfect Tense Example
Perfect Progressive Tenses
Perfect Progressive Tense Example
Present
Present Simple
Jack usually takes a bus to work.
Present Progressive
Alice is writing her report at the moment.
Present Perfect
Bob has purchased three cars in his life.
Present Perfect Progressive
The students have been writing for twenty minutes.
Past
Past Simple
We drove to Yellowstone last
Past Progressive
Daniel was ironing at seven o'clock.
Past Perfect
They had completed the report by the time he requested to see it.
Past Perfect Progressive
My neighbors had been working outside for a few hours when their daughter telephoned with the news.
Future
Future Simple
I'll see you tomorrow afternoon.
Future Progressive
Tom will be making his presentation this time next week.
Future Perfect
We'll have the job finished by six o'clock.
Future Perfect Progressive
Mr. Jones will have been teaching for eight hour straight by the time he finishes.



While, As, As / So Long As
Expressing What Happens During That Time

While / As = During that Time
'While' and 'as' are used to describe actions that occur at the same moment that something is in progress. 'While' and 'as' are sometimes confused with the preposition 'during'. Both express the same idea, however, the structures are different. 'While' and 'as' are time expressions and take a subject and verb. 'During' is a preposition and is used with a noun or noun phrase. Take a look at the following examples to note the difference. Notice how the meaning remains the same in both structures:
Examples - During:
We discussed the situation during lunch. (noun)
They are going to visit the Empire State Building during their visit to New York (noun phrase).
The following sentences can also be expressed using the time expressions 'while' or 'as'. Be sure to take careful note of how the structure changes.
Examples - When / As:
We discussed the situation while we were eating lunch. (full adverb time clause with subject and verb)
They are going to visit the Empire State Building as they visit New York. (full adverb time clause with subject and verb)
Future: Use 'while' or 'as' to state something that occurs at the same moment that something else - the main focus of the sentence - important will occur.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: future form
Examples:
We're going to speak about the modifications as you eat lunch.
She'll work out the order details while we discuss what to do next.

Present: Use 'while' or 'as' to express what always happens when something else important takes place. This use of 'while' and 'as' is not as common as the time expression 'when'. Notice that the preposition 'during' is often used in place of 'while' or 'as' to express the same idea.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: present simple
Examples:
He usually has lunch while he take a walk around the campus.
Angela often takes notes as the meeting progresses.

Past: 'While' and 'as' are used in the past to express an action that was occurring at the moment when something important happened. 'While' and 'as' are also used to express two actions that were happening at the same moment in the past.
Time clause: past simple OR past continuous
Main clause: past simple OR past continuous
Examples:
Doug was drying the dishes while we were watching TV.
Peter took notes as we discussed the merger.

As Long As / So Long As = During an Entire Period of Time

'As long as', and 'so long as' are similar in use to 'while' and 'as'. However, 'as / so long as' is used for longer period of times, while 'when' and 'as' are used for more specific, shorter periods of time. 'As / so long as' are also used to stress that something will happen, happens or happened over the entire period of time in an emphatic manner. Although I have provided examples for the past, present and future, 'as long as' and 'so long as' are generally used with future forms. Notice the use of tenses:
Future: Use 'so / as long as' that something will not happen for the entire period of time expressed by the time clause with 'as / so long as'.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: future form
Examples:
I will never play golf as long as I live.
She will never return so long as she breathes.

Present: Use 'as / so long as' to express that something happens or doesn't happen over the entire period of time that another event occurs.
Time clause: present simple
Main clause: present simple
Examples:
As long as he plays piano, I go for a walk.
She visits with her month, so long as her husband has to take care of business in town.

Past: Use 'as / so long as' to describe an action that did or didn't occur over a longer period of time in the past.
Time clause: past simple
Main clause: past simple OR past continuous
Examples:
She didn't get any exercise as long as she was working 60 hours a week.
Peter didn't enjoy his company so long as he was in the house.