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Tenses exercise

Complete the following sentences using an appropriate tense form.

1. My watch ………………….. good time.

a) keeps
b) keep
c) is keeping

Answer: keeps

We use the simple present tense to talk about a habitual action.

2. If it rains we ……………… wet.

a) will get
b) would get
c) had got

Answer: will get

When the verb in the main clause is in the simple present tense, the verb in the subordinate clause will be in the simple future tense.

3. I ………………… ‘David Copperfield’.

a) read
b) am reading
c) have read

Answer: am reading / have read

The meanings are different.

When you say ‘I am reading David Copperfield’, you are referring to a situation that is going on at the moment of speaking.

When you say ‘I have read David Copperfield’, you are talking about a completed action in the past.

4. The cat …………………….. all the milk.

a) drinks
b) is drinking
c) has drunk

Answer: has drunk

We use the present perfect tense to talk about an action or situation that was completed at some unspecified time in the past. Note that we cannot use the present perfect tense when we say when something happened.

5. His father ………………… two years ago.

a) died
b) has died
c) had died

Answer: died

We use the simple past tense when we say when something happened. Note that we cannot use the past perfect tense to simply say that something happened some time ago. That idea is always expressed using the past simple tense.

6. He ……………….. ill for several weeks.

a) is
b) has been
c) had been

Answer: has been

We use the present perfect tense to talk about an action that started in the past and has continued up to the present.

7. When I saw her she ………………….

a) was crying
b) is crying
c) cried

Answer: was crying

We use the past continuous tense to talk about an action that was going on at some time in the past.

Related posts

Tense rules - overview
The simple present tense
The present progressive tense
The present perfect tense
Using the present perfect tense
The present perfect progressive tense
Present tenses to talk about the future
Using present perfect continuous tense
The simple past tense
Common mistakes in the use of simple past and present perfect tense
The past progressive tense
The past perfect tense
Correct use of the past perfect tense
The past perfect progressive tense
Past verb forms with present or future meaning
The simple future tense
The future progressive tense
The future perfect tense
Tenses in subordinate clauses

Tenses exercise

Tense consistency exercise 1
Tense consistency exercise 2




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