Instructors looking to assist students in understanding tenses will benefit from developing verb tense worksheets for use in the middle school or high school classroom. Use these verb tense worksheets with students who have already mastered the basics of verb tenses and are ready to move on to more advanced usage.
Start with an overview of the basic English verb tenses to be sure students have a working understanding of how simple past, present and future tense verbs are formed and function within sentences.
- The simple verb tenses make basic statements of fact about everyday activities, actions or happenings.
- They are not typically used to discuss relationships that occur between two entities.
- The most important thing students should realize about the simple tenses is that they convey a concise writing style.
Click the image below to download a worksheet your students can use to practice simple verb tenses. The worksheet includes fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice and rewriting items, along with a complete answer key. Use this guide to printables if you need help with the document.
Once students have demonstrated mastery of simple verb tenses, it's time to explore other verb tenses, starting with the perfect verb tenses. The perfect tenses describe actions that have an ending point that occurs before a new action begins. The first thing to notice about the perfect tenses is the use of the verb helping verb to have.
- The past perfect tense uses "had." It is used for an action that happened in the past and stopped before another action (which also happened in the past) began.
- The present perfect tense uses "have." It describes actions that have continued right up to the present but may or may not continue. They tend to imply that something else is about to begin to happen.
- The future perfect tense uses "will have." It signifies a future action that will end before a separate future action begins.
If your students are ready to practice perfect verb tenses, click the image below to download a printable worksheet and answer key. This worksheet includes a selection of fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice items.
Perfect Verb Tense PracticeClick to View & Download
Progressive tense verbs describe an event that is occurring at the moment mentioned. The most important signal of the progressive tense is the -ing form of the verb. These progressive tenses are like snapshots. They convey information about the instant an action occurs.
- The past progressive relates information about an action that occurred at the same time some other past action occurred. It is also referred to as past continuous.
- The present progressive tense is concerned with action that is happening right now. It is also referred to as present continuous tense.
- The future progressive tense predicts that some future action will occur at the same time as another future action.
Click the image below to access a worksheet for the progressive tenses. This activity features a section that requires writing original sentences as well as a multiple-choice section. An answer key is included.
Progressive Verb Tense PracticeClick to View & Download
The perfect progressive tenses are the most complicated tenses for students. Like the perfect tenses, the perfect progressive tenses refer to actions that continue at the moment in question, but they allow the writer to indicate more information about the beginning point or duration of the continuing action.
- The perfect progressive gives a picture of an event, but it is more than a snapshot.
- This tense allows the writer to express an action that occurred over a length of time.
- Perfect progressive verbs include "will," some form of the verb "has," the word "been" and the -ing form of a verb.
Click the image below to download a worksheet focused on perfect progressive verbs. This activity includes true or false questions and a sentence writing activity along with an answer key.
Practice Writing Sentences Perfect ProgressiveClick to View & Download
These verb tense worksheets are intended for middle school and high school students and can also be appropriate for English as Foreign Language (EFL) students who have mastered the basics of verb usage. Make sure students have enough time to process how the tenses are different in between assigning these worksheets.
Allow students to work up to the more complicated tense slowly. Emphasize the role of proper and complex verb usage in effective written communication. Once students are comfortable working with verb tenses, encourage them to improve their writing skills with a selection of creative writing activities.