We use the past simple:
- To talk about past events in chronological order: for the main events of a story
- When she opened the door, she pretended that we weren’t there and she went to her room.
- To talk about past habits or past states
- We often went to the bar for a drink before dinner.
We use the past continuous:
- To set the scene in a story:
- Last night I was talking about Lucy when…
- For actions in progress in the past or longer actions interrupted by shorter actions in past simple
- When I entered the room the stopped talking
We use the past perfect simple:
- To talk about an earlier past: events, which happened before the main event.
- To talk about earlier events and experiences, or single actions completed earlier in the past
- When she opened the door, he had already left.
- To say how much or how many we had done of something earlier in the past
- How many hours had he been unconscious when you discovered him?
- With stative verbs to talk about states or situations that had started earlier in the past. We often use how long, for or since, always, etc.
- I have been living here since 1981
We use the past perfect continuous:
- With dynamic verbs to talk about longer continuous actions that started earlier in the past than the main events of the story
- We had been dancing for more than 2 hours when her heels broke.
- With dynamic verbs to talk about repeated actions from earlier in the past
- She had been skipping lunch for a month
We use used to + infinitive to:
- Talk about things that we did repeatedly in the past.
- Five years ago, we used to go outevery Saturday
- To talk about situations or states (stative verbs) which were true in the past, but they are no longer true
- Last year I used to fight with him a lot
- The negative of used to +infinitive is did not use to
- I did not use to have a good time at school
- we form questions with did you use to.
- There is no present form of used to. When we want to talk about present habits or repeated actions, we use the present simple with usually, normally, often, etc.
- We usually eat out on Saturday.
We use be used to when:
- You are used to something or to doing something, you are accustomed to it
- I am used to waking up way later
- It is never used in continuous forms. It is normally used in simple tenses.
We use get used to when:
- You get used to something or to doing something, it is the process of becoming used to something:
- I am getting used to studying every day
Used to + infinitive,be/get used to + ing:
- The past verb used to is always followed by infinitive. The word to is part of the infinitive
- After be used to, or get used to, we use a noun or a –ing verb. The word to is a preposition, not part of an infinitive. That is why when a verb follows, it must take the –ing form
- I’m not used to people being so nice.
Position of adverbs and adverb phrases
We put it in Initial position:
- At the beginning of the sentence
- Sometimes I feel a bit lost.
We put it in mid-position:
- At the end of the sentence
We put it in final position:
- I usually go for a walk every day.
- After the verb be (when it is the main verb)
- After the auxiliary verb or the first auxiliary verb (when there are 2 or more auxiliary verbs)
- You must never take it so far.
Types of adverbs and their position
Adverbs of frequency (how often?)
- initial position: sometimes, usually and normally
- Mid position: I usually sleep a lot
- Initial position: Sometimes he can be really anoying.
- Direct question: What time is it?
- Indirect question: Could you tell me what time it is?
- In indirect questions, the order is subject + verb:
- Do you know where I can find a good restaurant around here?
- For yes-no questions, we can use either if or whether:
- Do you know if/whether he attended the party?
GERUNDS/ TO INFINITIVE
We use to-infinitive:
- I’ll call her to check how she is feeling
- After too/enough with adjective:
- You are too evil to be your friend
- After certain adjectives (happy, glad, sorry, delighted, anxious, etc.):
● I’m anxious to know if they are going to accept me or not
- After it + be +adjective (+of + noun/pronoun)
● It’s amazing to be on holidays.
- After it +be + noun (with certain nouns)
● It’s such a pleasure to talk to him
- After certain nouns (advice, decision, dream, opportunity, etc.)
● I had the chance to meet him last week.
- After like, love, hate, prefer to express particular preference.
● I prefer to have breakfast during the break
- After would like, would love, would hate, would prefer
● I’d hate to see her every day, I just can’t stand her.
- In certain expressions (to be honest, to tell you the truth, to begin with,etc.)
● To begin with, she didn’t need to shout to you, but…
- After certain verbs such as afford, agree, appear, arrange, be able, choose, decide, deserve, expect, happen, help, hesitate, hope, learn, make, manage, offer, plan, pretend, promise, refuse, seem, teach, tend, threatened, want, would like.
● We learned to spell “sympathy”
We use –ing verb:
● Cheating is considered to be unethical.
● I’m getting tired of listening to the same song everyday.
- In the expressions: it’s no use, it’s (not) worth, can’t help, there’s no point (in), have difficulty (in), in addition to, have trouble, have a hard/difficult time, etc.
● it’s not worth talking about
- After spend/waste + time/money/etc.
● I waste a lot of money on clothes
- After hear, listen, notice, see, watch to express an incomplete action, or action in progress:
● I noticed them doing something weird. (I didn’t see it finish)
- BUT hear, listen, notice, see + infinitive WITHOUT to, to express a short or complete action:
● I saw them kiss (I saw the action from start to end)
- After like, love, hate, prefer to express general preference.
● I prefer dancing than singing
- After certain verbs, such as admit, avoid, deny, enjoy, fancy, feel like, finish, keep
(on), imagine, involve, mind, miss, practice, recommend, regret, spend, suggest:
● She imagined living in New York.
We use bare infinitive (without to):
- After modal verbs (can, could, must, might, should, will would)
● He can shut up
● He let them have free time
- BUT in the passive voice we say be made +to-infinitive
● They were made to run 5 miles
- After had better/would rather/would sooner
● we would rather be sleeping
- After hear, listen, notice, see to express a short or complete action:
● I heard them talk (from start to end)
Verbs that take gerund or infinitive with a change of meaning:
- Forget to do something: Used to talk about things that we need to do, and we forget to do them.
● I think I forgot to lock the door when we left.
- Forget doing something: It is normally used in negative sentences. Used to talk about memories, normally about things that we did in the past and that we will not forget.
● I will never forget walking on that amazing beach for the first tim.
- Remember to do something: You remember first and then you do something. Used to talk about things we need to do.
- He didn’t remember to close the door when he left.
- Remember doing something: we remember doing things in the past
- I remember eating here last year
- Try to do something: we make an effort to achieve something
- I’ll try to make her change her mind, but I’m not sure I’ll accomplish it.
- Try doing something: we try a method to achieve something
- A: I can’t open the door! B: why don’t you try kicking it?
- Stop to do something: stop doing an activity to do another one
- We had been walking all day, so we stopped to rest
- Stop doing something: finish something you were doing
- She stopped being so lazy and it changed her life
- Need to do something: necessary to do something
- I need to finish this essay today
- Something needs doing (passive use): something needs to be done
- Your house needs cleaning (your house need to be cleaned)