Exercises and explanation: 1 English verb form

The pages Exercises and explanation: 1 English verb form focus on the form of the various English tenses. They explain what they look like in affirmative, interrogative and negative sentences. And give plenty of exercises to practise the form of verbs.

Simple Present (go/goes) Simple Past (He went)
Present Perfect (He has gone) Past Perfect (He had gone)
Present Continuous (He is going) Past Continuous (He was going)
Present Perfect Continuous (He has been going) Past Perfect Continuous (He had been going)
Imperative (Go – Don’t go) List of irregular verbs


Exercises with 2 or more English verb forms

The English verb form fixes the action in time  (present, past or future) but also determines how it should be regarded, e.g. whether the action is completed and/or in progress or not. The section Exercises with 2 or more English verb forms can help make clear to you when a verb form should be used by means of contrastive exercises.

Contrastive exercises

In these exercises a choice has to be made between two verb forms. This will help identify which context the verb form should be used in.

Simple Present – Present Continuous/Progressive
(He goes – He is going)
Simple Past – Past Continuous/Progressive
(He went – He was going)
Simple Past – Present Perfect
(He went – He has gone)
Simple Past – Past Perfect
(He went – He had gone)
Present Perfect – Present Perfect Continuous
(He has gone – He has been going)
Past Perfect – Past Perfect Continuous
(He had gone – He had been going)
Present Continuous en de Present Perfect Continuous
(I am going – I have been going)
List of irregular verbs

Mix of tenses

Ideally, the foreign language learner achieves a perfect command of all English verbs forms in writing, speaking, etc.  If you want to find out how you are doing overall, try mix of tenses.

Irregular verbs

To practise your irregular verbs (go-went-gone) go to the page with irregular verb exercises.
If you want to refresh your memory, visit this extensive list of irregular verbs.

Exercises with auxiliaries and modal verbs

English distinguishes auxiliaries and modal verbs. Auxiliaries (to be, to have, to do) combine with present participle or past participles or infinitive to form the verb forms of ordinary verbs. Modal verbs combine with infinitives to express ability, probability, necessity, permission, obligation, deduction etc.

was-were can, could, to be able to
has-have-had will, won’t, shall, shan’t
to have to will,would, shall, should
short yes/no answer modal mix: (can, could, may, might, must, had to, ought, shall, should, will, would)
tag-questions modalities: ability, permission, probability, deduction, necessity, request and obligation

Exercises and explanation: the future

There is more than one way of expressing the future in English. The pages below deal with some of these future forms.  On each page you can read about the form and use of the future form. In the contrastive exercises a choice has to be made between two future verb forms. This will help identify which context the future verb form should be used in.

1 Future Simple (I will go)
2 Present Continuous (I am working tomorrow)
3 Be going to (I’m going to buy a smartphone)
4 Future Continuous (I will be going)
5 Future Perfect (I will have gone)
6 Future Perfect Continuous (I will have been going)
7 Future mix

Exercises and explanation: the passive

The passive voice is often used in formal English and/or academic language. It is used when it is not really important who performs the action. On the pages below you can practise distinguishing between active and passive voice, the form of the various tenses and special passive constructions.

Recognizing the active or passive voice
Simple Present Passive (The house is built.)
Simple Past Passive (The house was built.)
Continuous Passive (The house is/was being built.)
Perfect Passive (The house has/had been built.)
Future and Modal Passive (The house will be built. / The house may have been built.)
Passive voice (mix of tenses)
Double object passive (lijdend voorwerp en meewerkend voorwerp) (He gave her a present. She was given a present. A present was given to her)
Personal Passive (She is known to have built a house.)


Exercises with various grammatical subjects

Nouns and everything


Quantifiers, numbers and time