Verbs & tenses
- American and British verb grammar
Anwar Hassan from Egypt asks about the grammatical differences between British and American English
- Auxiliary verbs 1: 'do' and 'have'
Roger Woodham explains how these auxiliary verbs are used in different tenses
- Auxiliary verbs 2: 'do' and 'does' for emphasis
You can use 'do' in a positive sentence in order to give extra emphasis
- Auxiliary verbs 3: 'do'
There are several ways that we use 'do' as an auxiliary verb in positive sentences
- 'be able' + infinitive
How to say you tried to do something but didn't succeed
Discover the different ways that we use 'being'
- 'can' and 'could'
Afreen in India asks about the difference between 'can' and 'could'
- 'concern', 'concerned' and 'concerning'
Roger Woodham explains the different uses of the different forms of the verb 'concern'
- Continuous forms: 'see', 'feel', 'like' and 'love'
These verbs are not usually used in the continuous form
- 'could', 'was able to' and 'managed to'
Find out how to talk about ability and success in the past
- 'didn't' and 'wouldn't'
Nyu Shvei from Hong Kong wants to know when to use 'I didn't go home' and 'I wouldn't go home'
- 'do' and 'would'
what is the difference between 'He wouldn't know' and 'He doesn't know'?
- Double negatives
Is it correct to use two 'nots' in a sentence? Don't dare to not read this
- 'get' + past participle
Did 'she marry him', or did she 'get married to him'?
- 'happen' and 'happen to'
Ruben from Italy asks for advice about using the verb 'happen'
- 'have' + object + infinitive
An interesting way to talk about making someone do something
- 'have' and 'have got'
You need to be careful with the grammar of these verbs with similar meanings
- 'have done' or 'don't have'?
Karen Adams explains that the correct negative depends on the grammatical use of 'have'
- 'haven't done' and 'have to do'
You have to read this if you haven't read it already
- Future forms 1: social and work plans
Yukiazb in Japan is confused by all the different future forms in English
- Future forms 2: planned actions
Find out about three ways to talk about future plans
- Future forms 3: 'will' and 'be going to'
Anna in the Netherlands asks about the differences between 'will' and 'going to'
- Future forms 4: 'going' and 'be going to'
Marcel Fehlmann in Switzerland asks which of these forms is more natural
- Future forms 5: The future in the past
Sometimes, a future event is actually in the past! How do we refer to that?
- Future forms 6: 'he is to' and 'he is not to'
We often use this structure to talk about official plans and arrangements
- Future forms 7: 'to be' + infinitive
We can ese this future form to talk about official arrangements
- Future forms 8:'be to' + infinitive
Julio Molina from Peru asks why he is not to smoke.
- Future forms 9: 'shall' and 'will'
George Pickering explains the differences and similarities between these two words
- Future forms 10: 'will stay' or 'will be staying'?
Callum Robertson explains that both are possible, but one is more natural
- Future forms 11: 'would' and 'going to'
Definite plans vs. slight possibilities
- Future progressive
What's the difference between 'Iíll miss you' and 'Iíll be missing you'?
Agata from Poland asks: What grammatical constructions are possible after 'hope'?
- 'I was' and 'I were'
Mark Shea explains why we sometimes say 'I were'
- Infinitives: with and without 'to'
Does Roger's advice 'help to explain' the grammar, or does it 'help explain' it?
- -ing participle clauses
Which is correct - "I heard the dog / dog's barking"?
- Intransitive and transitive verbs
Some verbs need an object, others never have one. Find out which are which
Martin Parrot discusses inverted subject-verb word order in conditionals
- 'let' or 'leave'
Salman from Pakistan would like to know the difference between 'let' and 'leave'
- 'lie' or 'lay'
You 'lie on a bed', but you 'lay the baby on the bed'. What is the difference?
- 'like' as verb and preposition
Do you 'like' to use 'like' as a preposition, or are you confused by this?
- 'need' and 'dare'
There are different ways to make these verbs negatives. Does it change the meaning?
- non-standard English
Samanth Hague takes on a question about a non-standard grammatical form
- Passive forms 1: Overview
Roger Woodham shows the different tenses in the passive form
- Passive forms 2: continuous forms
Which passive continuous forms are usually avoided?
- Passive forms 3: modals, future and infinitive forms
These complex forms of the passive are explained by Roger Woodham
- Passive forms 4: 'to have something done'
This is a way to say that you arranged for someone to do something for you
- Passive forms 4: causative and non-causative
Rachel Wicaksono discusses two slightly different usages of 'to have something done'
- Past tenses 1: a comparison
Comparing different tenses can help you understand when to use them
- Past tenses 2: verb endings
Carmen from Hong Kong asks if there are any rules for making the past form of a verb
- Past tenses 3: past simple and past perfect
Students often make mistakes when using the past simple and the past perfect together
- Past tenses 4: past simple and past perfect
Find out why these verb forms have been giving Niki from Hungary a headache for weeks
- Past tenses 5: unreal situations
Why do we use the past simple in the expression 'it's time we left'?
- Past tenses 6: 'used to' or past simple?
Paul from Russia asks when we use 'used to' to refer to the past
- Perfect forms 1: Present perfect and past simple
Bahito from Algeria asks for the exact difference between these verb forms
- Perfect forms 2: 'for' and 'since'
Burcin from Turkey says her biggest problem is with the present perfect
- Perfect forms 3: 'have' as main verb
Sabz Ali Khan from Saudi Arabia finds it difficult to use 'have' with 'had'
- Perfect forms 4: simple and continuous
Find out the difference between these similar forms
- Perfect forms 5:'been' or 'gone'
He's been to London; he's gone to London. What is the difference?
- Perfect forms 6: 'It's been a long time'
Read this if you have been studying the present perfect for a long time
- Perfect forms 7: just, already, ever and yet
Learning about these time expressions will help you use the present perfect
- Perfect forms 8: simple of continuous?
Mi Mi Khin from Myanmar has many problems with these forms. Can Catherine Walter help?
- Stative and dynamic verbs 1
Learn how the meaning of a verb can affect the tenses we use
- Stative and dynamic verbs 2: have a meeting
Hana from Poland is confused as to whether or not 'have meeting' is a state verb
- Stative and dynamic verbs 3: 'used to' and 'would'
Rachel Wicaksono explains which types of verb you can use with 'used to' or 'would'
- Stative and dynamic verbs 3: 'know' and 'knowing'
Wojciech in Poland wants to know when you can use state verbs in the continuous form
- Subject-verb agreement 1
Susan Fearn deals with the basics of subject-verb agreement
- Subject-verb agreement 2: 'there is'
Why do we say 'there is a table and a chair', and not 'there are...'
- Subjunctive forms 1
What is the subjunctive form in English? Is it the same as 'should'?
- Subjunctive forms 2
John in Ireland asks for some examples of the subjunctive in English
- Tenses 1: past simple and present perfect
Umed from Iraq asks if you can use two different tenses to refer to the same event
- Tenses 2: simple or continuous?
What is the difference between 'He is naughty' and 'He is being naughty'?
- Tenses 3: newspaper headlines
Gareth Rees explains why newspapers use the present tense in their story headlines
- The emphatic 'do'
Hossein is confused by a seemingly mistaken use of 'do' on a BBC Learning English page
- Time expressions: 'ever', 'already' and 'yet'
With which tenses can you use these time expressions?
- Time expressions: Tenses
We use different time expressions for the finished, unfinished and future time
- 'used to' and 'would'
Alex Gooch explains the difference between these ways to refer to the past
- Using verbs as nouns: the gerund
Sarah Bradshaw explains how the '-ing' form can be a noun
- Verb patterns 1:'to' or '-ing'?
I 'enjoy swimming', but I 'want to fly'. Why?
- Verb patterns 2:verbs with 'to' or '-ing'
After which verbs do we use '-ing' or 'to'?
- Verb patterns 3:'stop to do' or 'stop doing'?
Gareth Rees talks about verb patterns that affect meaning
- Verb patterns 3: Verbs with two objects
'Show it to me' and 'show me it': Is there a difference in meaning?
- 'What happened?' or 'What did happen?'
Using the auxiliary 'do' in questions
- Wishes: past, present and future
Roger Woodham explains this complicated area of grammar
- 'Worry' and 'be worried'
Mohammad Atai from Iran wants to know the difference in the use of to worry and to be worried.