Tense helps the reader better understand the action of any verb.

Tenses of verbs are displayed at the ending of the words. For past form -ed is often found on the end of words. For present form -s is often found on the end. In most cases, you are going to want to keep your use of tenses consistent, but there are times when changing tense is required. This is often the result of a time shift from the past to present. Learning to master the words that result from a shift in tense, is the key to being highly proficient. These language arts worksheets start by working on exercises that have students identify the nature and timing of an action. Students will be assigned the task of determining the relative timing of the action. We will then turn on student creativity through the use of having them use this skill in their own writing. The worksheets get even more imaginative and engaging for students when we have them work on this skill by following a series of written directions. In addition to the relative timing of words we introduce the concept of the progressive tense.

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Printable Verb Tense Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key.

Past, Present, Future Worksheet

Past, Present, Future

Circle the action verb in each sentence. On the line, write whether the verb is past, present, or future form.

When Worksheet

When Did It Happen?

Write on the line the form that the underlined word takes on in the sentence.

Using Verb Tenses Worksheet

Writing Using Verb Tenses

Write a paragraph about how you feel about school right now, how you have felt about school in the past, and how you think you will feel about school in the future.

Three Sentences Worksheet

Three Sentences

Write three sentences to describe each picture each using a different relative time.

Describe When Worksheet

Describe the When

Use the context that is presented in each statement to choose the correct word to complete it.

Picture This Worksheet

Picture This!

Write a sentence to describe what is happening in each picture. Use the words found in the parentheses.

Based on Context Worksheet

Choosing Based on Context

Choose the correct verb to match the form in parentheses.

Correct It Worksheet

Correct It!

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.

Actions and Timings Worksheet

Actions and Timings

Write a sentence using an action verb in each form that is given.

Practice Worksheet

Practice Worksheet

Choose the correct verb tense to complete each sentence.

Recognizing Tense Worksheet

Recognizing Verb Tense

Circle the present tense verbs. Draw a square around the past. Draw a triangle around the future.

Tense Worksheet

Verb Tense Worksheet

Write each of the verbs from the sentences above in the correct column. Then fill in the other columns for each word.

Perfect Tense Worksheet

Perfect Tenses

Use the perfect tense to complete each sentence. Use the same form as the word you are replacing.

Progressive Verb Use Worksheet

Progressive Verb Tenses

Use the progressive tense to complete each sentence. It is a very similar task as the previous worksheet, just different context.

What Is It Worksheet

What Is It?

Write on the line whether the underlined verb is in the present, past, or future simple, perfect, or progressive tense.

How to Determine Verb Tense?

No matter what language you speak, the verb tense is integral to grammar. There are three basic forms of this in English: past, present, and future. It's essential to use the correct tense when writing or speaking to help avoid confusion and make your ideas clear.

The tense of any verb indicates to the reader when the action of the verb happens. Tenses are one of the main triggers for your audience. It can help an author build suspense, foreshadow, or reflect. It is one of those little things in written work that are often overlooked. There are three main tenses. The present is used to describe something that currently active or is constant. The future tense indicates something that will occur in the future or is imminent. You can also use the future tense if the odds are good that something will happen. The past tense is used to reflect on actions that have already taken place and ended. This is often used to describe situations and reflect on history.

When determining verb tense, it is essential to consider the time frame of your sentence. This will help you identify which form it presents as such as: past, present, and/or future.

  • Past tense is used to describe an event that has already happened
  • Present tense is used to describe an event happening now or at this moment
  • Future tense is used to describe an event that will happen in the future

Steps to Determine Verb Tense

Here is a step-by-step guide for you on this:

1. Identify the Subject

One of the first things you need to do when learning to determine this is to identify the subject of the sentence. The subject is the noun or pronoun that is doing the verb so that it will be either singular or plural. Once you have identified the subject, you need to decide which form of the verb goes with that particular subject.

2. Decide the Form of Verb

There are three forms of verbs in English - present, past, and future. The present tense describes actions that are happening right now or that always happen. The past tense is used to describe actions that have already happened. The future tense describes actions that will happen in the future.

3. Conjugate the Verb

Once you know which form of the verb to use, you need to conjugate it. This simply means that you need to change the form of the verb to match the subject. For example, if the subject is "I," you would use the present tense form of the verb "am." If the subject is "you," you would use the present tense form of the verb "are."

4. Complete the Sentence

Once you have conjugated the verb, you need to add other words necessary to complete the sentence. For example, if you were describing the action of walking, you might say, "I am walking to the store."

5. Read Out Loud

Finally, you need to check your work to ensure you have used the language properly throughout the sentence. This can be tricky, especially if there are multiple verbs in the sentence. A good rule of thumb is to read the sentence out loud -  if it sounds strange, you may have used the wrong verb tense.

Learning this skill can seem confusing at first, but with a bit of practice, it will become second nature. Just remember to identify the subject, decide which form of the verb to use, conjugate the verb, and add any other necessary words. And if you're unsure, just read the sentence aloud – it will usually be pretty obvious if you've made a mistake.

Wrapping Up

To choose the correct verb tense, it is important first to understand how verbs work and what they mean. Once you have a good understanding of verbs, you will be able to select the correct language flow for your sentence with ease.

The English language has three verb tenses: past, present, and future. Each tense reflects a different time frame. To determine the correct use of language in your sentence, you must first identify the timeframe of the event or action you describe.