Verb Tenses Chart
Past, present, and future verb tenses in the simple, progressive (or continuous), perfect, and perfect progressive or continuous verb tense. View examples, usage, and the formula for each verb tense.
This chart has been provided as both an image and an HTML table for visitor accessibility and ease of sharing.
VERB TENSES CHART: IMAGE FORMAT
VERB TENSES CHART: HTML FORMAT
The author ate cheesecake yesterday.
Usage: To indicate a past habit or an action already completed.
The author eats cheesecake every day.
Usage: To express habits or general truth; to indicate a future event on a designated date as part of a plan or arrangement.
The author will eat cheesecake tomorrow.
Formula: will + present tense verb
Usage: To indicate an action, condition, or circumstance which hasn’t taken place yet.
|Progressive (or Continuous)||
The author was eating cheesecake when his friends arrived.
Formula: was/were + (-ing verb form)
Usage: To indicate uncompleted action of the past (with or without time reference); to indicate persistent habits of the past (with continuously, always, forever, etc.)
The author is eating cheesecake right now.
Formula: am/is/are + (-ing verb form)
Usage: To indicate action occurring at the time of speaking; to indicate temporary action which may not be occurring at the time of speaking.
The author will be eating cheesecake when his friends arrive.
Formula: will be + (-ing verb form)
Usage: To indicate what will be going on at some time in the future; to indicate planned future events.
The author had eaten all the cheesecake when his friends arrived.
Formula: had + past participle
Usage: To indicate a completed action of the past that happened before another event took place.
The author has eaten all the cheesecake.
Formula: have/has + past participle
Usage: To indicate past action which is not defined by a time of occurrence; to indicate an action that started in the past and has continued up until now.
The author will have eaten all the cheesecake by the time his friends arrive.
Formula: will have + past participle
Usage: To indicate an action that will be complete before another event takes place.
|Perfect Progressive (or Continuous)||
The author had been eating cheesecake for two hours when his friends arrived.
Formula: had been + (-ing verb form)
Usage: To indicate an action in the past that began before a certain point in the past and continued up until that point in time.
The author has been eating cheesecake for two hours.
Formula: have/has been + (-ing verb form)
Usage: To indicate an action which started at some point in the past and may or may not be complete.
The author will have been eating cheesecake for two hours when his friends arrive.
Formula: will have been + (-ing verb form)
Usage: To indicate an action that will have happened for some time and will not be complete yet at a certain point in the future.
Scene Transition Tips
A scene transition isn’t a scene itself but is the narration, action, and/or dialogue between two scenes to take readers and characters to a new location, new time, and/or new point of view. A scene transition can also be used to show a character’ frame of mind or change of heart.
Scene transitions can occur within paragraphs or between scenes and/or chapters.
Scenes should flow seamlessly into each other. An effective scene transition provides a bridge smoothly connecting two scenes and moving readers logically from point A to point B.
Why Use Scene Transitions
- To skip unimportant events or periods of time
- To slow or speed up pace
- To break tension
- To advance time
- To change location
- To provide description
- To change viewpoint character
- To change or create mood or tone
To be effective, a scene transition must identify time, place, and/or new viewpoint character as soon as possible. This is especially important if any of the three have changed. Establishing a change in mood or tone for a new scene is equally as important.
Tips for Scene Changes
- Scene transitions can be a few lines to a few paragraphs.
- Use transitional words/phrases to help provide smooth movement between paragraphs, scenes, chapters, locations, times, ideas, and characters.
- Scene Change with a New Chapter
- Readers expect transitions between chapters, so a scene transitions can be done seamlessly at the beginning of a new chapter.
- There’s no need to write a detailed transition at the start of a new chapter if the previous chapter ended with a teaser of what is to come.
- If the next chapter takes readers somewhere unexpected, a clear scene transition will be needed at the end of the previous chapter.
- Transition words or phrases can be used at the start of the new chapter to help identify the scene change.
- Scene Change within a Chapter
- Use a visual aid. ### or *** can be centered on a separate line to indicate a scene transition.
- If the POV is changing, clearly identify the new viewpoint character as soon as possible.
- DO NOT change POV in the middle of a scene and NEVER within a paragraph. This can confuse readers and the connection readers have to the viewpoint character will be lost.
Tips to Transition Time and/or Place
- Mention the time, day, or date
- Name the place
- Describe the place
- Describe the event
- Show the character doing something readers already know the character would be doing at a set time and/or particular place.
- Use transitional words and/or Phrases that Signal Time
- Later that day, week, or month
- The next day
- Two weeks later
- After dinner
- The next time she saw him
- Use transitional words and/or Phrases that Shift Location
- Farther down Main Street
- He traveled to
- The car moved through traffic
- When they reached
- In the library
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