* I work in a bank but I don't enjoy it very much.
* Do you like parties?
* It doesn't rain much in summer.
#2 I am doing
present continuous (-> Units 1, 3-4)
* 'Where's Ann?' 'She's playing tennis.'
* Please don't disturb me now. I'm working.
*Hello. Are you enjoying the party?
* It isn't raining at the moment.
#3 I have done
perfect I present perfect simple (-> Units 7-8, 10-14)
Ann has played tennis many times.
* I've lost my key. Have you seen it anywhere?
* How long have they known each other?
* 'Is it still raining?' 'No, it has stopped.'
* The house is dirty. We haven't cleaned it for weeks.
#4 I have been doing
present perfect continuous (-> Units 9-11)
* Ann is very tired. She has been playing tennis.
* Your're out of breath. Have you been running?
* How long have they been learning English?
* It's still raining. It has been raining all day.
* I haven't been feeling well recently. Perhaps I should go to the doctor.
#5 I did
past simple (-> Units 5-6, 13-14)
* Ann played tennis yesterday afternoon.
* I lost my key a few days ago.
* There was a film on TV last night but we didn't watch it.
* What did you do when you finished work yesterday?
#6 I was doing
past continuous (-> Unit 6)
* I saw Ann in the park yesterday. She was playing tennis.
* I dropped my key when I was trying to open the door.
* The television was on but we weren't watching it.
* What were you doing at this time yesterday?
#7 I had done
past perfect (-> Unit 15)
* It wasn't her first game of tennis. She had played many times before.
* I couldn't get into the house because I had lost my key.
* The house was dirty because we hadn't cleaned it for weeks.
#8 I had been doing
past perfect continuous (-> Unit 16)
* Ann was tired yesterday evening because she had been playing tennis in the afternoon.
* George decided to go to the doctor because he hadn't been feeling well.
For the passive, see Units 41-43.
3.1 List of future forms
* I'm leaving tomorrow. present continuous (-> Unit 19A)
* My train leaves at 9.30. present simple (-> Unit 19B)
* I'm going to leave tomorrow. (be) going to (-> Units 20, 23)
* I'll leave tomorrow. will (-> Units 21-23)
* I'll be leaving tomorrow. future continuous (-> Unit 24)
* I'll have left by this time tomorrow. future perfect (-> Unit 24)
* I hope to see you before I leave tomorrow. present simple (-> Unit 25)
3.2 Future actions
We use the present continuous (I'm doing) for arrangements:
* I'm leaving tomorrow. I've got my plane ticket. (already planned and arranged)
* 'When are they getting married?' 'Next month.'
We use the present simple (I leave/it leaves etc.) for timetables, programmes etc,:
* My train leaves at 9.30. (according to the timetable)
* What time does the film begin?
We use (be) going to ... to say what somebody has already decided to do:
* I've decided not to stay here any longer. I'm going to leave tomorrow. (or I'm leaving tomorrow.)
* Are you going to watch the film on television tonight?
We use will ('ll) when we decide or agree to do something at the time of speaking:
* A: I don't want you to stay here any longer.
B: OK. I'll leave tomorrow. (B decides this at the time of speaking)
* That bag looks heavy. I'll help you with it.
* I promise I won't tell anybody what happened. (won't =will not)
3.3 Future happenings and situations
Most often we use will to talk about future happenings or situations ('something will happen'):
* I don't think John is happy in his job. I think he'll leave soon.
* This time next year I'll be in Japan. Where will you be?
We use (be) going to when the situation now shows what is going to happen in the future:
* Look at those black clouds. It's going to rain. (you can see the clouds now)
3.4 Future continuous and future perfect
Will be (do)ing = will be in the middle of (doing something):
* This time next week I'll be on holiday. I'll be lying on a beach and swimming in the sea.
We also use will be ~ing for future actions (see Unit 24C):
* What time will you be leaving tomorrow?
We use will have (done) to say that something will already be complete before a time in the future:
* I won't be here this time tomorrow. I'll have already left.
3.5 We use the present (not 'will') after when/if/while/before etc. (see Unit 25):
* I hope to see you before I leave tomorrow. (not 'before I will leave')
* You must come and see us when you are in England again. (not 'when you will be')
* If we don't huffy, we'll be late.
Modal verbs (can/could/will/would etc.)
This appendix is a summary of modal verbs (can/could/will/would etc.). For more information, see Units 21-40.
4.1 Compare can/could etc. for actions:
* I can go out tonight. (= there is nothing to stop me)
* I can't go out tonight.
* I could go out tonight. (but I'm not very keen)
* I couldn't go out last night. (= I wasn't able)
can or may
* Can I go out tonight? (=do you allow me to go out?)
May I go out tonight?
* I think I'll go out tonight.
* I promise I won't go out.
* I would go out tonight but I've got too much to do.
* I promised I wouldn't go out.
* Shall I go out tonight? (= do you think it is a good idea?)
should or ought to
* I should(ought to) go out tonight. (= it would be a good thing.)
* I must go out tonight. it is necessary)
* I mustn't go out tonight. it is necessary that I do not go out)
* I needn't go out tonight. (= it is not necessary that I go out)
Compare could have .../would have ... etc.:
* I could have gone out last night but I decided to stay at home.
* I would have gone out last night but I had too much to do.
should or ought to
* I should(ought to) have gone out last night. I'm sorry I didn't.
* I needn't have gone out last night. (= I went out but it was not necessary)
4.2 We use will/would/may etc. to say whether something is possible, impossible, probable, certain etc. Compare:
* 'What time will she be here?' 'She'll be here soon.'
* She would be here now but she has been delayed.
should or ought to
* She should(ought to) be here soon. (= I expect she will be here soon)
may or might or could
* She may be here now. I'm not sure. (= it's possible that she is here)
* She might be here now. I'm not sure. (= it's possible that she is here)
* She could be here now. I'm not sure. (= it's possible that she is here)
* She must be here. I saw her come in. (= I'm sure--there is no other possibility)
* She can't possibly be here. I know for certain that she's away on holiday.
Compare would have .../should have ... etc.:
* She will have arrived by now.
* She would have arrived earlier but she was delayed.
should or ought
* I wonder where she is. She should have arrived by now.
* I wonder where she is. She ought to have arrived by now.
may or might or could
* She may have arrived. I'm not sure. (= it's possible that she has arrived)
* She might have arrived. I'm not sure. (= it's possible that she has arrived)
* She could have arrived. I'm not sure. (= it's possible that she has arrived)
* She must have arrived by now. (I'm sure--there is no other possibility)
* She can't possibly have arrived yet. It's much too early. (=it's impossible)
Short forms (I'm/you've/didn't etc.)
1. In spoken English we usually say I'm/you've/didn't etc. (short forms) rather than I am/you have/did not etc. We also use short forms in informal written English (for example, in letters to friends).
When we write short forms, we use an apostrophe (') for the missing letter(s):
I'm = I am you've = you have didn't = did not
5.2 List of short forms of auxiliary verbs
'm = am -> I'm
's = is or has -> he's, she's, it's
're= are -> you're, we're, they're
've = have -> I've, you've, we've, they've
'll = will -> I'll, he'll, she'll, you'll, we'll, they'll
'd = would or had -> I'd, he'd, she'd, you'd, we'd, they'd
's can be is or has:
* She's ill. (= She is ill.)
* She's gone away. (= She has gone away.)
but let's = let us:
* Let's go now. (= Let us go)
'd can be would or had:
* I'd see a doctor if I were you. (= I would see)
* I'd never seen her before. (= I had never seen)
We use some of these short forms (especially 's) after question words (who/what etc.) and after that/there/here:
* Do you think there'll be many people at the party? (= there will)
You can also use short forms (especially 's) after a noun:
* John's going out tonight. (= John is)
* My friend's just got married. (= My friend has)
You cannot use 'm/'s/'re/'ve/'ll/'d at the end of a sentence (because the verb is stressed in this position):
* 'Are you tired?' 'Yes, I am.' (not 'Yes, I'm.')
* Do you know where she is? (not 'Do you know where she's?')
5.3 Negative short forms
isn't(= is not) aren't(= are not) wasn't(= was not) weren't(= were not) doesn't(= doesn't) didn't(= did not) don't(= do not) haven't(= have not) hasn't(= has not) hadn't(= had not) can't(= cannot) couldn't(= could not) won't(= will not) wouldn't(= would not) shan't(= shall not) shouldn't(= should not) mightn't(= might not) mustn't(= must not) needn't(= need not) daren't(= dare not)
Negative short forms for is and are can be:
he isn't/she isn't/it isn't or he's not/she's not/it's not
you aren't/we aren't/they aren't or you're not/we're not/they're not
6.1 Nouns, verbs and adjectives can have the following endings:
noun + ~s/es (plural): books ideas matches
verb + ~s/~es (after he/she/it): works enjoys washes
Sometimes a word ends in vowel + consonant. For example:
stop, plan, wet, thin, slip, prefer, regret
Before the endings ~ing/~ed/~er/-est, we double the consonant at the end. So p -> pp, n -> nn etc. For example:
stop p -> pp stopping stopped
plan n -> nn planning planned
rub b -> bb rubbing rubbed
big g -> gg bigger biggest
wet t -> tt wetter wettest
thin n -> nn thinner thinnest
If the word has more than one syllable (prefer, begin etc.), we double the consonant at the end only if the final syllable is stressed:
If the final syllable is not stressed, we do not double the final consonant:
In British English, verbs ending in -1 have -]I- before ~ing and ~ed whether the final syllable is stressed or not:
For American spelling, see Appendix 7.
we do not double the final consonant if the word ends in two consonants (~rt, ~1p, ~ng etc.): start/starting/started, help/helping/helped, long/longer/longest
we do not double the final consonant if there are two vowel letters before it (~oil, ~eed etc.): boil/boiling/boiled, need/needing/needed, explain/explaining/explained, cheap/cheaper/cheapest, loud/louder/loudest, quiet/quieter/quietest
we do not double y or w at the end of words. (At the end of words y and w are not consonants.)