The past, present and future simple tenses are vital for describing actions. In the guide below, we will look at how to use these tenses in your writing.\n\nThe Simple Present Tense\nThe simple present tense has several uses. Common examples include describing habitual activities, current facts, general truths and scheduled events:\nCurrent Fact: I am a proofreader.\nHabitual Activity: Simon plays basketball on Thursdays.\nGeneral Truth: The moon rises at night.\nScheduled Event: The train leaves at 8pm.\nIn most cases, the simple present tense uses the base form of a verb:\nI talk too much.\nYou run every morning.\nCats sleep through the day.\nThe exception is the third-person singular (i.e. when referring to someone or something other than an \u2018I\u2019, \u2018we\u2019 or \u2018you\u2019), which usually adds an \u2018s\u2019 to the base form:\nHe talks too much.\nShe runs every morning.\nThe cat sleeps during the day.\nThere are some verbs where the spelling changes slightly slightly in this situation (e.g. try \u2192 tries). However, even these singular third-person verbs end in an \u2018s\u2019.\n\nThe Simple Past Tense\nThe simple past tense describes an action completed in the past. It doesn\u2019t matter whether the activity happened a long time ago or in the last few minutes:\nWilliam conquered England in 1066.\nSimple past tense forms of regular verbs tend to end \u2018-ed\u2019:\nI walked to work this morning.\nThey phoned the police last night.\nAs above, the spelling of the base form changes for some terms in the simple past tense (e.g. cry \u2192 cried). You should also look out for irregular verbs, where the simple past tense and past participle forms may not follow these rules.\n\nThe Simple Future Tense\nThe simple future tense is used to refer to things happening at a later time:\nI will finish this lesson.\nYou will stop.\nNote that, unlike when using the simple present tense to refer to a scheduled event, you do not have to include a timeframe in the simple future tense.\nTo form this tense, you simply add \u2018will\u2019 before the base form of a verb:\nShe will go to college soon.\nWe will see the band play another time.\nThis rule applies for all variations of the simple future tense.\n\nThe Verb \u2018Be\u2019 in the Simple Tenses\nThe verb \u2018be\u2019 is a key word in English. It is also one of the irregular verbs we mentioned previously. This means its form changes in different situations:\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFirst Person Singular\/Plural\n\n\nSecond Person Singular\/Plural\n\n\nThird Person Singular\/Plural\n\n\n\n\nSimple Present\n\n\nAm\/Are\n\n\nAre\n\n\nIs\/Are\n\n\n\n\nSimple Past\n\n\nWas\/Were\n\n\nWere\n\n\nWas\/Were\n\n\n\n\nSimple Future\n\n\nWill be\n\n\nWill be\n\n\nWill be\n\n\n\n\nMake sure you use the correct form of this verb for the tense you are using.\n\nProofreading for Grammar\nWe\u2019ve covered the basic rules for using the simple tenses above, but there are lots of variations. If you\u2019re not sure of the spelling of a word, or the correct verb form to use in a specific tense, make sure to look it up online so you can avoid errors.\nAlternatively, you can leave the checking to the language experts at Proofed. Why not submit a free 500-word trial document today and give our services a try?