Grammar Notes and Practice:

By buthaina Al Othman

Spring 2001


Kuwait University

1)Present Continuous Tense:

 Key Words for Present Continuous Tense:


Right now


2)Simple Present Tense: (in the present tense you have to add the letter (s) at the end of the main verb with the third person He/She &It Only) 

Key Words for Simple Present Tense:   




On Fridays/Sundays/ (any other day names)

All the time



3)Simple Past Tense: (Regular Verbs: verbs that end with d or ed in the past tense form)  (Irregular Verbs: verbs that donít end with ed or d)

Key words for Simple Past Tense:


Last week/ month/ year

In 1990/1982

This Morning

Examples: (Regular verbs) I lived in London in 1974.(live+d)

                                            The students worked hard last week. (work+ed)

                 (Irregular verbs) I ate pizza last night. (eat-ate-eaten)

                                            I had lunch with my father yesterday. (have-had-had)

                                            I was born in 1980. (am-was)

The Internet TESL Journal:

Practice Exercises and Quizzes

4)Future Time: (be+going to+infinitive)& (Will)

Key words for Future Time:


Next day/week/month/year

On Friday/ Saturday/Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday


In 10 minutes/ two hours

How to talk about an action that will happen in the future, near future, in addition to predictions, in an informal (casual) way?

Use (be going to) to talk about informal future actions.

Use (will) to talk about formal future actions.

1-      Informal future action:

 Example: I am + going to + live in New York next year.

                  We are + going to + play soccer next month.

            2-Informal near future action:

                 Examples: I am + going to + boil the vegetable soon.

                                  You are + going to + have a hair cut next week.

                                  He/She is + going to + get up at 5.30 am tomorrow.

                                   The plane is + going to + take off in five minutes.

3-Predictions: (when you expect something is going to happen both in the future and in the near future):

Examples: It is cloudy. It is + going to + rain.

                   He is + going to + be tall like his father when he becomes a man.

                   The baby is crying. She is + going to +be sick.    

Important Note:

Never say or write (I am going to go to home tomorrow).

You say and write (I am going to go home tomorrow).

However, you can say and write (I am going to go to the movies tomorrow.)

5) Have to: (have + to + infinitive)

In addition to the interesting Irregular verbs like (be, do, and have), we also have the irregular verb (have to).  When you use (have to) in affirmative (positive) sentences, it gives the same meaning as (must).

         Example: you have to study hard for your finals.

                         He/she has to get a tourist visa.

 However, when you use (have to) in negative sentences it does not give the same meaning as (must not) or (cannot)

 Examples: You don't have to bring a camera, you can buy one.

                                      Don't say                                                          

                   You don't have to bring guns.

                                            You say   

                   You must not / cannot bring guns, it is illegal.  


6) Any/Some


Use (Any) with negative and questions.

Examples: I don't have any money.  Do you have any money?

                  I don't have any food.  Does she/he have any bananas?


Use (Some) with affirmative (positive) sentences.

Examples: I have some money.

                  He/she has some food.



Use many with plural nouns (countable nouns)

Countable nouns (books, photographers, friends, students, chairs, tables, bottles, suitcase.)


Do you have many friends?

How many students are going to the sport hall?

There are many people waiting for the next train.

She /he is going to give you many flowers and balloons on your birthday.

How many suitcases do you have? I have two suitcases.


Use much with uncountable nouns.

 Uncountable nouns (money, luggage, water, food, work, sugar, flour, rice.)


Do you buy much food?

How much money do you have?

How much does it cost? It costs too much  money. It is very expensive.

She/he has too much work to do.

How much luggage do you have? I have two pieces of luggage.

8)Either/ Too

Use either after a negative verb.


Huda doesnít like meat. Athari doesn't like meat either.

Saoud can't cook. Faisal can't cook either.

Khaled doesn't watch TV. He doesn't read newspapers either.


Use too after a positive verb.


Nasser enjoyed the movie. Muhammad enjoyed it too.

Fahad is a smart student. Ahmed is a smart student too.

Sara wants to be a journalist. Her friend Nada wants to be a journalist too.

9) Definitely/Probably

Use definitely when you are 100 percent sure (100%).

Example: I am definitely going to have dinner with my father tonight.

Use probably when you are not sure.

Example: I will probably play tennis next week.

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