While some aspects of a new language are fairly easy to teach, tenses can pose a challenge because they vary so much from one language to another. ESL teachers - particularly new ones - tend to struggle a little with teaching tenses, because it’s not always easy to explain exactly how a given tense works in English; or how it contrasts with other, similar tenses. Throw in the problem of teaching tenses in ways that keep students active, interested, and learning, and you’ve got a recipe for a difficult lesson on your hands.
Not all teachers handle these issues in the same ways. The classic approach would be simply to drill students on grammar until they get it right - but that approach has fallen out of use, in favor of a more integrated teaching method that combines speaking, reading, activities, and other forms of learning. The challenge for the modern ESL teacher, then, is to find ways of presenting each tense that enable the students not only to learn it correctly, but also to be able to produce it and use it dynamically in sentences.
That’s exactly where BusyTeacher.org’s 4,428 verb tense worksheets come in. They’re designed by real ESL teachers to help students see how each tense is used, see examples of different applications for it, and practice using it in all kinds of different exercises. With these worksheets, teaching tenses turns from a dull repetitive process into an engaging series of learning activities, that’ll inspire your students to take what they’ve learned out of the classroom and use it in their actual English conversations.
Our 4,428 tense worksheets cover each tense in the book, from present simple to future perfect continuous - and all things in between. They cover singular and plural verbs, irregular verbs, active and passive verbs, positive and negative verbs, and every other form of a verb you want to teach. In combination with the more rigorous rules laid down in your school’s textbook, these worksheets will give students the practice they need to understand every way in which English verbs can be formed.
In addition to all the verb forms our worksheets cover, they’ll also help you introduce variety into your classroom in another way: by giving you a wide variety of different exercises for practicing verbs in various situations. Some of our worksheets, for example, include simple examples and fill-in-the-blank exercises - while others will help your students organize little drama presentations, play games like “pronoun dice” or a quiz show, or read silly stories and lyrics to popular songs - all targeted at teaching the rules for using one particular verb tense or set of tenses.
These worksheets have been proven to work in classrooms of ESL teachers around the world - and in fact, that’s exactly who contributed them to this site. They’re all free to download and use without any registration, and you’re even free to submit your own worksheets if you’d like - just click the “Submit a worksheet” button at the bottom of this page, and join our international community of English teachers helping English teachers!
All our worksheets can be previewed in thumbnail view before you click and download them - so just take a scroll down this page, see what catches your eye, and try out anything that looks interesting in your classroom. We guarantee you’ll love the results!
A verb tense is a grammatical category that locates a situation in time, to indicate when the situation takes place. Some typical tenses are present, past, and future. Tense can make finer distinctions than simple past-present-future; past tenses for example can cover general past, immediate past, or distant past, with the only difference between them being the distance on the timeline between the temporal reference points. Such distinctions are not precise: an event may be described in the remote past because it feels remote to the speaker, not because a set number of days have passed since it happened; it may also be remote because it is being contrasted with another, more recent, past event. This is similar to other forms of deixis such as this and that.