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1 English verb tenses

2 the simple present tense (habitual actions - frequency adverbs)


3 I often drive to work. Do you often drive to work? I dont often drive to work.
4 She often drives to work. Does she often drive to work? She doesnt often drive to work.
5 I always have breakfast. Do you always have breakfast? I dont always have breakfast.
6 She always has breakfast. Does she always have breakfast? She doesnt always have breakfast.
7 exceptions: be, have got
8 I am happy. Are you happy? Im not happy.
9 Hes happy. Is he happy? He isnt happy.
10 I have got a new car. Have you got a new car? I havent got a new car.
11 He has got a new car. Has he got a new car? He hasnt got a new car.
12 the simple past tense (past actions past time adverbials: last week, when I was a child, etc.)
13 I drove to work yesterday. Did you drive to work yesterday? I didnt drive to work yesterday.
14 She drove to work yesterday. Did she drive to work yesterday? She didnt drive to work yesterday.
15 I had breakfast at seven. Did you have breakfast at seven? I dont have breakfast at seven.
16 She had a car last year. Did she have a car last year? She didnt have a car last year.
17 exceptions: be
18 I was happy last year. Were you happy last year? I wasnt happy last year.
19 He was happy last summer. Was he happy last summer? He wasnt happy last summer.
20 We were happy yesterday. Were they happy yesterday? We werent happy yesterday.
21 the present progressive tense (current actions under way at the moment, now, etc.)
22 (future planned actions future time adverbs)
23 I am working at the moment. Are you working at the moment? Im not working at the moment.
24 Hes flying to London tomorrow. Is he flying to London tomorrow? He isnt flying to London tomorrow.
25 exceptions: verbs which cannot be used in the progressive tenses: in these cases, use the simple present tense
26 the present perfect progressive tense (actions continued from the past for, since., recently, lately)
27 I have been working since 10. Have you been working since 10? I havent been working since 10.
28 He has been working here for 3 days. He hasnt been working here for long. How long has he been working here?
29 Weve been working very hard recently. They havent been working very hard lately. Have you been working hard recently?
30 exceptions: verbs which cannot be used in the progressive tenses: in these cases, use the present perfect tense
31 the present perfect tense (repeated/repeatable actions in a current time frame this week, today, so far, etc)
32 (past actions which could be repeated frequency adverbs, indefinite time adverbs)
33 She has written two reports today. She hasnt written any reports so far. Has he written any reports this week?
34 I have sometimes seen him here. I havent often seen him here. Have you ever seen him here?
35 I have never been to Rome They havent been to Rome yet. Have they ever been to Rome?
36 the past progressive tense (an action under way in the past when it was interrupted while, when, )
37 (describing the setting at the beginning of a novel)
38 I was working when they arrived. Were you working while I was out? I wasnt working when you phoned.
39 It was a hot day in September. Birds were singing and the sun was shining..
40 exceptions: verbs which cannot be used in the progressive tenses: in these cases, use the simple past tense
41 the past perfect progressive tense (actions continued for a time in the past for, since., but interrupted)
42 exceptions: verbs which cannot be used in the progressive tenses: in these cases, use the past perfect tense
43 I had been working for 3 hours when he phoned. She had only known him for two months when they got engaged.
44 How long had you been working when he phoned? Had she known him for long when they got engaged?
45 I hadnt been working for long when he phoned She hadnt known him for long when they got engaged.
46 the past perfect tense (past repeated or continuous actions which were interrupted in the past)
47 She had only written two reports when he phoned to say she was late for the office party.
48 How many reports had she finished writing when he phoned to say she was late for the office party?
49 She hadnt finished the report when he phoned to say she was late for the office party.

Author: Geraldine Ann Foster Pagina 1


1 talking about future actions and events
2 - well-planned actions, with everything fully booked (the present progressive tense)
3 Hes flying to London tomorrow. Is she flying to London tomorrow? They arent flying to London tomorrow.
4 - intended actions, not yet fully planned and booked (the intentional future tense)
5 be going to + BASE FORM, be planning to+ BASE FORM, be hoping to + BASE FORM, be thinking of + ING FORM
6 Im hoping to get a job as a journalist when I get my degree. Hes thinking of going to London to look for a job next year.
7 What is he planning to do when he gets his degree? Are you thinking of going abroad to look for a job?
8 We arent going to get married until we have both got a good job. We arent thinking of going abroad for a holiday this year.
9 - inevitable future events which human beings cannot decide (the simple future tense)
10 will/wont + BASE FORM
11 Today is Wednesday, so tomorrow will be Thursday. Will the sun come up tomorrow? You wont live forever.
12 - imminent future events (traduce sta per): is about to + BASE FORM
13 Run! The bomb is about to explode. Is the bomb about to explode? Its OK. The bomb isnt about to explode.
14 - spontaneous reactions to events: will/wont + BASE FORM
15 [the phone rings]: Ill answer it. Will you answer it, please? Im busy. I wont answer that. Im just too tired.
16 - implications of observations: will/wont + BASE FORM
17 [a girl is smiling, ]: implying that she feels happy.
18 Im sure she will help us. Do you think she will help us? She wont refuse to help us. She looks really nice.
19 - future events planned for a definite time/date: BE TO+ BASE FORM, BE DUE TO+ BASE FORM
20 The meeting is due to start at 4.30. What time is his plane due to land? We arent due to be there until 8 oclock.
21 The PM is to fly to Rome on Tuesday. When are they to start work? She isnt due to start until next week.

22 talking about opinions, hopes and logical conclusions


23 I think . / I reckon . / If you ask me, / In my opinion, . / As far as I know, .
24 - hopes/opinions about actions which are currently under way, or which people are pretty sure about
25 be + ING FORM (the present progressive tense)
26 I think they are watching TV at the moment. What do you think she is doing right now? I dont think he is crying.
27 If you ask me, he is studying at home. Is he studying at home? What do you think? If you ask me, he isnt studying.
28 As far as I know, he is coming on Friday. When do you think he is coming? As far as I know, he is coming today.
29 I hope hes studying right now. What do you hope hes doing right now? I hope he isnt getting too tired.
30 - probable/uncertain future actions/events translation of forse, pu darsi che, possible che
31 BE + likely to + BASE FORM
32 He is likely to phone at any time now. Is he likely to phone soon? He is unlikely to phone today.
33 I should say they are very likely to help us. Do you think they are likely to help? They arent likely to help us.
34 - hopes/opinions for which the speaker has good evidence - be going to + BASE FORM
35 [the speaker or his interlocutor has seen the weather forecast on television]:
36 Its going to rain tomorrow. Is it going to rain tomorrow? It isnt going to rain tomorrow.
37 I hope its going to be a nice day. Dont you hope its going to be a nice day? I hope it isnt going to pour with rain.
38 - hopes/opinions for which the speaker has no evidence at all (campati in aria) - will/wont + BASE FORM
39 [the speaker is getting married the next day, but neither the speaker nor his interlocutor has seen the weather forecast]:
40 I bet it will rain tomorrow. Will it rain tomorrow, do you think? I bet it wont rain tomorrow.
41 - opinions people are completely sure about - opinions people are fairly sure about
42 be bound to + BASE FORM MAY + BASE FORM
43 He reckons she is bound to get here on time. I think he may pass the English exam quite easily.
44 Is he sure she will definitely get here on time? Do you think he will pass the English exam quite easily?
45 He is sure she definitely wont get here on time. I think he may not pass the English exam very easily.
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1 - opinions people are fairly sure about - opinions people are very sure about
2 (1) MAY WELL + BASE FORM (2) BE SURE + SUBJECT + WILL/WONT + BASE FORM
3 I think he may well get that job. Im sure she will get that job.
4 Do you think she will get that job? Are you sure she will get that job?
5 I think he may well not get that job. Im sure she wont get that job.
6 - logical conclusions in the affirmative - logical conclusions in the negative
7 must + BASE FORM CANT + BASE FORM
8 Thats expensive. It must be silk. Thats very cheap. It cant be silk.
9 Shes really rich, so she must own a car. She cant own a big car! Shes really really poor!
10
11 talking about preferences
12 would like to + base form would prefer to + base form would rather + base form
13 I would like to go out this evening. They would prefer to stay home today. Hed rather eat out tomorrow night.

14 like/love + ing form (expressing pleasure) like to + base form (expressing unpleasant duties)
15 I like dancing. (in general) I like to go to the dentist every six months.

16 conjugating tenses with modal verbs and auxiliaries


17 to be able to: can . / could . / may / might . ; to have to: must . / should . ; will . / would .
18 - in the present
19 potere capacit, offerta, impossibilit I can help. Can she help? We cant help.
20 potrebbe He could help. Could they help? You couldnt help.
21 potere probabilit, permesso, improbabilit You may help. May we go, please? She may not help.
22 potrebbe We might help. Might I help? They might not help.
23
24 dovere conclusione, lamento, poibizione She must help. Must you help? He mustnt help.
25 dovrebbe consigli They should help. Should he help? I shouldnt help.
26 but:
27 dovere - obbligo We have to help. Do they have to help? You dont have to help.
28 He has to help. Does she have to help? He doesnt have to help.
29 - in the past
30 aver potuto aiutare He could help. Could they help? You couldnt help.
31 avrebbe potuto aiutare He could have helped. Could they have helped? You couldnt have helped.
32 pu darsi che abbia aiutato You may have helped. May we have helped? She may not have helped.
33 potrebbe darsi che abbia aiutato We might have helped. Might I have helped? They might not have helped.
34 avr aiutato (conclusions) She must have helped. Can she have helped? He cant have helped.
35 avrebbe dovuto aiutare They should have helped. Should he have helped? I shouldnt have helped.
36 but:
37 essere stato costretto ad aiutare We had to help. Did they have to help? You didnt have to help.
38 He had to help. Did she have to help? He didnt have to help.
39 - will and would (will and would have no meaning independently of their accompanying by a verb)
40 aiuter We will help. Will she help? You wont help.
41 aiuterebbe She would help. Would you help? We wouldnt help.
42 avr aiutato We will have helped. Will she have helped? You wont have helped.
43 avrebbe aiutato She would have helped. Would you have helped? We wouldnt have helped.
44 - modals in the future and conditional tenses
45 potr He will be able to help. Will they be able to help? You wont be able to help.
46 pu darsi che aiuter You may help. May we help? She may not help.
47 potrebbe darsi che aiuter We might help. Might I help? They might not help.
48 dovr aiutare She will have to help. Will you have to help? He wont have to help.
49

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1 the passive voice
2
3 The passive form is created by conjugating the verb to be in the desired tense, and then adding the past participle of the verb
4 in question. For example, take the verb scegliere (to choose, chose, chosen), and the active sentence:
5 Catherine chose this skirt.
6 The verb chose is in the simple past tense, so the passive voice is created by conjugating to be in the simple past tense, and
7 then adding the past participle of the verb to choose:
8 This skirt was chosen by Catherine.
9 Catherine sometimes eats meat. simple present of to eat Meat is sometimes eaten by Catherine.
10 Catherine ate meat yesterday. simple past of to eat Meat was eaten by Catherine yesterday.
11
12 Catherine is eating meat at the moment. present progressive of to eat Meat is being eaten by Catherine at the moment.
13 Catherine was eating meat while ... past progressive of to eat Meat was being eaten by Catherine, while ...
14
15 Catherine has just eaten some meat. present perfect of to eat Some meat has just been eaten by Catherine.
16 Catherine had just eaten some meat, when past perfect of to eat Some meat had just been eaten by Catherine,
17
18 Catherine is going to eat meat. intentional future of to eat Meat is going to be eaten by Catherine.
19 Catherine is about to eat meat. imminent future of to eat Meat is about to be eaten by Catherine.
20
21 Catherine will eat meat simple future of to eat Meat will be eaten by Catherine .
22 Catherine would eat meat if simple future of to eat Meat would be eaten by Catherine if .
23
24 Catherine can eat meat can + eat Meat can be eaten by Catherine .
25 Catherine could eat meat could + eat Meat could be eaten by Catherine .
26 Catherine may eat meat may + eat Meat may be eaten by Catherine .
27 Catherine might eat meat might + eat Meat might be eaten by Catherine .
28
29 Catherine must eat meat must + eat Meat must be eaten by Catherine .
30 Catherine should eat meat should + eat Meat should be eaten by Catherine .
31 Catherine has to eat meat to have to + eat Meat has to be eaten by Catherine .
32
33 Catherine could have eaten could have + eaten Meat could have been eaten by Catherine .
34 Catherine may have eaten may have + eaten Meat may have been eaten by Catherine .
35 Catherine might have eaten might have + eaten Meat might have been eaten by Catherine .
36
37 Catherine must have eaten must have + eaten Meat must have been eaten by Catherine .
38 Catherine should have eaten should have + eaten Meat should have been eaten by Catherine .
39 Catherine has to have eaten to have to have + eaten Meat has to have been eaten by Catherine .

40 impersonal sentences (si pensa che )


41
42 [subject] arrest someone every day in Tibet someone is thought to be arrested every day in Tibet
43 [subject] arrest lots of people every day in Tibet lots of people are thought to be arrested every day in Tibet
44
45 [subject] arrested someone every day in Tibet someone was thought to have been arrested every day in Tibet
46 [subject] arrested lots of people every day in Tibet lots of people were thought to have been arrested every day in Tibet
47
48 hypothetical sentences
49
50 with regular verbs: with the verb to be:
51 1st conditional: I will help him if he asks me. I will help them if they are polite to me.

52 2nd conditional: I would help him if he asked me. I would help him if he were polite to me.
53 I would help you if you asked me. I would help you if you were polite to me.
54 se dovesse I would help her if she were to ask me. I would help him if he were to be polite to me.
55 (per caso) I would help them if they were to ask me. I would help you if you were to be polite to me.

56 3rd conditional: I would have helped him if he had asked me. I would have helped her if she had been polite.
57
58 se potessi se dovesse (se fosse costretto)
59 st
1 conditional: I will help him if I can do so. I will help them if I have to do so.
60 2nd conditional: I would help him if I could do so. I would help him if I had to do so.
61 3rd conditional: I would have helped him if I could have done so. I would have helped her if I had had to do so.

Author: Geraldine Ann Foster Pagina 4


1 temporal conjunctions (il doppio futuro in italiano)
2 sentences containing: if = se as long as = finch the first time = la prima volta
3 when = quando until (till) = finch non next time = la prossima volta
4 after = dopo unless = a meno che non once = una volta che
5 before = prima as soon as = appena
6
7 I will go if he invites me. I will stay as long as I can. He will finish it next time he comes.
8 She may phone if she has time. I will love you till I die. Next time he comes, he will finish it.
9 If she is free, she may well phone you. As soon as he gets here, Ill phone you. The first time I go, I will take notes.

10 direct speech (discorso diretto) indirect speech (discorso indiretto)


11 simple present simple past I said: She buys lots of books. I said that she bought lots of books.
12 I said to them: She buys lots of books. I told them that she bought lots of books.
13 She asked: Where does he work? She asked where he worked.
14 He said to me: Are you happy? He asked me if I was happy.
15 How are you, Cathy? he asked. He asked Cathy how she was.
16
17 present progressive past progressive I am going out at seven, Jane, he said. He told Jane that he was going out at seven.
18 What are you doing? she asked me. She asked me what I was doing.
19 Im coming. Im coming, he said. He kept saying that he was coming.
20
21 present perfect past perfect I have just seen him, said Carol. Carol said she had just seen him.
22 Has she finished? they asked him. They asked him if she had finished.
23 He asked her: Where have you been? He asked her where she had been.
24
25 intentional future past intentions He is going to start tomorrow, I said. I said he was going to start the following day.
26 He asked: What film are you going to see. He asked me what film I was going to see.
27
28 imminent future past imminence It is about to take off, he said to her. He told her it was about to take off.
29 She asked: Is our plane about to take off? She asked if their plane was about to take off.
30
31 simple past past perfect I saw them yesterday, she said to John. She told John she had seen them the day before.
32 Did you help them? she asked him. She asked him if he had helped them.
33
34 will would I think Ill go now, he said. He said he thought he would go straight away.
35
36 can could She said to him: They can all speak English. She told him they could all speak English.
37 Can I help you? she said to me. She offered to help me.
38 Im afraid I cant help you, she said to me. She told me she was afraid she couldnt help me.
39
40 may might It may rain tomorrow, she said to us. She told us it might rain the following day.
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42 must had to I really must have something to eat, he said He said he really had to have something to eat

43 verb + verb structures (the structure of the second verb in English depends on what the first verb is)
44 - most English verbs can be followed by the infinitive (to )
45 afford appear arrange be begin choose consent decide fail happen
46 hesitate learn manage offer prepare pretend promise refuse save up seem
47 study swear wait want wish .
48
49 verbo + a / di / da / per + verbo in italiano subject + verb + infinitive in English
50 Era solo una buona scusa per uscire. It was just a good excuse to go out.
51 Non siamo riusciti ad arrivare in orario. We failed to get there on time.
52 Stanno risparmiando per comprare casa. They are saving up to buy a house.
53 Non aspettai neppure di sentire il voto. I didnt even wait to find out what mark I had got.
54 Sarebbe un buon libro da leggere a letto. That would be a good book to read in bed.
55 Ha deciso di non comprare un motorino. She decided not to buy a moped.
56 Hanno gi promesso di non interrompere. They have already promised not to interrupt.
57 - other English verbs can be followed by an object + infinitive (to )
58 advise allow command encourage force get (convince) instruct invite oblige
59 order permit persuade request remind teach tell tempt
60
61 subject + verb + + object infinitive in English
62 We advised them to take an umbrella.
63 Did he encourage you to learn English?
64 They couldnt persuade her to go with them.

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1 - a few English verbs can either be followed by the infinitive, or by an object + infinitive
2 ask expect intend = mean need prefer want wish
3
4 subject + verb + infinitive subject + verb + object + infinitive
5 He wants to be happy. He wants us to be happy.
6 She asked to be invited to his party. She asked them to come on time.
7 She expected to catch her plane. She expected her plane to take off on time.
8 She has always preferred to work late. They preferred us to work late last night.

9 - but these English verbs are normally followed by subject + verb (in the appropriate indicative tense):
10 believe feel imagine know say show suppose think
11
12 subject + verb + subject+ verb
13 He said he was happy.
14 She thought she would phone them.
15 She feels she is behaving badly.
16 We know we are right.

17 - hope / claim can either be followed by the infinitive or by subject + verb (in the appropriate indicative tense):
18 subject + verb + infinitive subject + verb + subject + verb
19 He is hoping to get a job in advertising. He hopes he can get a job in advertising.
20 He claims to be an honest man. He claims he is an honest man.

21 - remind / tell / warn can either be followed by the object + infinitive or by subject + verb (in an appropriate indicative tense):
22 We reminded her to get to work on time. We reminded her that she should get to work on time.
23 Arent you going to warn him not to smoke here? Arent you going to warn him (that) he cant smoke in here?
24 She told him to help his brother. She told him (that) he should help his brother.

25 - suggest can be followed by 1. subject + should + verb, by 2. a poss. adj. + ing form, or by 3. an object + ing form:
26 We suggested (that) he should get the bus.
27 We suggested him getting the bus.
28 We suggested his getting the bus.

29 reflexive verbs:
30 - Very few frequently used English verbs are reflexive:
31 apply oneself (to) dedicarsi/impegnarsi enjoy oneself divertirsi
32 control oneself controllarsi hurt oneself farsi male
33 cut oneself tagliarsi kill oneself suicidarsi
34
35 - behave: behave oneself = comportarsi bene
36 behave + adjective = comportarsi in modo espresso dallaggettivo.
37
38 - some verbs which can be followed by a reflexive pronoun, arent usually:
39 rare construction normal construction verb + object
40 wash oneself have a wash wash my face
41 shave oneself have a shave shave her legs
42 dress oneself get dressed put a shirt on / put on a shirt
43 undress oneself get undressed take their jumpers off / take off their jumpers
44
45 - Lots of Italian reflexive verbs are expressed in English using to get + adjective / past participle in English
46
47 get angry arrabbiarsi get annoyed seccarsi
48 get cold rinfrescarsi get bored annoiarsi
49 get dry asciugarsi get drunk ubriacarsi
50 get hot caldarsi get engaged fidanzarsi
51 get rich arricchirsi get fed up stufarsi
52 get warm riscaldarsi get married sposarsi
53 get wet bagnarsi get tired stancarsi
54 get up alzarsi . etc.
55 etc.
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1
2 - Lots of Italian reflexive verbs are not reflexive in English
3
4 apologize scusarsi join unirsi/ arruolarsi
5 approach avvicinarsi a kneel inginocchiarsi
6 be ashamed vergognarsi move muoversi/ trasferirsi
7 be mistaken sbagliarsi practise esercitarsi
8 boast vantarsi realise accorgersi/ rendersi conto di
9 commit suicide suicidarsi refer riferirsi
10 complain lamentarsi rest/have a rest riposarsi
11 fall asleep addormentarsi rush precipitarsi
12 fall ill ammalarsi retire ritirarsi/andare in pensione
13 fall in love with innamorarsi di sit down sedersi
14 feel sentirsi stand up alzarsi (dalla sedia)
15 go to sleep addormentarsi stop fermarsi
16 hurry up affrettarsi surrender arrendersi
17 inquire informarsi wake up svegliarsi
18 etc. etc.
19
20 - Reciprocal actions between 2 people (. each other), and between more than 2 people (. one another)
21
22 Gillian and Tom were talking to each other. The guests were all talking to one another.
23 My parents often argue with each other. My many cousins hardly ever see one another except on Sundays.
24
25
26
27 choosing the right verb tenses for given situations:
28
29
30
31
32
33 describing what happens in novels, films, TV adverts, videos, etc
34 A shy young Englishman is working in a bookshop in Nottinghill in London. A beautiful American film star walks into the shop and has a look
35 around. She is wearing a white t-shirt. The young man goes out to buy some take-away coffee. He bumps into the actress on his way back to the
36 shop, spilling coffee down her t-shirt. He invites her to his flat ..
37
38 A woman is driving a car down a country road. The sun is shining and the wind is blowing through her hair. She stops the car and gets some
39 moisturizing cream out of her handbag. She applies it to her face, and looks much happier. Thats better, she says, I needed that, and after all,
40 Im worth it.
41
42
43
44
45
46 describing action in photos, magazine adverts, pictures, etc
47 The young woman in the shoe advert is running away from some ferocious animals who are chasing her. However, she looks happy and relaxed,
48 implying that [suggesting that] she thinks she wont have any trouble getting away from her pursuers.
49 She is wearing
50
51
52
53
54 describing past events
55 I spent Christmas Day at home with my family. We all got up early to open our Christmas presents. We decided to skip breakfast and just have a
56 cup of tea and then help Mum to get lunch ready. We were expecting lots of guests, as usual, so there was a lot to do. My brother peeled a mountain
57 of potatoes while I laid the table. In the meantime, my sister washed and chopped up loads of vegetables. My Mum had already made a huge
58 chocolate log the previous evening, and the turkey was already in the oven. .
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68 describing actions in news items, etc

Author: Geraldine Ann Foster Pagina 7


1 A young man with a rifle shot sixteen students at a school in Alabama yesterday before the police shot him. Seven of the wounded students have
2 died so far, and another three are still in a critical condition in hospital. An inquest on those who have died so far is to be held next week. A 43-year-
3 old man has been arrested for selling the rifle to the young killer. He is still being questioned by the police.
4
5 Sixteen students were shot by a young man with a rifle at a school in Alabama yesterday.
6
7 Three students have been killed so far by a young man with a rifle.
8
9
10
11
12
13 talking about aspirations and ambitions
14 Im hoping to get a job as a journalist when I finish my degree. I would prefer a job as a sports journalist, but Ill take anything I can get to start
15 with.
16
17 Im thinking of looking for a job abroad next year, because I want to get some international experience. I may go to England, or perhaps to Spain.
18 I havent decided yet.
19
20 Im planning to go to Ustica with some of my friends this summer. We want to go for three weeks if we can afford it. I expect we will spend lots of
21 time at the beach, sunbathing and swimming, or playing volleyball. I imagine we will probably go for a bop most evenings. However, if we get
22 tired, we might stay in and have an early night once or twice.
23
24
25
26
27
28 talking about hypothetical situations
29 If I were the mayor of Palermo, I would fight corruption in local government. I would also try to .
30
31 If I won the pools, I would have an amazing holiday, and then .
32
33
34
35
36

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