Forming All Types of Sentences

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In this lesson we’re going to look at how to form any type of sentence using any tense. Just follow these basic rules, and you’re sure to get the form correct each time.


The basic rule

1 = Subject. 2 = Auxiliary. 3 = Verb.

  • Affirmative sentences:

1 (2) 3

I have seen this film.

Present simple and past simple affirmative sentences do not need auxiliaries.

  • Negative sentences:

1 2 not 3

We won’t arrive on time.

  • Interrogative sentences:

2 1 3

Did you see that?

Careful, the PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS has two auxiliaries, here is how we form sentences in this tense:

  • Affirmative sentences:

1 HAVE BEEN 3

She has been shopping.

  • Negative sentences:

1 HAVE not BEEN 3

They haven’t been working.

  • Interrogative sentences:

HAVE 1 BEEN 3

Has he been finishing?