Time words are words related to time that we use to express time information and to sequence events.
We usually put time words before the main verb of the sentence:
Time word + subject + verb + object
Subject + time word + verb + object
However, it is also common to find time words at the very end of the sentence:
Subject + verb + object + time word
It is fundamental to match time words with the correct English tenses:
|Simple Present||Always, every day/month/week/year, often, usually, sometimes, frequently, never.|
|Simple Past||Ago, in (past year), last (month/week/year), yesterday.|
|Simple Future||Next (month/week/year), tomorrow, in (future year).|
|Present Perfect||For, just, since, yet, never/ever, always, lately, recently, already.|
|Present Continuous||At the moment, now, right now, tonight.|
|Past Continuous||As, while.|
NOTE: Some time words may go with more than one tense.
- I always sing in the shower.
- She went to New York five years ago.
- He will go to school tomorrow.
- We‘ve lived in Italy for ten years.
- What are you readinga t the moment?
- While I was working, the children were playing video games.
We use time words with specific tenses to locate past, present and future actions and we usually find them at the beginning or end of a sentence.
— “I sometimes go swimming in the lake.” = we use the simple present with sometimes.
— “I met him more than ten years ago.” = we use the simple past with ago.
External link to Time words exercises (203).