This book is intended to help you, as a teacher of English as a Foreign language (E F L ), to teach common
verb tenses and patterns more efficiently and clearly. Some of the material in the book may surprise you. To
begin with the explanations and commentary may seem self-evident, or the phonetic realisations may seem
unnecessary. If this is so, please try to bear with me. The material in the book is designed to be of help to
several groups: the experienced native speaker seeking a possible new approach to add to his armoury,
the novice teacher, who speaks English with native speaker intuition, but has not yet fully analysed what
it is that he does know, or why he says what he says, and also the non-native E F IL teacher abroad, who
speaks English excellently, and yet wishes to understand the subtler differences in usage and idiom which
the native speaker takes for granted.
The organisation of the materials may not be what you expect t he placement of the present perfect in the
section devoted to the present tense, for example. This is because you are reading a handbook for teachers,
not a conventional grammar book, and the tenses are ordered in a way intended to make the concepts easier
for you and your students, regardless of what grammatical purists might argue.
Lastly, I am aware that as a EFL teacher you are more likely to be female than male. Nevertheless, I have
referred to 'the teacher' as 'he' throughout the text because writing 'he/she' is clumsy, 'they' is ungrammatical,
'one' is impersonal, and 'it' is insulting! If you are a female, please excuse my use of 'he' and regard this as
a courtesy to the minority reader.