present tense


There are two tenses in English – past and present.

The present tenses in English are used:

  • to talk about the present
  • to talk about the future
  • to talk about the past when we are telling a story in spoken English or when we are summarising a book, film, play etc.

There are four present tense forms in English:

Present simple: I work
Present continuous: I am working
Present perfect: I have worked
Present perfect continuous: I have been working

We use these forms:

  • to talk about the present:

He works at McDonald’s. He has worked there for three months now.
He is working at McDonald’s. He has been working there for three months now.
London is the capital of Britain.

  • to talk about the future:

The next train leaves this evening at 1700 hours.
I’ll phone you when I get home.
He’s meeting Peter in town this afternoon.
I’ll come home as soon as I have finished work.
You will be tired out after you have been working all night.

  • We can use the present tenses to talk about the past...



Hello Jithesh,

If you're telling your friends about something that happened to you at work yesterday, let's say a disagreement you had with a colleague, then you could use the present tense to tell that story. For example, 'And then he tells me that I have to write the report because it isn't his job to do that. So I tell him that actually, it's as much his job as it is mine ...'.

Although you use the present tense in your story, you're clearly referring to the past. Why use the present tense? It makes the story a bit more dramatic and has better chances of involving the listeners. As for the other point, there are examples of book summaries, etc., in questions 5 and 8 of the exercise.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Kirk, i got it and you have given good explanation, now i am clear about that

Is it a correct sentence- "I am thankful to you for your suggestions to improve my paper."? Can we use 'to' after 'suggestions' in this sense?

Hello raj.kumar123,

That's not quite correct. We would say:

I am grateful to you for your suggestions on how to improve my paper.

'Thankful' is also possible, but I think 'grateful' is the more commonly used word in this context.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot, sir. Can I use 'suggestion' + 'to' and 'First Form of Verb' (Suggestion+ Infinitive, e.g. suggestion to improve)?
Kindly clear this confusion. It will help other users also.

Hello raj.kumar123,

It is possible in certain contexts, but often sounds unnatural. For example, we could say:

Do you have a suggestion to improve the project?

But a much more likely construction would be:

Do you have a suggestion for improving the project?

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

I am new here and i want someone choose the correct answer for me in this sentense.

It is extremely important for children ........ To share things.
A. Learning B. Learned
C. To learn D. Be learning

Thanks for help

Hello Saleh_kabo,

C is the correct answer here. Please take a look at our to + infinitive page, where there is a list of adjectives that can be followed by an infinitive.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

And in these sentences what the cerect answer Mr. Kirk

" I do not like science fiction ."
" .......... do i ."
A. Also B. Either
C. Both D. Nor

Either of the women ...... Capable of looking after the baby .
A. Are B. Is
C. They are D. She is

Let's have dinner togather ........... next week.
A. Some time B. Sometime
C. Sometimes D. Some times

Do not come and see me today . I'd rather you .......... Tomorrow.
A. Will come B. Have come
C. Came D. Come