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...

Exercise

Comments

Hello chhlam,

In some contexts we can use present forms in this way.  The most common are informal anecdotes and film or book reviews (as here).  Present forms add more immediacy to these kinds of descriptions, bringing them to life for the listener.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Teacher, I will ask you more when I have question.

Can I rephrase the last sentence of "I'm having a party at the weekend. Would you like to come?" as "Will you come" or "Are you coming". This will help me identify my flaws can you please answer me? Thank you.

Hello ankita2219,

Those are all acceptable questions.  'Would you like...' is polite and less direct.  'Will you come' is more direct and suggests we know the person better.  'Are you coming' is very direct and is probably what we would say to a friend or someone we know very well.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

In the example given under "to talk about the future", what does the phrase "you have been working all night" in "You will be tired out after you have been working all night" refer to? Can we rephrase the sentence as " You will get tired if you work all night" or " You will be tired out working all night." Kindly clarify my doubts.

Hello ankita2219,

Yes, you can rephrase the sentence in those ways.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hmm I have a question..
A: How long has he been the
principal of our school?
B: Since I ....... this school
a.was entering
b.have entered
c.had entered
d.entered
e.had been entering

What's the best answer do you think?

Hello Rahma_Putri,

We often use the present perfect with 'since' but in this case the best answer would be the past simple ('entered') as the verb 'enter' describes a completed action - you may be a student for a long time (so we could say something like '...ever since I've been a student here') but the actual entry takes just a moment and is then finished, hence 'since I entered').

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish

In the example given "He works at McDonald’s. He has worked there for three months now", why has a "now" been placed at the end?

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