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:

Tense Form
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...




I think you should use " How are you" when you greet people.
And use " How do you feel" or " How are you feeling" when you would like to ask some one have been sick or in accident situation.

Hello vlastazn,

Both of these are very common, I would say, and you can choose whichever you prefer. I wouldn't say either is more common.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Is the following sentence correct English?
"I don't have a favourite singer, but at the moment I'm listening a lot to Madonna".
Thank you.

Hello Fan08,

Yes, though the word order at the end is a bit unnatural; I'd suggest 'I'm listening to Madonna a lot' instead. Also, 'at the moment' usually refers to a more specific period of time, i.e. right now, whereas here is seems you means something like 'these days'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Kirk.
Would it be better if I used "I'm listening a lot to Madonna these days"?
Thank you for your help! :-)

Hello Fan08,

You're welcome! I think 'these days' is better than 'at the moment', and it is fine to use it at the end of the sentence. But 'a lot' is unusual between 'listening' and 'to Madonna' in native English. It's not incorrect, but most native speakers would say 'I'm listening to Madonna a lot these days', not 'I'm listening a lot to Madonna these days', though it's not really a big deal, either.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I don't understand this question "Are we going out this evening?" this question is in present not future

Hello ali2121,

The form of the verb here is present continuous. However, the meaning refers to future time. In English the form of the verb is not always the same as its meaning. We can use present forms to talk about the future, past forms to talk about the present or future (such as in conditional forms) and so on.

The names 'present tense' and 'past tense' are actually quite misleading. I prefer to call them 'first form' and 'second form' as they are not used only to describe time.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, I have a little doubt in this below sentence
The sun rises in the east.
why rises is used instead of rise? and Is this belongs to simple present or present continuous?