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...

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

hi
i have a question that when i saw a sentence how can i recognise the tense i am just really confused recognising the sentence.Can you tell me a simple way to easily write a sentence.

plz help

Thank you

Hello Isra,

Recognising and naming a tense is much less important than knowing what a given form means - the terminology is not necessary to use the language. To recognise the various verb forms in English you need to identify the component parts - the main verb and the auxiliary verbs, if there are any.

There is no magic pill to help with this, I am afraid! You can look at the Verbs section in our Grammar reference and work through the various verb forms, however.

As far as how to write a sentence goes, you have written several in your comment! How to write a setence depends on the sentence you wish to write - there is no general rule.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I have a question:
when you need to write is and when do and why?

Hello Upiter,

I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Perhaps you could provide an example sentence and we'll try to explain.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I have growing on chicken pox when i was three years old.
This sentence is right?

Hello Ice,

No, I'm afraid that is not correct. Perhaps you want to say 'I had chicken pox when I was three years old', but it's hard to be sure.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

I would like to thank you all for this wonderful website and responding to all the questions promptly by explaining the rationale - I really appreciate.

Could you please let me know which of the following sentence is grammatically correct or both of them are correct?

1. Could you please let me know if the property is available for renting?

2. Could you please let me know if the property is available to rent?

Kind Regards,
Sujit

Hello Sujit,

1 sounds a bit unnatural to me; I'd definitely use 2 over 1, or perhaps 'for rent'. By the way, please consult the dictionary for this kind of thing – you can often find the answers there. 

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
Please tell me whether these sentences are correct or not.
1. She has lived there for ten years.
2. She has been living there for ten years.
If both are correct, the meanings are the same or different.
1. It has rained for two hours.
2. It has been raining for two hours.
Do they mean the same or different ? If not the same what is the
difference?
Rigards
Andrew international

Hello Andrew international,

I already responded to a similar question of yours on another page – please refer to my suggestions there.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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