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

Hi...for more explanation on my question above. In the above quiz I failed these questions completely and when I checketd out the answers the present tense used here explain about past events please help me.
So I say to him, 'What's your game, son?
McEwan handles the characters with his customary skill.
Brando plays an ex-boxer standing up to corrupt bosses.

Hi...I'v not understood when present tense can explain past event. can you please give me more elaboration on that? thanx...

Does both the sentence means that he ia still reading book ??

I have been reading book.
I have been reading book for 2 hours..
Does both the sentence means that he is still feeling sick..
The reason I am asking this question is that present perfect continus tense is used for an action which started in the the past and is still continuing or for an action which have stopped recently...So how do we get to know that the action has just stopped or is still continuing ??? Plz sir help me out
Thanks

Hello orton,

Whether or not the action is still ongoing or not is not inherent in the form; generally, the context tells us this. If the context does not make it clear, and it is important that this information is given, then the speaker can make it explicit. Decontextualised sentences are often unclear in this way, but if the sentences you quote were in context (such as our being able to see the speaker) then there would probably not be any ambiguity. The lack of clarity comes from the lack of context here.

You can find more information on the present perfect simple and continuous here and here.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi teacher!
which sentense is correct gramatically
1. I will let you know as soon as I find out
2. I will let you know as soon as I have found out
thanks for consideration

Hi Oscas Po,

Both sentence are possible. We can use the present simple or the present perfect in time clauses such as this, and the meaning is the same.

You can find more information on time clauses here and on time and other clauses here.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your comment....I have one more doubt
I have been feeling sick ..
I have been feeling sick for two days.
Does both the sentence means that he is still feeling sick
Or does it mean that in the first sentence he felt sick for few days but is not feeling sick currently ?
Because present perfect. continuous tense is used for an action which started in the past and is stiil continuing or for an action which have stopped recently.. so how do we get to know whether the action is till continuing or have just stopped ??

I am having a problem understanding the meaning of a sentence that uses the present perfect continuous without stating a period of time (how long, since, for, etc). Can the sentence still indicate that the activity is happening from the past until now if time period is not mentioned? If the time period is mentioned, can the sentence means that the activity was recent or just ended?

I have been looking forward to the holiday.

Does this sentence mean that I am still looking forward to the holiday and that it is not currently the holiday? Or does this sentence mean that I have stopped looking forward to the holiday since I am on hday now? Or can it mean both?

I have been feeling sad.

Does this sentence mean that I am still feeling sad now? Or does it mean that I felt sad before and that I no longer feel sad now? Or can it mean bhototh ??

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