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 teacher
please I have a question.
In those two sentences: Sally has been working here since April. and, I haven't seen Tom since Monday.
Why in the 2nd sentence we don't use the present perfect continuous ? what's the differences between the both sentences?

Thank you

Present tense to talk about the past . No sample above
" I call him to see me at the hotel. He comes with his friend to visit me. I entertain them for six hours. "
Is it the way to use present tense for the past?

Hello grammar2015,

As is explained above, the present simple can be used 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 some examples of this in the Verbs - present tense exercise.

If the sentences you wrote are in the context of a story you are relating orally, then they could be correctly used. Note that you can also use the past simple in such cases.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
So i say to him . What's your game son?

How this sentence be use as a past tense ? Please assist me .

REGARDS
ANAMIKA

Hello Anamika,

This is an example of the use of present tenses to talk about the past when we are retelling a story, an anecdote or a joke in an informal context. The speaker is telling someone an anecdote. It would be correct to the past tense here too:

So I said to him, "What's your game, son?"

However, the present tense in anecdotes is a way to bring the story to life and make it sound more immediate and exciting.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there
wolud you mind to answer this question that is it true to say ((it's poisen us)) grammatically?
Thanks!

Hi ali.s,

That is not a correct form. We can use 'poison' as a verb, but the form would be different, depending on the tense needed:

It poisoned us. [past simple]

It's [=has] poisoned us. [present perfect]

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi team learnEnglish,
could you please unravel this difficulty while using have,and have got.
In british english we may find usage of 'have got' more,also 'have' in some other countries.
Said that,why would we need extra 'got' with 'have' when 'have' itself can stand alone?
if we cannot use 'have' alone,why is that?.And what extra would 'got' adds to the meaning when
settled with 'have'?

regards,
Nandish

Hello Nandish,

While it's true that both 'have' and 'have got' have the same meaning when used to talk about possession, 'have got' has a narrower range of uses than 'have'; for example, it cannot be used as an auxiliary verb ('I have read the Vedas' is correct but 'I have got read the Vedas' is NOT correct).

Languages are like this - they develop organically, like a tree or the bed of a river, and don't always follow the most logical or straightforward course. When you're learning a language, this can be frustrating, but actually it's one of the beautiful things about any natural language.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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