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...




Hello everyone :

Why am always hear in movies they say
What you doing here ? instead of What are you doing here?

Hello nkmg,

In English, like in most any language, when people speak quickly, some sounds are de-emphasised so much that they are very difficult to hear, and sometimes not even pronounced.

It's great that you noticed this. Even though native speakers speak like this in films, I'd recommend that you not leave out words, as people might think you're making a mistake rather than speaking like a native!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello I'd like to ask for the correct form of this sentence:

1. Are you watching that new police drama series on Monday nights ?

2. Do you watch that new police drama series on Monday nights ?

thank you

Hello Tomas,

As a series is temporary and not permament, and since you are asking about the current time period, the first sentence is correct.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

so why do we use present simple and not present progressive when we talk about our age which is
almost always in progress ?
Thank you .

Hello Tad90,

First of all, we generally use 'be' when we are saying our age ('I am fifty-eight', for example) and this verb is rarely used in continuous forms. Second, age is a state rather than an action so just as we say 'I love...' rather than 'I am loving...' and 'I have...' rather than 'I am having...', so we do not use the continuous aspect when talking about age.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much.

why my page don't have the grammar execrises

Hello strugglingman,

I'm afraid there is no way for me to know this! It is most likely a compatibility or security issue, so you might try using a different device and/or browser to see if that helps. If you are using a mobile device then try a laptop or desktop, for example.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. I don't understand this sentence " But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away." why the author useed " if it be only.... and not "if it is only...."