Level: intermediate

There are two tenses in English: past and present.

The present tense is used to talk about the present and to talk about the future.

There are four present tense forms:

Present simple I work
Present continuous I am working
Present perfect I have worked
Present perfect continuous I have been working

We can use all these forms:

  • to talk about the present:

London is the capital of Britain.
He works at McDonald’s.
He is working at McDonald's.
He has worked there for three months now.
He has been working there for three months now.

  • to talk about the future:

The next train leaves this evening at 17.00.
I'll phone you when I get home.
He is 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.

Present tense 1
Present tense 2

Level: advanced

We can use present forms to talk about the past:

  • when we are telling a story:

Well, it's a lovely day and I'm just walking down the street when I see this funny guy walking towards me. Obviously he's been drinking, because he's moving from side to side …

  • when we are summarising something we have read, heard or seen:

I love Ian Rankin's novels. He writes about this detective called Rebus. Rebus lives in Edinburgh and he's a brilliant detective, but he's always getting into trouble. In one book, he gets suspended and they tell him to stop working on this case. But he takes no notice …

Present tense 3
Present tense 4
Intermediate level



Could you please explain why is the frogs last sentence in the present perfect?....The chicken shows the books to the frog and the frog, looking at the books one by one, shakes his head and says, 'Read it! Read it! Read it!'

Hello zz11

I'd say that 'read it!' is actually the past simple here -- the present perfect would be 'have read it!'. Part of the joke here is that 'read it' sounds very similar to 'ribbit', which is the word native English speakers often use to simulate a frog's croak (the sound a frog makes). Does that make sense?

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,
Today I had been to a college programme and I saw a board their which read ' orientation programme for welcoming first year students"
I would like to know if we can use 'welcoming' as a verb like this. I have seen dictionary entry for welcoming in canbridge dictionary and it says it is adjective.
Will you help me clear the doubt ?

Hello dipakrgandhi

I understand this sign to be an abbreviated form of 'Orientation programme for (the purpose of) welcoming first year students'. In this case, 'welcoming' is an -ing form used as a noun (also known as a gerund).

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Kirk for the reply.
I would also like to know if we can use welcoming as a verb also ?

Thank you

Hello dipakrgandhi

'welcome' has both noun and verb forms. If used appropriately as a form of the verb 'welcome', 'welcoming' -- for example, with 'have' to make the present perfect or 'be' to make the present continuous -- can certainly be correct.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question. I'm not sure if it's correct.
How does she feel when she gets home?
Is it correct? Because we have does in the second part of the question.
I would appreciate if you could answer me.

Hello Samshr

That question is grammatically correct. The main clause ('How does she feel?') has subject-verb inversion and the subordinate clause 'when she gets home' has the normal word order.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a million. You don't know how much time it consumed from me. You are the best