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Present tense

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
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Present tense 2
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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
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Present tense 4
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Intermediate level

Comments

Hi :) whats the different between

I’ll come home as soon as I have finished work. AND
You will be tired out after you have been working all night.

Hello Sir! How are you ? I'm a little bit confused regarding these sentences, and I can hope you will reduce my stress.The sentences are: "I have always answered his letters". and "I always answer his letters."

Hello nadarali1996,

The first sentence (have always answered) tells us about your behaviour up to now. It does not tell us what might happen in the future. In fact, you might say this to highlight a change:

I have always answered his letters but from now on I'm going to ignore them.

You can read more about this form (the present perfect) on this page.

 

The second sentence (always answer) describes your typical behaviour. It tells us that it is normal for you to answer the letters.

You can read more about this form (the present simple) on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks sir.

can anyone tell me where is the main verb in this sentence "I’m sure you could ask him"
I'm still confuse about be as an auxiliary or a main verb and whether infinitive belongs to verb or not.

Why "does " is used here instead of "is"? .It doesnt envy . It doesnt boast.
But in the same sentence is used "is" . - It's not proud.

Hello NinaKonde,

'Boast' here is a verb and so the negative is formed with do/does:

I don't boast

He doesn't boast

'Proud' is an adjective and so we use the verb 'be'. The negative is formed with just 'not':

I'm not proud / I am not proud

He's not proud / He isn't proud / He is not proud

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I would like to know a definite meaning of tense and time in English language. I am studying the articles on Tense on this site and I arrive at the conclusion that, there are only 2 tenses and the future is a time expressed by these tenses. What of a statement like " I will come". I thought will, shall are verbs used in the future tenses. Another question that I would like to ask, is there subjunctive in English language? Is there anything like conditional tenses? Thanks.

Hello! Is it correct to say "they ARE/AREN'T agree with my opinion" or is it wrong? The situation is this: my English teacher gave me a multiple choice test where I should circle the correct answer. He gave me to choose between the options "are","aren't","do" and "don't". I should complete the sentence "They ___ agree with my opinion". I chose "don't" because​ all my ex teaches taught me that way. The thing is that my teacher told me it was wrong but he never gave me his reasons. He only told me he don't agree with that rule... what's the rule? I asked him but I received no explanation. Thanks for your help!

Hello niky_02nqn,

The correct form here is 'don't'; 'aren't' is not correct. The reason is that 'agree' here is a normal verb in the present simple and the negative is formed with 'do not' (or 'does not').

You can use 'aren't' with the following phrase:

They aren't in agreement with my opinion.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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