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


It says on the top of the page that there are two tenses. Shouldn't it says three tenses.
Thanks a lot before.

Hi Lajwanti,

According to many linguists, tense refers to the different inflectional forms of a verb that can independently refer to different times. In this sense, verbs have only two tenses in English, though of course in combination with other words (e.g. will, be going to, have, etc.), English verbs can refer to many more different times. Sometimes these other times are also referred to as tenses, but in the strictest sense I first mentioned above, there are only two tenses in English.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Greetings to all,
                       My name is Sumeet. I have a query regarding the formation of Negative Interrogative (Interro-negative) sentence.
Have you not picked the parcel yet?
Haven't you picked the parcel yet? (Negative Contracted)
Are both of these correct? Thank you so much in advance. 

Hi Sumeet,

Yes, the negation in both of those sentences is correct. The sentences sound a little strange to me, however, as pick in this context could only really mean choose. Perhaps you mean pick up (which here would mean collect)?

If that's what you meant, it doesn't change the negation of the verb in any way. Pick up is a separable phrasal verb, so up could go either immediately after picked or after parcel.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Greetings to everybody,
My name is Sumeet. I have got a query regarding framing interrogative of the following sentence.
Statement -   I have some books.
In the above statement "HAVE" is functioning as a MAIN VERB, not as an AUXILIARY.
Interrogative 1st - Do I have any books ?
Interrogative 2nd - Have I any books ?
If I am not mistaken, Interrogative 1st is the appropriate answer. In order to frame a question (formal), one has to use the AUXILIARY VERB which is DO in this case. 
In Interrogative 2nd, "HAVE" has to be followed by 3rd form (may be GOT as a main verb) of the verb in order to function as an AUXILIARY VERB.
Am I correct, Sir ?
Thanks a lot,

Thank you so much Peter :) 

Hello Sumeet,

You are correct that we need to use 'do' as an auxiliary verb to make a question when 'have' is the main verb.  If we use 'have got' then we can invert, as you say.

I have some books -> Do you have any books?

I have got some books -> Have you got any books?

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

May I ask.. 
"Brando plays an ex-boxer standing up to corrupt bosses." 
why this sentence is in Past tense?

Hello Lanapon,
It's not in the past tense, it's in the present tense. If you read the instructions of the exercise carefully, you'll see it's about time, not tense.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

 He has worked here for two years"
"He has been working here for two years" Do these two sentences mean the same? Please explain.
thank you