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


Hello uchiha itache,

The sentence We're always meeting in the supermarket describes something which happens frequently, not a future event, and so I don't think whether it is planned or not is relevant here. The sentence suggests that the speaker does not feel happy about constantly meeting in the supermarket for some reason, but that is all we can say from it.



The LearnEnglish Team


Could you please tell me the difference between "Thanks for acceding to our request for coming." and "Thanks a lot for having acceded to our request for coming."? Is the person for whom this sentence is meant, has already come? Could you please help me understand theses phrases in socio-cultural contexts?

Hello raj.kumar123,

These do not look like natural sentences in English to me. You could say Thanks for acceding to our request for a meeting, for example. It is a very formal way to say this, however, and agreeing to would be much more likely.

In general, the perfect form emphasises recent completion with a concrete result. It is possible to say, for example, Thanks for having done this. However, even in this case I would say that Thanks for doing this is a far more common choice



The LearnEnglish Team

This is the headline : Temperature continue soaring high in Pune

Should it not be ' temperature continues ... '

Hello dipakrgandhi,

I think there are two possibilities here: The temperature continues... or Temperatures continue...



The LearnEnglish Team

I have read this headline in Business newspaper :

Sachin Bansal readies plan sell his stake to Walmart & quit Flipkart

Should it be ' readies plan to sell ... ' . Please clear the confusion.

Hello dipakrgandhi,

We often omit certain words in headlines but the 'to' part of the infinitive here would not be omitted, I think, and the sentence looks odd to me even as a headline. I would say that 'to sell' is really required here.



The LearnEnglish Team

Brando plays an ex-boxer standing up to corrupt bosses.
--why this sentence it talk about the past

Hi Jenkin,

This sentence is about the classic film On the Waterfront, which starred Marlon Brando. Since this sentence is summarising the plot of the film, it uses the present tense.

If you didn't know that about the film, it was difficult to get the right answer here. The person who wrote this exercise thought that people would recognise Marlon Brando's name, I suppose, but not everyone is familiar with him.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

You did not account for many verb clusters of the English language, particularly those with the 'past tense' form of will (i.e., would). They are: would go, would be going, would have gone, would have been going. Can you therefore say that English has just 12 tenses?