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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
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


we need more exercise plzz...

So effective, thank you.


Hello i want to know Use of May or May Not in English, I want to know in which cases may or maynot is used.What does actually may or maynot means.

Hello neelus!
We usually use may to show we are not sure about something:
It may rain tomorrow = I don't know - maybe it will rain, maybe it won't
Or to ask for things politely (this is not the same as the use above)
May I have a cup of tea?

You can read more about may and do some exercises about it on our grammar page talking about may.

Hope that helps!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.. I am a new member and i do not know from where to start.. plz guide me

Hello Skikha Vyas!
Welcome to LearnEnglish! Well, you should see this website as a library – just borrow whatever interests you! A good place to start is our Elementary Podcasts. These are short radio shows about different topics. To help your listening, vocabulary and grammar, you can listen to them, read the transcripts, and do the exercises. You can talk to other learners in the comments, too. There is lots of other material in our Listen and Watch section as well. If you want to work on grammar, take a look at our grammar section.
Don't forget that we also have a search box. Put a topic you're interested in into the box – like 'meeting people' or 'the present simple' - and you'll get a list of pages about that topic.
We have a lot of different levels on the site, so don't worry if something is too hard – find something easier, and come back to it later. Just try to look at something every day!
Hope that helps,
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

I really like this part and i added its on my is useful to understand. I have problem in speaking because when i speak English, I just use simple present .

I really become confused while I read English tenses specially in simple present tense and a note you said that we can use simple present to describe the past tense but you don't write a sentence about it.
if you really help me in simple present tense and usages of it i will really thankful of you
thank you.

The examples of using the present simple to talk about the past are in the exercise.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team