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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


thank  u  

hello  every one  !!!!
when i  use   the present simple    to  talk  abt the future   or  the past  so where  iç use  them  

please help me 
McEwan handles the characters with his customary skill. no.8 is past how can i know that ;s past tense?
and this one also. no .5 is past tense
Brando plays an ex-boxer standing up to corrupt bosses.

The important thing to realise here is that the question is not about past tense, it's about past time. In English, they are not the same. All of the sentences are in the present tense, but some of them refer to past time.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Can someone help me in the following sentences from the exercise because they look incorrect to me. If correct then how they are correct.
2. Are going out this evening?
10. Anything the matter?

Question 10 is correct. The full version would be 'Is anything the matter?', but we sometimes leave out the initial verb in informal speech.
Question 2 is an error, I think someone must have been typing too quickly! I have corrected it, so thanks for telling us.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

would it be incorrect if we say 'The next train leaves at 1700 hours this evening.' ? The example 'The next train leaves at this evening at 1700 hours.' seems a lil inaccurate . pls check

You are absolutely correct! There was a typo in this sentence, which I've now corrected.
Thanks for telling us about this.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Adam i posted a comment but nobody replied i dont know why can i ask you the same question i posted some days ago

Hello James,
We have hundreds of comments every week and only a small team to answer them, so not every gets and answer quickly. As it happens, I can't see your comment - what page did you make it on?
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team