There are two tenses in English – past and present.

The present tenses in English are used:

  • to talk about the present
  • to talk about the future
  • to talk about the past when we are telling a story in spoken English or when we are summarising a book, film, play etc.


There are four present tense forms in English:

Tense Form
Present simple: I work
Present continuous: I am working
Present perfect: I have worked
Present perfect continuous: I have been working


We use these forms:

  • to talk about the present:

He works at McDonald’s. He has worked there for three months now.
He is working at McDonald’s. He has been working there for three months now.
London is the capital of Britain.

  • to talk about the future:

The next train leaves this evening at 1700 hours.
I’ll phone you when I get home.
He’s 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.

  • We can use the present tenses 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 ….

      Romeo and Juliet is a violent play. After Romeo and Juliet have married in secret, Romeo is walking in Verona when Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt tries to provoke Romeo into a fight. Romeo refuses to fight and leaves, but his friend, Mercutio, is so angry that he fights Tybalt and is killed ….

Exercise

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Comments

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

 i do 3 mistakes  :((

past simple: I did three mistakes

 ppffff ............ i do 3 mistakess :( ........

 really good :)  

Ooh! now I understand, this subject is very useful to me, these kind of verbs was my desease...thanx...

thank you Adam for clearing my confusion

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