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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


Hello MohitUkey

What that really means depends on the context (which is ungiven here), but if you had to choose one, I'd say present habit.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

He has worked there for three months now.
He has been working there for three months now.
hi Sir,
I am confused about both of the above sentences. please clear it to me what the difference in these sentences for situation.

Hello Imran 26

There is no real difference in meaning between this two sentences, just a difference of focus or emphasis. I'd recommend you read our Present perfect simple and continuous page, and you might also find it useful to look at the Present perfect page in our grammar reference.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Which is correct and why
“We should go soon. Our last bus will leave at midnight” and
“We should go soon. Our last bus leaves at midnight”

Hello karthik_ande

The second one is the better one for most situations, for example, when we know the bus is scheduled to leave at that time. You can read more about the different forms we use to talk about the future on our Talking about the future page.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
I would like to know the difference between these two sentences. Please let
me know.
He has worked there for three months now.
He has been working there for three months now.
Thank you.

I shall have a broken glass.
Can you please tell me which tense is this sentence?
I need it..

Hello Rejaul islam
'shall' is often called a future form, but it's not really used to speak about the future in standard British English. Instead, it's mostly used to make offers or suggestions. For example, I can offer to bring you a glass by saying 'Shall I bring you a glass?'
You can read more about how 'shall' is used on .
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a doubt, in frog joke paragraph.
Present simple tense is used to every time when librarian gives book to frog. But for the third time, present perfect is used.
`So, after she's given the chicken some more books`
I wanna know why?