Present Tense: Types with Examples

In English Grammar, there are four kinds of Present Tense:

  1. Present Simple 
  2. Present Continuous 
  3. Present Perfect 
  4. Present Perfect Continuous 

Here I’m going to tell you about all the present tenses in detail.

present tense

Present Simple

The present simple tense (also called the simple present) is used when we state general facts or true statements that have no time. 

The present simple tense is also called the present indefinite tense.

Use the base form of the verb to make simple present tense if the subject is you/they/ we/I/Plural Noun.

See Examples
You wash the car.
I wash the car.
They wash the car.
We wash the car. 

Add -s to the verb for subjects (he, she, it, and singular noun

See Examples
He needs a roommate.
She needs a blanket.
It needs a lot of work
John needs money.

Add -es to verbs when using he, she, it and singular noun,

If the verb:

  1. ends with z, s, x, ss, ch, or sh
  2. ends with o
  3. ends with y preceded by a consonant—change the y to i before adding -es
See Examples
He washes the car.
She goes to school.
He tries very hard.
My cat scratch the furniture.

Present Simple
(Verb  ‘To be”) 

The verb ‘to be’ describes the identity, qualities, or condition of a person or object.

Use the following to form the present tense of the verb ‘to be’.

  • I am : I am serious.
  • You are : You are my friend.
  • She is: She is busy.
  • It is : It is wrong.
  • They are : They are good.
  • We are : We are happy.

Verb ‘To be’
Positive Sentence

  1. am ready.
  2. She is my friend.
  3. They are twins.
  4. The flowers are yellow.
  5. The flashlight is in the tent.
  6. am tired today.
  7. We are busy.
  8. The toys are in the basement.
  9. The ribbons in my hair are pink.
  10. The kitchen is very small.
  11. The vacuum is in the closet.
  12. He is nice.

Verb ‘To be’
Negative Sentence

Place not after the verb to be to create the negative form of the present tense. 

Some examples of the negative form of the simple present tense are:

  1. She is not my sister.
  2. My neighbors are not Spanish.
  3. My sister-in-law is not Italian.
  4. Diane is not pregnant.
  5. The limes are not sour.
  6. The bus is not empty.
  7. The kids are not early for class today.
  8. The drawers are not empty.
  9. It is not a nice city.

Place the verb to be before the subject to create the question form of the simple present tense.

  1. Is the bus empty?
  2. Is he your teacher?
  3. Is it expensive?
  4. Are you serious

Uses of Present Simple

1.  Simple Present can be used with adverbials: always, often, rarely, sometimes, never, generally, usually, etc.

  • He always writes an Email to his parents.
  • I often try to solve such type of questions.
  • I usually study in the morning. 
  • He never tells a lie.

2. Every + Point of time 

  • He goes to market every evening.
  • They visit zoo every Sunday.

3. General/good/bad habits

  • He drinks wine. (General habit)
  • He smokes in public. (Bad habit)
  • I like reading books. (Good habit)

4. Time table and daily routine:

  • The train leaves at midnight. 
  • My bother sleeps late at night.
  • I get up early in the morning.

5. Future plan & programs:

  • My boss presents the budget tomorrow. 

6. Universal & general truth:

  • The earth moves round the sun.
  • Two and two makes four.
  • The sun rises in the east. 

Present Continuous

We use the present continuous tense to speak about actions that are currently happening.

The present continuous is also called the present progressive tense.

To make the present progressive sentence,

Use am/is/are + present participle.

Use are with plural subjects ie. you, we, they, Plural nouns, etc.

They are crossing the lake in a canoe.

The nuns are sewing clothes.

Use is with Singular subjects ie. he, she, it, singular noun.

The wolf is howling at the moon.

She is pouring a soft drink for you.

Use am if the subject is  I.

I am going home.

I am reading a book.

Only action verbs can be used in the present continuous.

The Present continuous can also be used to describe actions or events that are planned for the future.

We are watching a movie later.

Uses of Present Continuous

1. In case of now, still, at present, at this moment.

He is still waiting for you.

You are creating problem at this moment.

2. Any work that is continuously happening present time.

Rita is driving a car.

My father is reading the Bible at home.

3. Present Tense + While + Present Continuous

She is sleeping while he is singing a song.

Present Perfect

The present perfect tense is used when the time of past activity is not important or is not known in the sentence.

The present perfect tells us about something that occurred at some indefinite period in the past.

To form the Present perfect sentence; 

Use have/has + past participle

Use have with plural subjects ie. you, I, we, they, Plural nouns, etc.

They have borrowed a lot of money from their friends.
You have offended everybody in the office.
I have heard that noise in my car several times.
I have brought enough for everybody.

If the subject is third-person singular pronouns, replace have with has.

She has taught English in many different schools.
My dog has chewed all the furniture.

Uses of Present Perfect

1. It is used when the event has taken place a moment before or near past.

The bus has arrived a few minutes before.

2. Recently, lately, Already, a few hours ago, etc.

He has recently passed the I.A.S. exam.

We have already completed our work.

3. Anything happened in the past but it has a clear effect on the present.

He has eaten food, His stomach is paining.

She has done a crime. Now she is under police custody.

Present Perfect Continuous 

Generally, we use the present perfect continuous to talk about that which began in the past and is still happening in the present.

The present perfect continuous tense is also called the present perfect progressive tense.

To form present perfect continuous tense, 

Use the present tense of the auxiliary verb have along with been and the present participle (-ing form) of the “main” verb.

The present perfect continuous tense emphasizes the duration of action.

We usually specify the duration of time involved using for and since.

Use for (a length of time), since (an exact time).

Subject + have/has + been + Verb-ing

For example:

I have been living in Delhi for three years.
I have been living in  Delhi since 1988.

If the subject is third-person singular pronouns, replace have with has.

He has been living in Delhi for three years.


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