Present Tense


There are 3 major tenses in the English language namely present tense, past tense and future tense.

  Verb 'to be'  


I am tired/I’m tired.

You are tired/You’re tired.

She is tired/She’s tired.

Are you tired?

Is he tired?/ No, he isn’t tired.

Are they tired?/No, they aren’t.



  • I, you, he, she, it, you, they are subject pronouns (also called personal pronouns, a term used to include both subject and object pronouns.)
  • am, are, is are forms of the verb to be in the simple present.
  • 'm, 're, 's are short (contracted) forms of  am, are, is
  • 'm not, aren't, isn't are short (contracted forms) of am not, are not, is not.





 Present Simple Tense


  Affirmative Form  
  • I, you, we, they -> play
  • She, he, it -> plays


I play the accordion well.

Niall and Harry play the accordion well.

My sister plays the accordion well.



  Interrogative Form  
  • Do (I, you, we, they) -> play
  • Does (she, he, it) -> plays


Do you like BTS?

Does your sister like BTS?



  Negative Form  
  • (I, you, we they) do not/don’t -> play
  • (She, he, it) does not/doesn’t -> play


I do not/don’t like to jog.

They do not/don’t like to jog.

Mother does not/doesn’t like to jog.



  The use of present simple tense  
  • to give your opinion - I like ice cream. I don't like spicy food.
  • to talk about schedules - The library opens at eight. It doesn't open at 7.
  • to talk about daily habits (routine actions)- Sara eats a cheese for breakfast every day. She doesn't eat cereal.
  • to give facts - The earth circles the sun. The moon doesn't circle the sun. 

Spelling of verbs in present simple tenses

She/he/it + verb(s)

Silent e Vowel + y Consonant + y Verbs ending in o Verbs ending in s, z, sh, tch, ch
close = closes
note = notes
play = plays
say = says
study = studies
marry = marries
go = goes
do = does
miss = misses
buzz = buzzes
hatch = hatches
finish = finishes
teach = teaches


Exception: The verb ‘to have’ does not change spelling, but the form.


We have a good relationship. She also has a good relationship.

**Note: Verbs do not take the ‘-s’ in the interrogative and negative forms.


He does not/doesn’t like reading.

They do not/don’t enjoy travelling.




  Present Continuous Simple

  The form  

Be verb + Verb-ing



  Affirmative Form  


I am eating.

You/we/they are eating.

She/he/it is eating.



  Interrogative Form  


Am I eating?

Are you/we/they eating?

Is she/he/it eating?



  Negative Form  


I am not/’m not eating.

You/we/they are not/aren’t eating.

She/he/it is not/isn’t eating.



  The use of present continuous simple  

The present continuous is used to talk about actions happening at the time of speaking.


  • Where is Mary? She is having a bath. (Not she has a bath)
  • What are you doing at the moment in front of your screen? Don't you know? Well … you are reading this lesson. You are learning English.

The present continuous can also be used when an action has started but hasn’t finished yet.


  • am reading a book; it’s a nice book. (It means = I am not necessarily reading it; I started reading it but I haven’t finished it yet.)

Special verbs: be, believe, belong, hate, hear, like, love, mean, prefer, remain, realize, see, seem, smell, think, understand, want, wish

These verbs are called stative verbs in contrast to action verbs (also referred to as 'dynamic verbs') such as 'work, play, eat, etc.'

It's not correct to say:

He is wanting to buy a new car.

You must say:

He wants to buy a new car.


 Present Perfect Simple

  The form  

Have/has + Verb in the past participle



Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I have worked. I have not/haven’t worked. Have you worked?
you have worked. she has not/hasn’t worked. Has she worked?
she has worked. he has not/hasn’t worked. Has he worked?
he has worked. we have not/haven’t worked. Have we worked?
we have worked. you have not/haven’t worked. Have you worked?
they have worked. they have not/haven’t worked. Have they worked?


Past participle of verbs: Verb + ed


He has played in the national team.

I have recorded a new album.

They have not/haven’t completed the work.

For irregular verbs, you have to remember them by heart.


I have become the person I am today thanks to my parents.

They have gone missing for a while.


  The use of present perfect simple  

1. To emphasize the result of a past action without mentioning the actual time when it happened:


  •  I have met that girl before.
  • We have discussed this issue a few times.

2. Action performed in a period that has not finished yet (the same day, week, month, etc.):


  •  Have you seen Lacy today? (The day is not over yet.)
  •  I have had several tests this month. (The month has not finished yet.)

3. Action that started in the past and has continued until now. Often used with since (indicating the beginning of action) or for (indicating the duration of action):


  • They have lived here for ten years.
  •  I have not seen her since we left high school.
  • Clare and John have known each other since they were in primary school.

4. It is used to indicate completed activities in the immediate past (with just).


  •  " He has just taken the medicine."





 Present Perfect Continuous

  The form  

Have/has + Been + Verb in the past participle

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I have been working. I have not/haven’t been working. Have you been working?


  The use of present perfect continuous  

1. We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now indicating a duration. "For an hour", for two weeks", etc ...are used to indicate duration.


  • They have been watching TV for the last three hour.
  • She has been studying at that institution for three years.
  • What have you been doing for the last 30 minutes.

2. The present perfect continuous is also used without indication of duration. This use indicates an action that has occurred "lately" or "recently".


  • have been feeling really tired, recently.
  • She has been smoking too much lately.