Jan 12

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Present Tenses Review – Verb tenses in English Made Easy

The present tenses can be used to talk about the present, general time and even the future. Do you know how to use them well? Let’s revise them one by one!

The present tenses in English are: the Present Simple, the Present Continuous, the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous. Read more about the verb tenses in general here.


Here are some example sentences in the Present Simple and the Present Continuous tense. Can you work out (or remember) the rules?

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

I always get up at 7 am.

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

The bus leaves at 10 to, so hurry up!

She‘s not listening to me now, she‘s reading her favorite book.

I live in the city, but I’m spending this month at my aunt’s in the country.

Jason is working on Saturday, he can’t come to the party.


So, you could probably work out most of the rules, but here is a nice summary of what you need to know:


Verb tenses_Present

Now let’s move on to the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous tenses. They are usually nobody’s favorites in particular, but I promise they aren’t difficult!

Look at the example sentences and think about what’s in common in all the sentences in the Present Perfect tense.

I have read the book – I know what it’s about.

You have never seen this movie – how can you have an opinion about it?

She has always lived in this house – that’s her home after 80 years!


If you think about it, these sentences all talk about something that started earlier than now, in other words BEFORE the moment of speaking, but we also want to show that these actions are still important today – they continue or they have a result that makes them important in the present. That’s the present perfect: something that started BEFORE now, but is still relevant.


Look at these next sentences in the present perfect continuous tense. Now this tense may sound scary and complicated, but in a way this is the easiest to use well because it is mainly used in this situation:

I have been reading for so long that my eyes hurt.

Have you been cleaning the garage? You have oil on your hands.

Has he been running since morning? No wonder he is exhausted now.


As you can see the present perfect continuous is used when we talk about something that started BEFORE now and may have a result in the present (that’s why it is a perfect tense), but it also describes a continuous, ongoing activity which isn’t finished yet (that’s why it is a continuous tense).

We can also use this tense to talk about something we think long and hard about:

He has been thinking of starting his own business.


So here is the lowdown on these present perfect tenses:

Verb tenses_Present2

This sums up the present tenses in English, but stay tuned for more info & quizzes!


Related posts

Verb tenses made easy – An introduction


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