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What is Present Tense - Types, Definition, Sentences

Present Tense Definition

Tense of a verb necessarily throws light on the time an action has taken place. Tense also indicates whether the action is complete, is going on, has been completed in the recent past or whether it began at an earlier point in time and has continued into the present. Accordingly, there are three types of tenses: Past, Present and Future.

What is Present Tense?

Present Tense is used to describe an action that is taking place at the moment of speaking, with no connection to the past or future. In other words, Present Tense is used to describe events that are happening at that very moment.

Examples

Examples of Present Tense are as follows:

  • Rahul speaks English fluently.
  • I am going to the market.
  • They are excited to attend the play.
  • The old lady has been living alone in her house for ten years.

Types

There are four types of tenses that together make up Present Tense, namely:

1. Simple Present Tense

The Simple Present Tense is used to describe habits, unchanging situations, fixed events, universal truths. The simple present tense uses the base form of the verb and the third person singular takes an –s as the suffix.

The Simple Present Tense is used:

  • To express habits, universal truths, repeated actions or fixed events. For example,

The school bus picks up the students at 6 am.

Honesty is the best policy.

  • To express fixed arrangements, present or future. For example,

The exam begins at 10 am.

  • To give instructions or directions. For example,

You must finish the work if you want to go to the market.

  • With future constructions. For example,

He will meet you before he leaves

2. Present Perfect Tense

The Present Perfect Tense is used to indicate a link between the present and the past. It is used to describe:

  • An action that started in the past and continues in the present. For example,

He has worked in this company since 2004.

  • An action performed during a period that has not yet finished. For example,

She has visited the market twice this week.

  • A repeated action done several times in the past and continues in the present too. For example,

He has visited Spain several times.

  • An action that has been completed in the recent past. For example,

The train has just left the station.

3. Present Continuous Tense

The Present Continuous Tense is made from the present form of the verb ‘be’ and the -ing form of a verb. It is used:

  • To describe an action that is happening at the moment of speaking. For example,

The children are playing in the field.

  • To describe future plans or arrangements. For example,

Where are you going next month?

  • To describe an action that is going on during the time of speaking. For example,

Are you still playing for the same team?

4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

The Present Perfect Continuous Tense is used for an action that started in the past and has continued up to the present moment. It is used:

  • To describe an action that started in the past and has continued up to the present. For example,

She has been singing for over two hours.

  • To describe an action that has just finished. For example,

It has been raining.

Exercises

Q1. Fill in the blanks with the correct tense form.

1. When I opened my eyes, I _____ a beautiful spectacle. (see)

2. Every morning, she _____ up early and goes for a walk. (wake)

3. I _____ visit Italy next month. (visit)

4. The train _____ the station before I _____. (leave, reach)

5. I _____ Maths for ten years. (teach)

6. Rahul and Anjali _____ late the other day. (late)

7. I think that the delegates _____  tomorrow morning. (morning)

8. Last Thursday, they _____ cricket after they _____ their work. (play, do)

9. They _____ in this house since 2001. (live)

10. She _____  a new dress yesterday. (buy)

 

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