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The 4 Present Tenses in English

The 4 present tenses clarified in under a minute.

1. Simple Present

...is the actually the most complicated (but still easy).

regular form is verb (+s for third person singular)

The simple present has 3 senses: (a) habitual, (b) stative, and (c) narrative.


I wash my clothes every week.

He eats lunch at that cafe.


Text books are expensive.

The Mississippi River flows through ten US states.

Use simple present to talk about matters of routine or timeless facts.



Imagine this situation! I call and ask for him. They tell me he's not home, but I hear his voice in the background.

Use simple present to draw your audience into a story about actions which

happened in the past if you want them to imagine them happening in the present.


2. Present Continuous

am/is/are + verb + ing

What are you reading?

I am taking an English course next semester.

Use present continuous to talk about actions that are

happening right now or will be happening in the near future.


3. Present Perfect

have (has for third person singular) + participle

I have spoken to him several times.

He hasn't finished his English course yet.

Use present perfect to talk about actions that happened in the past

and could happen again or which still influence the present.


4. Present Perfect Continuous

have or has + been + verb + ing

I have been reading this book for more than a week now.

She has been waiting for me at the school since 3pm.

Use present perfect continuous to talk about actions

that started in the past and continue into the present.


Got a weekend? Relax. Level Up your English!