present-tense

Present Tense

Tips and Self-Assessment Quiz On Present Tense

Tips on Present Tense

Tips on answering questions in English grammar related to Present Tense

    1 Tips

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Sep 30, 2017 5:15:59 PM



Grammar Rules with 7 Tips on using Present Tense


Classifying Tenses:


Tense is a form of Verb which indicates the time and state of and action or event.

Classifying tenses based on the Time of Action:

a)    He writes letters. (Present Tense: Now- Present time of an action)

b)    He wrote letters. (Past Tense: Before Now- Past time of an action)

c)    He will write letters. (Future Tense: After Now- Future time of an action)


Classifying Tenses based on the state of Action:


1.    Simple:

a)    Present: Sings

b)   Past: Sang

c)    Future: Will Sing

2.    Continuous (Progressive action):

a)    Present: Is singing

b)   Past: Was singing

c)    Future: Will be singing

3.    Perfect (Completed action):

a)    Present: Has sung

b)   Past: Had sung

c)    Future: Will have sung

4.    Perfect continuous (Progressive action that is ongoing):

a)    Present: Has been singing

b)   Past: Had been singing

c)    Future: Will have been singing


Simple Present:


Used to denote habit, custom, practice, permanent activity or general truth.

1.    For habitual, repeated actions:

a)    We catch the bus every morning at 8:00 AM.

b)    He drinks tea at breakfast.

2.    For general truths: Water freezes at zero degrees.

3.    For Instructions: Open the packet and pour the contents into hot water.

4.    For Scheduled Events in the Future: His mother arrives tomorrow.

5.    To express a future action after conjunctions like after, when, before, as soon as, until: She will see you before she leaves.

6.    Narrating a story: Now Rama shoots an arrow at Ravan.


Present Continuous:


Used for an on-going action in the present or at the time of speaking.

1.    A progressive action in the present: It is raining outside.

2.    With the adverb ‘always’: He is always watching TV.

3.    For Scheduled Events in the Future: The train is arriving in 2 minutes.

4.    For indicating negatives: Caroline is not looking for the latest brochure.

5.    For interrogatives: Is Caroline looking for the latest brochure?


Present Perfect:


Used to indicate a link between the present and the past where the action is already completed in the past or still continuing into the present.

1.    An action that was completed in the recent past: I have just eaten breakfast.

2.    An action that started in the past but is still ongoing:

a)    I have lived in Bristol since 1984. [Correct: Indicates that I am still living in Bristol]

b)    I lived in Bristol since 1984. [Incorrect: Indicates that I am no longer living in Bristol]

3.    An action in an unspecified period between the past and now: We have visited Portugal before.

4.    A completed action where the time of the action is unimportant: He has read War and Peace.

5.    Action performed during a period of time that is not yet finished: She has been to the cinema twice this week.


Present Perfect Continuous:


Used to imply the duration of an action that has started in the past and continuing in the present or may have just finished.

1.    An action that was completed in the recent past: She has been cooking since last night.

2.    An action that started in the past but is still ongoing:

a)    I have been living in Bristol since 1984. [Correct: Indicates that I am still living in Bristol]

b)    I was living in Bristol since 1984. [Incorrect: Indicates that I am no longer living in Bristol]

c)    She has been waiting for you all day.

3.    To indicate a negative: Amanda has not been relying on student loans to fund her education.

4.    For Interrogatives: Has Amanda been relying on student loans to fund her education?


Tips on using Present Tense:


Tip #1: Since, For

Since: to show a particular time or event from past to present. Used both for present perfect and for present perfect continuous.

a)    They’ve been staying with us since last week.

b)     She has completed two letters since last night.

For:  used to indicate a period of time from past to present in present perfect continuous form.

a)    She has been suffering from fever for two days.

b)    It’s been raining for hours.


Tip #2: Ever, Never

Ever:  generally used with present perfect tense

a)    My last birthday was the worst day I have ever had.

b)    Have you ever seen a ghost?

Never: used as the negative form for the adverb ‘ever ‘in present perfect

a)    Have you ever met George?

b)    Yes, but I’ve never met his wife.


Tip #3: Seldom, Often, Generally

Adverbs of Frequency such as, often, generally, regularly, seldom, occasionally, rarely, daily, normally, always are used in Simple present tense to depict a habit or action and its frequency.

a)    Grandfather regularly goes for a walk in the morning.

b)    Subir seldom gets up late.

c)    Pearl usually believes everybody.

d)    Arnav often comes for dinner to our place.


Tip #4: Always

Simple Present Tense: here ‘always’ is used as an adverb of frequency, meaning ‘all the time’.

a)    Suhani always comes in time.

b)    I always travel by bus.

Present Continuous Tense: here the adverb ‘always’ is used to express an idea that the speaker doesn’t like.

a)    She is always scolding her children.

b)    He is always using junk food.


Tip #5: Just, Recently, Already

Just, Recently, Already: these time adverbials are used in Present Perfect to refer to actions that have just completed.

a)    Scientists have recently discovered a new breed of monkey.

b)    We have just got back from our holidays.

c)    I have already had my breakfast.


Tip #6: Adverbials of the past

Adverbials of Past: do not use the present perfect with an adverbial of the past.

a)    I have seen that film yesterday. (Wrong)

b)    I had seen that film yesterday.

c)    We have bought a new car last week. (Wrong)

d)    We had bought a new car last week.

It can be used to refer to a time which is not yet finished:

a)    Have you seen Helen today?

b)    We have bought a new car this week.


Tip #7: Non-Progressive Verbs

Non-progressive verbs: Verbs that describe a state of existence (not an action) are not used with an ‘ing’.

a)    Verbs of Perception: See, Taste, Smell, Prefer, Please, Look, Seem, Appear

b)    Verbs of Thinking: Think, Know, Mean, Mind

c)    Verbs showing Possession: Own, Have, Belong, Comprise, Possess, Contain

d)    Verbs of Feeling: Believe, Like, Love, Want, Desire

e)    He is owning a car. (Wrong) => He owns a car. (Correct)

f)     She is liking this song. (Wrong) => She likes this song. (Correct)

When used as a verb indicating an action in progress, these verbs do take an ‘ing’:

State of Existence:

a)    I think he’s really nice.

b)    We have a small flat.

c)    The soup tastes delicious.

d)    This perfume smells great.

e)    Velvet feels so soft.

f)     You look tired.

g)    The baby weighs 3 kgs.

h)    I am hungry.

Action in Progress

a)    I’m thinking of selling my car.

b)    We are having some difficulties right now.

c)    The cook is tasting the soup.

d)    The girl is smelling the flowers.

e)    We were feeling our way in the dark.

f)     They are looking at the pictures.

g)    The grocer is weighing the apples.

h)    You’re being a nuisance.


Spot the Errors:


Can you spot the errors?


#1:

These grapes are tasting sour. (Incorrect)

These grapes taste sour. (Correct)


#2:

I am thinking you are wrong. (Incorrect)

I think you are wrong. (Correct)


#3:

She is seeming sad. (Incorrect)

She seems sad. (Correct)


#4:

He is having a cellular phone. (Incorrect)

He has a cellular phone. (Correct)


#5:

I think of going to Malaysia. (Incorrect)

I am thinking of going to Malaysia. (Correct)


#6:

She tastes the soup to see if it needs more salt. (Incorrect)

She is tasting the soup to see if it needs more salt. (Correct)


#7:

They have lunch. (Incorrect)

They are having lunch. (Correct)


#8:

It is smelling like something is burning. (Incorrect)

It smells like something is burning. (Correct)


#9:

Are you forgetting my name? (Incorrect)

Have you forgotten my name? (Correct)


#10:

I am not meaning this. (Incorrect)

I don’t mean this. (Correct)


#11:

We have just returned from a pilgrimage last month. (Incorrect)

We have just returned from a pilgrimage. (Correct)


#12:

Today was the happiest day I ever had. (Incorrect)

Today was the happiest day I’ve ever had. (Correct)


#13:

The train will leave at 19:45 this evening. (Incorrect)

The train leaves at 19:45 this evening. (Correct)


#14:

The book is containing good subject matter. (Incorrect)

The book contains good subject matter. (Correct)


#15:

You studying English Grammar. (Incorrect)

You are studying English Grammar. (Correct)


#16:

I know all about that film because I had seen it twice. (Incorrect)

I know all about that film because I have seen it twice. (Correct)


#17:

I did a lot of work today but I must keep at it. (Incorrect)

I have done a lot of work today but I must keep at it. (Correct)


#18:

He has been sleeping since five hours. (Incorrect)

He has been sleeping for five hours. (Correct)


#19:

Now Netaji entered and addressed the freedom fighters. (Incorrect)

Now Netaji enters and addresses the freedom fighters. (Correct)


#20:

I am having no house to live in. (Incorrect)

I have no house to live in. (Correct)



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present-tense

Present Tense

Tips and Self-Assessment Quiz On Present Tense

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