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Present Tenses

Average: 4 (20 votes)

Present simple, Present continuous, Present perfect/continuous.

Here are the most common uses for the present tenses:

Present simple
For timetables: The train leaves at 6:30. And for unchanging situations: It never snows in Malta.

Present continuous
For actions that happen around the time of speaking: I’m looking for a new job. And for fixed arrangements in the future: He is flying to London tomorrow.

Present continuous – get
For gradual developments get is used in the present continuous: Winters are getting longer.

Present continuous – always
When expressing irritation: He is always playing games on his phone.

Present perfect
To talk about results/consequences of a past activity in the present: He can't ride his bike. He's broken his leg.

Present perfect continuous
For an action which started in the past and continues to the present with emphasis on duration: I've been trying to contact them for an hour.

State verbs and present tenses
We don't normally use love, hate, like, believe, know, prefer, realise, suppose, want, appear in the continuous tenses.
I believe you. NOT I am believing you.

The verbs think, taste, smell, see, look, smell feel and have can have continuous tenses but there is a difference in the meaning.

I think he is unhappy – (I believe) BUT I'm thinking of moving to another city – (I'm considering)

Now select the right tense for these sentences.

Lesson by Tristan

  • 1) He ___(move) to a new apartment next week.

  • 2) Now that they have a child, John and Mary ___(look) for a new place to live.

  • 3) The flight ___(arrives) at nine o'clock tomorrow.

  • 4) Travelling ___(get) more and more affordable.

  • 5) Peter and Jane ___(think) of getting married.

  • 6) I ___(try) to find a good second hand car for a month now.

  • 7) ___(they/wait) long?

  • 8) He ___(buy) a new boat next week.

  • 9) My neighbours ___(always/have) parties till late into the night. I can't get a good night's sleep.

  • 10) He ___(not/be) to work for three days now.

  • 11) My brother ____(study) to become a doctor so I hardly see him these days.

  • 12) I ___(read) a really good book at the moment.



u said, precent continous is used for fixed arrangements in future. but why did you make the answer like, The flight ___(arrives) at nine o'clock tomorrow.what is the correct answer. by your statement is arriving. but your answer is arrives. why??? clarify please????

Present tense with timetables

"The flight arrives at nine o'clock tomorrow", is correct because we use the present simple with timetables. Please see first example at the top of the page.

Present simple
For timetables: The train leaves at 6:30. And for unchanging situations: It never snows in Malta.


Is it the tomorrow timetable only? When a train leaves at 6:30, it means it happens every day (2 days, week ---), but not every tomorrow. As the simple tense is used for unchanging situations, every single day the flight will arrive "tomorrow" and, finally, it will never arrive then. They never write "tomorrow" in timetables Smile
Probably, this form is OK for spoken English, but it is completely out of the shown rules and horse sense.
It never snows in Malta tomorrow, doesn't it? Smile

tag question

If you allow me a quick remark: when you have a tag question - that is a short question at the end of your sentence, like "does it/doesn't it/is it/isn't it", if you're statement is negative ("it never snows") then the tag question is a positive one, and you use the positive form of the verb "do" or depending on the situation "be".
And the other way around: It always snows in Finland, doesn't it? (positive statement, negative tag question) Smile
other examples: It's sunny today, isn't it?

The statement is positive.

The statement is positive. It snows, but how often? Always, sometimes, never, --- ? Smile

agree to disagree :)

I understand your point of view, but I stick to my opinion. Adverbs like "never/seldom/hardly..." have a negative connotation. Even if the statement is positive, the adverb gives it a negative sense, so the tag question is positive.
ex: He never calls you, does he? I barely know you, do I?
but: He always calls you, doesn't he?

V. Good

I really like this site, it's simple.

Number 3!!

Hello Tristan, thanks for the lesson, I had a question but one member did it first so now it's clarified for me, Thanks for your attention!!