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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.