Present Tense: Definition, Structure & Examples
Tenses demonstrate the time of an action in a sentence usually performed by or centered around the subject of the sentence. The actions are called verbs. Verbs change according to tenses and other issues. As verbs are the most important elements of English sentences, tenses also carry paramount importance in English grammar.
Tenses are mainly categorized into three types.
1. Present Tense
2. Past Tense
3. Future Tense
Each of the types of tenses has four different forms.
- Present Indefinite Tense
- Present Progressive (Continuous) Tense
- Present Perfect Tense
- Present Perfect Progressive (Continuous)
Definition of Tense:
Tense denotes to the time of an action or event. It describes when the work is done, i.e. in the present, the past, or the future.
There are three types of Tenses.
- Present Tense
- Past Tense
- Future Tense.
Definition of Present Tense:
Present Tense represents actions which occur in the present.
Examples of Present Tense:
- Rock wants to sing.
- Bill writes the letters.
- Peter is coming to our place.
- Bob has given the book to Allen.
- I am going to the varsity.
- Aric loves to read books.
- Lisa has been living in this area for twenty years.
- The singer is singing nicely.
- The program is going on smoothly.
- Alice prefers coffee to tea.
- Alana attends the class every day.
- Tom is talented enough to do the task.
- Rick is upset.
- Richard is interested to perform in the program.
- The movie is fantastic.
- The detective book is thrilling.
- The actor is talented.
- We are excited to go to the picnic.
- We have been trying to solve the problem for two hours.
- Patrick is going to the library.
Present tense is of four types:
- Present Indefinite Tense Examples
- Present Continuous tense Examples
- Present Perfect Tense Examples
- Present Perfect Continuous Tense Examples
Present Indefinite Tense
The present indefinite tense, also known as simple present tense, denotes a stative or habitual or eternally true action.
Generally simple present tense is used to indicate an action which happens – always, regularly, every day, daily, normally, generally, usually, occasionally, sometimes, often, rarely, frequently, nowadays, naturally, seldom, constantly, never, every a week, every year, once a year, on a week, at times, at present, now and then, or all the time.
|Subject (third person singular number) + verb in simple present form + s/es + . . . . .|
|Subject (all other kinds) + verb in simple present form + . . . . .|
Note: When ‘be’ verbs work as the main verb in a sentence, they are different from the above structures.
|First||I am a good cricket player.||We are good cricket players.|
|Second||You are an irresponsible person.||You all are always irresponsible.|
|Third||The earth is smaller than Jupiter.||Junk foods are not good for health.|
There are some stative verbs which are usually used in simple tenses whether present or past or future.
The stative verbs are:
- I know Billy Bob.
- He understands it.
- They love swinging in the park.
- Some people do not believe in God.
- I usually wake up at 6.00 AM.
- He plays cricket, but his brother plays football.
- Earth is bigger than Mercury.
- The heat of the sun is the least in the polar.
Definition of Present Indefinite Tense:
Present Indefinite Tense represents an action which is regular or normal or true and uses the base form of the verb. In case of the third person singular number, ‘s or es’ is added with the verb.
Examples of Present Indefinite Tense:
- I write articles on different topics.
- He reads various kinds of books.
- They love to play football.
- She prefers coffee to tea.
- He goes to the library every day.
- We come for shopping in this market.
- We watch movies in this Cineplex.
- You always shop in that market.
- I sing different kinds of songs, especially modern.
- I love to listen to melodious songs.
- He loves to travel around the world.
- They always play cricket in that field.
- The poet writes romantic poems.
- The lyricist writes realistic songs.
- Do you love to listen to realistic songs?
- I do not like to quarrel.
- I am a peace-loving person.
- I know how to protest against injustice.
- Do you like to watch cricket?
- I love my parents and my elder brother.
Present Progressive (Continuous) Tense
The present progressive is used to indicate the ongoing time (now). However, the stative verbs do not usually take the form of present progressive even though they refer to the present time.
Now, continually, perpetually, at this moment, at the moment, right now, This season, this year, forever, etc. are usually the signs of a verb to take present progressive tense. However, these signs are not necessary all the time for a verb to present progressive tense.
|Subject + am/is/are + verb + ing + . . . . . . . . .|
- I am going to the college field.
- He is coming here for some tips.
- They are making a basketball ground.
- Why are you working in that horrible place?
- Four teams are playing at this moment.
This structure is also used to demonstrate future time.
- Alex is leaving for Portugal tomorrow.
- I am going to complete my task tomorrow.
- Our bus is leaving at 6.00 PM.
- They are flying to Australia next month.
Definition of Present Continuous Tense
Present Continuous Tense narrates an action which is being continued or going to be continued in the near future. It uses am/is/are and “ing” is added with the verb.
Examples of Present Continuous Tense:
- I am writing articles on different topics.
- He is reading various kinds of books.
- They are playing football now.
- She is drinking coffee.
- He is going to the library.
- We are coming for shopping in this market.
- We are watching a movie in this Cineplex.
- You are shopping in that market.
- I am singing different kinds of songs, especially modern.
- I am listening to melodious songs.
- He is traveling around the world.
- They are playing cricket in that field.
- The poet is writing romantic poems.
- The lyricist is writing realistic songs.
- Are you listening to realistic songs?
- I am not quarreling with you.
- Are you coming to our home?
- I am helping him to do the task.
- My mom is cooking beef with cabbage.
- Are you watching cricket on television?
Present Perfect Tense
The present perfect tense is used when one intends to indicate:
- an action that occurred at a time which is indefinite and has its effect on the subject
- or an action that occurred many times and has the possibility to occur in the present/future
- or an action that began in the past and still going on in the present.
|Subject + have/has + verb in the past participle form + . . . . . . .|
- Alex has read the book through. (No time is indicated)
- I have read this poem many times. (Not habitual but occurred many times in the past)
- He has lived in this apartment for 15 years. (Still going on)
Just, already, yet, just now, ever, lately, recently, etc. are some of the signs for present perfect tense.
Note: Already comes between have/has and the past participle; yet appears with a negative form at the end of the sentence.
- Alex has already reached there.
- Alex has not reached yet.
- I have already cleaned the house.
- I have not cleaned the house yet.
Definition of Present Perfect Tense
Present Perfect tense represents the work which has been done but the effect of which still exists. It uses ‘have/has’ and the past participle form of the verb.
Examples of Present Perfect Tense
- I have written articles on different topics.
- He has read various kinds of books.
- They have played football.
- She has taken coffee.
- He has gone to the library.
- We have shopped in this market.
- We have watched movies in this Cineplex.
- You have shopped in that market.
- I have sung different kinds of songs, especially modern.
- I have listened to melodious songs.
- He has traveled around the world.
- They have played cricket in that field.
- The poet has written romantic poems.
- The lyricist has written realistic songs.
- Have you listened to realistic songs?
- I have not quarreled with you.
- Have you been to this place before?
- I have helped him to do the task.
- My mom has cooked beef with cabbage.
- I have watched the cricket match on television.
Present Perfect Progressive (Continuous)
It is the least used form of present tense. Present perfect progressive is used to indicate an action that began in the past and is still occurring in the present. Both present perfect and present perfect continuous can be used to indicate this type of action.
|Subject + have/has + been + [verb + ing] + . . . . . .|
- Alex has been reading for 3 years.
- I have been sleeping since 10.00 AM
- Robert has been working in that shop for 6 years.
- We have been living together for four years.
Definition of Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Present Perfect Continuous tense represents the work which started in the past and is still running. It uses “have been/has been” and “ing” is added with the verb.
Examples of Present Perfect Continuous Tense
- I have been writing articles on different topics since morning.
- He has been reading the book for two hours.
- They have been playing football for an hour.
- She has been finding the dress since morning.
- He has been studying in the library for three hours.
- We have been shopping at this fair for two hours.
- We have been watching a movie in this Cineplex for two hours.
- You have been shopping in that market for three hours.
- I have been singing different kinds of songs, especially modern.
- I have been listening to melodious songs for an hour.
- He has been traveling around the world for a month.
- They have been playing cricket in that field for five hours.
- The poet has been writing romantic poems for several hours.
- The lyricist has been writing realistic songs since the beginning of his career.
- Have you been listening to realistic songs since morning?
- I have not been watching the cricket match for an hour.
- Have you been preparing the assignment for two hours?
- I have been helping him to do the task for an hour.
- My mom has been cooking for three hours.
- I have been watching the concert for an hour.