Learning how to use the present tense in English is the right way to understand and apply all the other tenses used in the language.
The first thing is to assume that the present tense in English has four forms:
- Present simple: I work
- Present continuous: I’m working
- Present perfect: I have worked
- Present perfect continuous: I have been working
Now we see more examples of the use of each of these forms. Let’s start with the present simple:
The present simple:
Lionel Messi is the captain of Argentina’s national soccer team.
The present continuous:
Lionel Messi is playing for Argentina’s national soccer team.
The present perfect:
Lionel Messi has played soccer since he was 5 years old.
The present perfect continuous:
Lionel Messi has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old.
These present forms also serve to talk about something that will happen in the future:
He is meeting Claudia in London tomorrow.
You will be tired after working all week.
On the other hand, when we speak at a more advanced level of English, we can use the present tense forms to talk about the past.
For example, when we relate an event:
I’m sitting in the park and suddenly I see that my car is moving on its own and I wonder what’s going on?
Want to learn more about the present tense in English?
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