Rules and examples of the present tense in English

Review of all Present Tenses in practice

The Present Tense: A Practical Guide with 20 Test Questions

The present tense is a fundamental aspect of English grammar. It allows us to express actions, habits, and states of being that occur in the current moment, as well as those that are habitual or timeless. To become proficient in English, a solid grasp of present tenses is essential.

Let’s go over each of the Present Tenses (Present Simple, Present Continuous, Present Perfect, Present Perfect Continuous) in detail.

Present Simple (Present Indefinite)

  • Formation:
    • Positive sentences: Subject + base form of the verb (add “-s” or “-es” for third person singular).
      • Example: She works at a bank.
    • Negative sentences: Subject + do not (don’t) / does not (doesn’t) + base form of the verb.
      • Example: They don’t like coffee.
    • Questions: Do / Does + subject + base form of the verb?
      • Example: Do you speak English?
  • Usage:
    • Used for routine actions, facts, general truths, schedules, and programs.
      • Example: She goes to work at 8 AM every day.

Present Continuous (Present Progressive)

  • Formation:
    • Positive sentences: Subject + am/is/are + base form of the verb + -ing.
      • Example: They are watching a movie.
    • Negative sentences: Subject + am not (I’m not) / is not (isn’t) / are not (aren’t) + base form of the verb + -ing.
      • Example: She isn’t studying right now.
    • Questions: Am / Is / Are + subject + base form of the verb + -ing?
      • Example: Are you listening to music?
  • Usage:
    • Describes actions happening at the moment of speaking or planned for the future.
      • Example: I am reading a book at the moment.

Present Perfect

  • Formation:
    • Positive sentences: Subject + have/has + past participle form of the verb.
      • Example: She has visited Paris.
    • Negative sentences: Subject + have not (haven’t) / has not (hasn’t) + past participle form of the verb.
      • Example: They haven’t eaten lunch yet.
    • Questions: Have / Has + subject + past participle form of the verb?
      • Example: Have you ever been to Japan?
  • Usage:
    • Used for actions or states that happened in the past but have a connection to the present moment.
      • Example: I have lived in this city for five years.

Present Perfect Continuous

  • Formation:
    • Positive sentences: Subject + have/has been + base form of the verb + -ing.
      • Example: They have been working on this project for hours.
    • Negative sentences: Subject + have/has not been + base form of the verb + -ing.
      • Example: She hasn’t been studying all day.
    • Questions: Have / Has + subject + been + base form of the verb + -ing?
      • Example: Have you been waiting long?
  • Usage:
    • Describes ongoing actions that started in the past and continue up to the present moment.
      • Example: They have been playing football since morning.

Present Tenses Test

In this guide, we’ll delve into the nuances of the present tense, from the simple Present Simple to the dynamic Present Perfect Continuous. In addition, we offer a set of 20 test questions designed to strengthen your understanding and application of these tenses.

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Review of all Present Tenses in practice

Practice. Present Tenses Test

Look! The cat ___ your cutlet.

I’m taking my sister out as she ___ any sun for a long time.

I ___ home for lunch on Mondays. I have lunch in the canteen.

What place ___ the youth of our country occupy in all branches now?

I ___ never ___ him before.

You ___ always ___ your things. Put them into their bag.

What ___ the president ___?

-He ___ a contract.

“Little boy”, said a man, “why do you carry that umbrella over your head? It ___ and the sun ___”

Who goes sightseeing?

I usually ___ a blouse and jeans at home, but today I ___ on a new dress.

Who often has dinner at the canteen?

Westminster Abbey is the ancient old church in which the coronation ceremonies of almost all English kings and queens ___ place.

He ___ ill for three months already.

This is the most interesting film I ___ ever ___.

Paul ___ a student of Cambridge University.

It is 8.30. Ben and Ann ___ breakfast

What ___ you ___ since I saw you last?

She ___ a journalist nowadays.

“Nobody ___ in that country,” said Pinocchio to his friend.

You look pale. You ___ too hard these days

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