ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Learning English as a Foreign Language - The Present Tenses

Updated on January 17, 2014
Source

Are you learning English as a foreign language or teaching it?

This article will help you understand the present tenses in English grammar. It will show you in what situations to use which tense and how they are formed.

The Present Simple


1. Facts – Storks migrate every year.

2. Routines – I drink water every day.

3. Present story narrative – So I cover up the present just as she is walking through the door.

4. Directions – Take the first right at the T-junction.

5. Articles in the media – Jack the Ripper strikes again!

6. Commentaries – Ronaldo snatches the ball right from under their noses and sends it flying into the back of the net.

7.Habits – He always sings in the shower.


Affirmative: Subject + base form

Negative: Subject + auxiliary verb do not/does not + base form

Interrogative: Auxiliary verb do/does + subject + base form


Contractions

You can contract the auxiliary verbs. People usually contract when speaking.

Does not - doesn’t

Do not – don’t


Third Person Singular Spelling Rules

With 3rd person singular add ‘s’ to the base form – It eats meat

If the verb ends in ‘y’, remove the ‘y’ and add ‘ies’ – He studies English

If the verb ends in ‘ch, sh, s, x, z, o’ add ‘es’ – She watches TV

Irregular verbs: To Have, To Be.

How to form the present simple

Subject
Affirmative
Negative
Interrogative
I
go
don't go
Do I go?
You
go
don't go
Do you go?
He/She/It
goes
doesn't go
Does he/she/it go?
We
go
don't go
Do we go?
They
go
don't go
Do they go?
Source

Present Continuous

1. Actions happening at the time of speaking – I’m doing my homework now, call I call you back later?

2. Temporary actions, continuing for limited period of time but not necessarily happening at the time of speaking – I am doing a TESOL course at the moment

3. Future Arrangements – We’re going to the mountains this weekend

4. Trends – The developing countries are finding it more difficult to cope.

5. Very frequent actions – They are always arguing.


Affirmative: Subject + auxiliary verb To Be + verb +ing

Negative: Subject + auxiliary verb To Be + not + verb +ing

Interrogative: Auxiliary verb To Be + subject + verb +ing


Contractions

In spoken English people contract the verb To Be in this way:

I am - I’m

You are - You’re

He is - He’s

She is - She’s

It is - It’s

We are - We’re

They are - They’re


*Remember! We don't normally use state verbs in the continuous form -

I'm preferring wine to beer - Wrong

I prefer wine to beer - Right

How to form the present continuous

Subject
Auxiliary Affirmative / Negative
Main Verb + ing
I
am / am not
walking
You
are / are not
dreaming
She
is / is not
watching
He
is / is not
having
It
is / is not
doing
We
are / are not
playing
They
are / not
listening
 
 
 
Auxiliary - Interrogative
Subject
Main Verb
Am
I
going?
Are
you
shouting?
Is
she
speaking?
Is
he
arguing?
Is
it
barking?
Are
we
working?
Are
they
finishing?

The Present Tenses - Learning English as a Foreign Language

Source

Present Perfect

1. To describe something that happened recently – She’s just had a baby.

2. Something that started in the past and has a connection with the present – I’ve lost my keys (I still can’t find them).

3. Unfinished time period – Avalanches have killed many people on Mount Everest (and will continue to kill many more).

4. Time period being described is not of importance – I’ve been to France.


Affirmative: Subject + auxiliary verb Have/Has + past participle

Negative: Subject + auxiliary verb Have/Has + not + past participle

Interrogative: Auxiliary verb Have/Has + subject + past participle


The Past Participle

With regular verbs we form the past participle by adding ‘ed’ to the base verb, much the same way as the past simple. With irregular verbs you must simply learn the past participle as they do not follow the same rules.

Contractions

In spoken English native speakers contract the auxiliary verb To Have in this way:

I have - I’ve

You have - You’ve

She has - She’s

He has - He’s

It has - It’s

We have - We’ve

You have - You’ve

They have - They’ve


Subject
Auxiliary Affirmative / Negative
Main Verb
I
have / haven't
been
You
have / haven't
gone
He
has / hasn't
walked
She
has / hasn't
looked
It
has / hasn't
run
We
have / haven't
done
They
have / haven't
flown
 
 
 
Auxiliary Interrogative
Subject
Main Verb
Have
I
made
Have
you
seen
Has
he
climbed
Has
she
heard
Has
it
learned
Have
we
spoken
Have
they
asked
Source

Present Perfect Continuous

1. To describe something ongoing that has stopped or recently stopped – Your clothes are dirty, have you been working in the garden?

2. To describe an action that happened repeatedly over a period of time, and is likely to continue – They are going to that beach; they’ve been going there for years.


Affirmative: Subject + auxiliary verb Have/Has + been + verb + ing

Negative: Subject + auxiliary verb Have/Has + not + verb + ing

Interrogative: Auxiliary verb Have/Has + subject + been + verb + ing


Contractions

You can contract the auxiliary verb Have/Has in the same way as the present perfect mentioned above. Past participles follow the same rules as above.

How to form the present perfect continuous

Subject
Auxiliary Affirmative / Negative
Been
Verb + ing
I
have / haven't
been
studying
You
have / haven't
been
visiting
She
has / hasn't
been
running
He
has / hasn't
been
jumping
It
has / hasn't
been
eating
We
have / haven't
been
swimming
They
have / haven't
been
crying
 
 
 
 
Auxiliary Interrogative
Subject
Been
Verb + ing
Have
I
been
writing?
Have
you
been
fighting?
Has
she
been
cleaning?
Has
he
been
trying?
Has
it
been
drinking?
Have
we
been
thinking?
Have
they
been
laughing?

More Teaching Articles

If you liked Learning English as a Foreign Language - The Present Tenses, you may also find the following articles useful:




© 2013 Muttface

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Muttface profile imageAUTHOR

      Muttface 

      5 years ago from Portugal

      Thanks for reading Jainismus!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      5 years ago from Pune, India

      Well explained Hub, it is useful for many. Thank you for sharing it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)