Uses of the Four Forms of Present Tense

Present Tense is used to denote activities that are taking place in  the past either completed or in continuation, depending on the particular context of usage.Today, we shall be discussing in details the usage and functions of the various forms of Present Tense.

Each Present Tense form offers a slightly different perspective and meaning, allowing us to express the complexities of time in a linear and non-linear fashion.

A. Present Simple Tense

This is used to describe permanent or universal truths, general statement of facts, habitual actions and definite arrangements.

The Simple Present is eternal and timeless in its context.

Sentence Structure: Subject + V1 (-s /-es) in case of third person Singular.


1. To extend advice or  give instruction

Example: You walk straight upto the front office and ask for the Chairman.

You take a left turn, cross the flyover and reach your destination.

2. To express habitual actions.

Example: I go for a walk everyday.

We brush our teeth twice a day.

3. To express general Truths.

Example: The suns rises in the East.

4. As a part of Narrative / Commentary style.

Example: The batsman hits the ball straight out of the stadium for a six.

                The defender saves another penalty for his team.


B. Present Continuous / Progressive Tense.

Structure: Subject = am/is/are +V4.


1. This is used to indicate all such activities which are actually ongoing at present.

Example: I am watching a movie.

We are going to the school.

2. It is also used to indicate all activities which may not actually be taking place right now, in the present but is ongoing and has not been completed.

Example: Now a days, I am working on my new novel.

We are taking a new French class to enhance our prospects.

3. It is also used with the adverb of time to express an activity that is planned or scheduled to take place in future.

Example: We are leaving for France next summer.

C. Present Perfect Tense

Structure: Subject has/have +V3.


1.  Actions that have happened in the past with strong probability of recurring in the future.

Examples:  We have eaten at the restaurant across the street once or twice.

My dad has traveled to Delhi several times in the last few months.

2. Actions that may have initiated in the past, are continuing in the present and may do so in future.

Examples: We have lived in the locale for a long time.

The children have fallen sick after consuming expired food items.

3. Actions which have recently taken place with a strong bearing on present scenario.

Example: The doctor has checked the patient and she can now be released.



D. Present Perfect  Continuous/ Progressive Tense

Structure: Subject + have/has + been +V4.


1.  Actions that have started in the past, continue at present andmay go on in future.

Examples:  We have been living in this city for about 10 years now.

The exam has been going on for two hours.

2. Actions that have happened but recently.

Examples: You have been telling a lie.

I have been studying all night.

English Grammar and Composition

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