Present Tense

The present tense overwhelmingly depicts a present occasion or condition of being. Nevertheless, to some degree peculiarly, the present tense can likewise be utilized to represent past and future occasions.

Simple Present Tense

Rule: Subject+ Verb Ist form+ s, es + Object

a) To express a habitual action

e.g. I wake up everyday at 6 o’clock.

b) To express general truths

e.g. Ice melts if you take out of freezer.

c) In vivid narrative, as substitute for simple past

e.g. Liam now rushes forward and deals a heavy blow to Dave.

d) To express a future even that is part of a fixed timetable or fixed programme

e.g. The match starts at 9 o’clock

e) To introduce quotations

e.g. Keats says, ’A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.

f) It is used, instead of the simple Future Tense, in clauses of time and of condition

e.g. I shall wait till you finish your lunch.

Present Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject+ is, are, am + Verb Ist form+ ing + Object

a) For an action going on at the time of speaking

e.g. The boys are playing cricket.

b) For a temporary action which may not be actually happening at the time of speaking

e.g. I am reading “The Secret”.

c) For an action that has already been arranged to take place in the near future

e.g. I am going to Mumbai tonight.

Present Perfect Tense

Rule: Subject+ has, have + Verb IIIrd form + Object

a) To indicate completed activities in the immediate past

e.g. He has just completed his homework.

b) To express past action whose time is not definite

e.g. Hari has gone to London.

c) To describe past events when we think more of their effect in the present than of action itself

e.g. David has eaten all the cookies (i.e. there aren’t any left for you)

d) To denote an action beginning at some time in the past & continuing up to the present moment

e.g. He has been ill since last week.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Rule: Subject+ has/have +been +Verb Ist form+ ing + Object + time reference

a) To express an action which began at some time in the past and is still continuing

e.g. He has been working for 6 hours.

b) To express an action already finished. In such cases the continuity of the activity is emphasized as an explanation of something

e.g. ‘Why are your clothes so wet?’-‘I have been watering the plants.’

For Practice:

Find out the errors in each of the sentences:

  1. Before the alarm/had stopped ringing/Alish had pulled up/the shade/No error.

(i)                   (ii)                              (iii)                          (iv)                (v)

  1. I lived/here since 1980, / therefore I know everything/about this city/No error.

(i)                   (ii)                              (iii)                          (iv)                (v)

  1. The teacher said/to us that we/ should stay at home/if it rains/No error.

(i)                   (ii)                              (iii)                          (iv)                (v)

  1. I have been adoring/her for/the voice with/which she is gifted./No error

(i)                  (ii)                               (iii)                         (iv)                 (v)

  1. I have been/ working for this/ organization for/ the last ten years./No error

(i)                   (ii)                              (iii)                          (iv)                 (v)


  1. (ii)
  2. (i)
  3. (iv)
  4. (i)
  5. (v)

What is Tenses | Past Tense

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