Present Tense | Tense and Time

You have words in your head but can not make a sentence with them? Tense and Time can solve your problems after you master this chapter.

     For a non-English-speaking person, this is the most important topic of learning English grammar. 

Many students, sometimes, in the examination hall, know the answers, but they can’t express them properly in papers only because they cannot make a proper sentence due to less knowledge of Tense and Time.

    On the other hand, we often need to share our thoughts and feelings in English on social media, on blog-post etc. and face the same problem. Tense and time tells us how to arrange words while writing or speaking English.


Tense is actually the time of an action. In a sentence, only the action verb (or main verb) indicates the time of the action by its difference forms.
Tense can be divided into three categories.
  1. Past tense
  2. Present tense, 
  3. Future tense.

Each tense can further be divided into four subcategories:
  • Indefinite, 
  • Continuous or progressive, 
  • Perfect,
  • Perfect-continuous.

Present Tense

Present tense

Present tense includes any action that happened in the past and a state that existed in the past.

• I go to school. (Action)
• I is a student. (State of being)
The past tense is divided into four sections –
  • Present Indefinite, 
  • Present Continuous, 
  • Present Perfect, 
  • Present Perfect Continuous.

Present Indefinite or Simple Present Tense :

The base form of the main verb is used in a sentence of this tense. As-
“I write a letter” – in this sentence the verb 'write' is in base form (write), hence the tense of the action is a present tense.

• If the subject is a third person singular number, then an -s, or -es or -ies is used with the main verb.
He writes a letter. (Write > writes)
She catches the ball. (Catch > catches)
The bird flies in the sky. (Fly > flies)


Subject + verb (base form)  + object + others.

• I write a letter.
• He writes a letter.
Subject + do+not + verb (basic form) + object + others.
If the subject is a third person singular number, use does+not.
• I do not write a letter.
• He does not write a letter

Do + subject + verb (base form) + object + others + ?

• Do I write a letter?
• Does he write a letter?
Use a 'not'after do/does to make a negative of the interrogative.

• Do notwrite a letter?
• Does not he write a letter?

Read more: use of Do-verb.

Other examples –
We meet them.I do not like we work with them?
You talk aloud.They do not gamble.Do not they buy the car? 
She rides bike. He does not require motivation. Does not it work properly?

Present Continuous or Present Progressive Tense:

The main verb of this tense expresses an action which is going on at present.

In this case the main verb is with an ‘-ing’ as its suffix. And a be verb (am/is/are) is used before the main verb.

Ex- I am playing football.
-Here we can see the main verb play used in this time has an ‘-ing’ as its suffix. A be verb (am/is/are) is used before the main verb.

Syntax –

Subject + be verb + (main verb+ing) + object + others. 

• The baby is crying.
• I am writing a letter.
• They are playing football.
Subject + be verb + not + (main verb+ing) + object + others.

• I am not writing a letter.
• They are not writing a letter.

Use the be verb at the beginning to make it an interrogative. Like-
Be verb + subject + (main verb +ing) + object + ?.

• Is he reading the news paper?
• Are they sowing seeds?
Use a 'not'after the be verb or after the subject to make a negative of the interrogative.

• Are not you reading the news paper?
• Is Ramesh not playing cricket?

More examples:
I am playing football.we are not going to the house.Am I disturbing you?
You are going to do your own job.You are not making anyAre not you getting my point?
He is cooking.She is not watching TV.Is Roman not fighting with Sheamus?

Present Perfect Tense:

The main verb of this tense expresses an action that has just completed, but its consequence is still continuing or yet to take place.
[বর্তমানের কোনো একটি কাজ কিছুক্ষণ পূর্বে ঘটে গিয়েছে, কিন্তু তার ফলাফল এখনো বাকি আছে - এটা বোঝাতে হলে present perfect tense ব্যবহৃত হয়।]

Ex- I have written the letter.
-In this sentence, the  have verb (have/has) is followed by the past participle form of the main verb (write>written).


Subject + have/has + third form of the verb + object + others (+ before + another statement.)

• We have finished our papers.
• He has cleaned the floor.

Subject + have/has +not + third form of the verb + object + others.

• We have not finished our papers.
• I have not expected such behaviour from you.

Use the have verb at the beginning of the sentence.
Have/Has + subject + third form of the main verb + object + others + ?

• Have you read the instructions?
• Has Bimal written the application?

Use a not after have verb or after the subject.
Have/Has + not + subject + third form of the main verb + object + others + ?

• Has not he followed the instructions?
• Has Ronny not written the application?

Other examples-
I have finished my homework.We have not used the formula.Have you seen her before?
You have picked up the call.They have eaten the chicken.Has she opened the window?
He has made it too easy.Tony has not blown the whistle.Has she submitted the project in time?

Present Perfect Continuous or Present Perfect Progressive Tense:

   This tense carries the characteristics of both past perfect and past continuous tense. 
As in “I have been supporting the party for ten years” , there is a have verb (have/has) followed by the third form of the verb ‘be’ (been). So it has the features of perfect tense.

   Again, the be, which has become beenitself is the be-verb and so the succeeding main verb support took an -ing. So, we see, the sentence has features of a continuous tense too.

   Hence it is called present perfect continuous tense.



Subject + have/has + been + (verb+ing) + object + for/since + time + others.

• He has been living here for three months.
Subject + have/has + not + been + (verb+ing) + object + for/since + time + others.

• He has not been living here for three months.

The has/have is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
Had + subject + been + (main verb+ing) + object + others + ?

• Has Bimal been living there for three months?

Use a not after have verb or after the subject.
Had + not + subject + been + (main verb+ing) + object + others + ?

• Has not Bimal been living there for three months?

Other examples:
I have been reading for two hours.He has not been living here for three months.Have you been taking tea since last Monday?
She has been working for the children’s welfare since 2013.They have not been playing for two years.Has John not been talking since 5 o’clock?
We have been requesting the land-lord since morning.I have not been sleeping for five hours?Have not you been cheating me for three years?

Read more: Past tense.

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