Tag: Tense

What is the Present Perfect tense?

Present perfect tense (I have been, she has played…)

Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.

The simple present perfect is despite its name one of the most difficult times to master but this lesson should enlighten you a little. The best way to remember how to use the perfect present is to practice making sentences and repeating them.

1/ Construction

Has / Have + past participle

  • Affirmative sentence:   subject + has / have + past participle
  • Negative sentence:   subject + has / have + NOT + past participle
  • Questioning sentence:   has / have + subject + past participle
 Affirmative Negative Question
 I / you / we / they    I have played  I have not played  Have I played ?_
 he / she / it   He has played_  He has not played_  Has he played ?_


* have and has are often contracted (I’ve been, he’s been…). In the negative form, it gives: He’s not been / He hasn’t been  and  You’ve not been / You haven’t been

* The past participle of regular English verbs ends with -ed (canceled, worked…), as in the past simple/prétérit.

But there are many irregular verbs to learn by heart that do not end in -ed!

2/ Use of the present perfect in English

We use the present perfect tense to talk about an action that happened before an unspecified time but that is related to the present.

The present perfect can be used in the following situations:

* To talk about an action recently carried out:

  • I’ve lost my keys.
  • I have bought a new car.
  • I’ve prepared dinner. 
  • Have you seen my pen ? No, I haven’t seen it.
  • We’ve missed the bus. 
  • He’s hurt his finger.

* We can also add’just’ or’already’, to talk about something that has just happened:

  • Something has just happened.
  • They’ve just arrived.
  • We’ve already met.

* To talk about our experiences. We don’t say when exactly it happened but we can use non-specific time expressions like:

before / so far / until now / up to now / ever (?) / never (-) / once / twice / many times / several times 

  • Have you ever been to China ? => No, I’ve never been to China before. But I’ve been to India three times.

* With since, to talk about changes that have occurred since a specific time:

  • Paris has changed a lot since the last time I’ve been there.
  • My japanese has improved since I moved to Tokyo.

* With for, to talk about a certain period or duration (two hours, three years, five months…):

  • I’ve known Sam for seven years.
  • I’ve been thirsty for hours.

* With yet, to talk about an incomplete action (only in negative sentences or questions):

  • Have you read the book yet?
  • I haven’t paid my rent yet.
  • She hasn’t arrived yet.

* With so far, until now or up to now to tell how something has happened so far:

  • I’ve just visited Sydney and Melbourne so far.
  • Until now I’ve lived in two countries. 

* With an unfinished period of time (recently, today, this week, this month, in the last year)

  • I haven’t seen him this week.
  • She has drunk three cups of coffee today.
  • Have you heard from Tina recently ?
  • I’ve visited a lot of places in the last few days.

3/ Notes

👉 We can’t use the perfect present with a finished period of time (three hours ago, friday 13th, last year, 2013, yesterday…):

  • I’ve seen her yesterday.
  • I’ve been to Japan last year.

👉 I didn’t or I haven’t?

  • I didn’t eat breakfast this morning (= the morning is over and I haven’t had breakfast)
  • I haven’t eaten breakfast this morning (= It’s still morning and I might have breakfast later.)

👉 Been to

We use been to that the person we are talking about has visited and returned from a place (a life experience):

  • He has been to school today.
  • I’ve been to South Korea.
  • They’ve never been to India.

👉 has gone to and has been to have different meanings! been to is used to describe the experience, gone to means that the person has already left or is currently at the place we are talking about:

  • Bob has gone to London (= Bob is in London or he’s going to London.)
  • Bob has been to London (= Bob went to London, and he came back from there)

👉 Have + Had:

  • They’ve had (= they have had) many problems with the car this month.
  • I’ve had (= I have had) three cups of coffee today.
  • He’s had (= He has had) a cold for a week.


Present simple VS Present continuous

Present simple or Present continuous lesson pdf

Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.

You have seen in the first two lessons the simple present and the continuous present (or Be+ing present). But how to distinguish them? Which one to use in which situation? I go or I am going?


We use the simple present for things that happen in general and not really in time, or that happen frequently or permanently:

  • It rains a lot in autumn.
  • They learn mathematics in college.
  • He works in a factory.
  • My brother lives in Spain.
  • He usually eats pizzas at the restaurant.
  • She sleeps late at night.

BUT we use the continuous present (be+ing) to talk about something that is happening around the moment we are talking and that is not yet finished, but also to talk about temporary situations:

  • It’s raining a lot this afternoon.
  • I am learning french now.
  • He is working late today.
  • My brother is living in Spain until next month.
  • He is eating a pizza for lunch.
  • She’s sleeping in the living room.

Note: there are verbs that are not normally conjugated to the continuous present tense (no be+ing here) !

love / like / hate / understand / need /believe /  want / prefer / contain / mean / suppose / consist / seem / belong / know / remember / see / hear / smell / taste / guess / agree

  • He always wants to eat sandwiches. (NOT ‘He’s always wanting to eat sandwiches’)
  • What do you need ? (NOT ‘What are you needing ?’)
  • The room smells bad. (NOT ‘The room is smelling bad’)
  • They like this movie. (NOT ‘They are liking this movie’)
  • She understand spanish very well. (NOT ‘She is understanding spanish very well’)
  • He seems very happy. (NOT ‘He is seeming very happy’)
  • This cake tastes really good. (NOT ‘This cake is tasting really good’)

There are some exceptions like think

  • I’m thinking.
  • I think it’s very bad.

… but also feel and look, only with -ing as we speak:

  • How do you feel now ?   OR   How are you feeling now?
  • You look good tonight !   OR   You’re looking good tonight!


What is the present progressive tense?

What is the present progressive tense?

Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.

The “present continuous” is also called “present progressive” or present in be + ing”.

We use it to express something that happens while we are talking, an action in progress (or in progress).


The verb to be conjugated in the present tense (Be) + the verbal basis of the verb that interests us to which we add the ending -ing :

subject + am / is / are + verbal basis + ing

  • I am doing
  • he / she / it is going
  • we / you / they are working

The contracted form of Be is often used:

  • I’m doing. She’s going. We’re working.

What is the purpose of the continuous present (or progressive present)?

BE + ING is used to express:

An action that is happening as we speak and that is not yet over:

  • Linda is making a cake now.
  • He’s listening to the radio.

Something planned for the near future and for which the date is already set:

  • He is going to London on Friday.
  • He’s visiting his family this week-end.

A temporary action:

  • Her mother is working in Rome this month.
  • He’s staying at his friend’s place tonight.

An action that takes time and takes place as we speak:

  • My brother is preparing for his exams.

A trend, a fashion or a change that is happening now or these days:   

  • More and more people are using internet to watch movies.

Repeated actions that irritate/make angry (with always, constantly, forever):

  • Nathan is always coming late.
  • Tina is constantly smoking.

Ongoing actions that do not necessarily happen as we speak:

  • I’m reading a good book at the moment.
  • John is at University. He’s studying biology.
  • What is she doing these days?

When we talk about changes that are happening now, we often use the following verbs with the continuous present tense:

become / start / rise / get / grow / begin / fall / improve / increase / decrease / change

  • The population of Japan is decreasing. 
  • This situation is getting worse.
  • Your english is getting better every day.
  • The cost of living are rising every year.
  • The world is changing very fast.

The negative form:

Just add NOT between the auxiliary and the verb:

  • I am not watching a movie. (or I’m not…)
  • He / she / it is not watching a movie. (or He’s not…)
  • We / you / they are not watching a movie. (or We’re not…)

Ex: I’m not eating at the restaurant for lunch. He’s not listening to the radio anymore.

The interrogative form:

Easy! we put the auxiliary before the subject:

  • Am I watching a movie?
  • Is he / she / it watching a movie?
  • Are we / you / they watching a movie?

Ex: Are you working on your computer now?

In general, continuous present is easy since it is simply necessary to add -ing to the verbal base:

  • Go  Going 

But beware of some verbs that change when you add -ing to the verbal base:

Doubling of consonants:

  • sit : he is sitting
  • put : he is putting
  • travel : travelling
  • get : getting

Verbs ending in -e:

You have to remove the -e at the end and replace it with -ing:

  • write : he is writing
  • take : he is taking
  • drive: she’s driving

Verbs ending with two ‘e’ do not change!

  • see : she is seeing ( = she’s seeing)
  • pee: he is peeing ( = he is peeing)

Verbs that end in -ie:

It is necessary to replace the’ie’ by ‘y’.

  • lie : he is lying ( = he’s lying)
  • die: he is dying ( = he’s dying)

Verbs that end in -c

It is necessary to change the ‘c’ to ‘ck’.

  • picnic : he is picnicking
  • panic : he’s panicking

We often use be+ing when we have the following words in the sentence, at the moment we speak:

  • Now
  • At the moment
  • Today
  • These days
  • This week
  • This year 
  • Recently
  • Lately
  • Listen!
  • Look!


What is the simple present tense?

What is simple present tense?

Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.

The present simple in English

In this lesson we will look at the use and conjugation of the simple present in English.

We use the simple present in English to talk about things in general, to express a scientific fact, a general truth, a permanent situation, a usual or frequent action:

  • I live in France. 
  • She comes from Argentina. 
  • The supermarket opens at 8.30 in the morning. 
  • He gets up early on monday. 
  • The sun rises in the East.
  • We study geography three times a week.

1/ Formation

We simply use the verb to which we add the ending -s in the 3rd person singular:

  • I like football and my father likes tennis.
  • I live in France but my sister lives in England.

⚠️ When the verb ends with –s, -x, -sh, -sh, -ch, or -o, we add –es at the end:

  • I go => He goes
  • I do => He does
  • I watch => He watches
  • I wash => He washes

⚠️ Be careful, when the verb ends with a consume + y, the -y must be replaced by -ies:

  • I worry => He worries
  • I try => He tries
  • I apply => He applies
  • I copy => He copies
  • I cry => He cries
  • I carry => He carries

⚠️ If the verb ends with a vowel + y, it is the same as for all other verbs. It is just necessary to add an -s in the 3rd person singular (he / she / it):

  • I buy => He buys
  • I pay => He pays
  • I say => He says
  • I play => He plays

⚠️He can or He cans? => Modal verbs do not change in the third person singular!

  • I can => He can (NOT ‘He cans’)
  • I could => He could
  • I would => He would
  • I should => He should

To make an interrogative sentence

The DO auxiliary at the beginning of the sentence should be used at the beginning of the sentence:

do I / we / you / they work ?
does he / she / it work ?

Be careful, no -s at the end of the verb in the third person singular when it is an interrogative sentence!

  • Do you come from France ? (NOT ‘Do you comes from France?’)
  • Does it rain ? (NOT ‘Does it rains ?’)

⚠️ We can also add a question word at the beginning of the question (what, why…), followed by DO and the verb WITHOUT -S TO THE THIRD PERSON OF THE SINGULAR!

  • What does it mean ? (NOT ‘What does it means ?’)
  • Where do you live?
  • What does he like?
  • When do they start?

To make a negative sentence

The auxiliary do must be used in the present simple and negative form, i. e. DO / DOES + NOT or the contracted form DON’T / DOESN’T :

I / we / you / they don’t work (= do not work).
he / she / it doesn’t work (= does not work).

  • She doesn’t speak french (= She does not speak french).
  • I don’t go to the restaurant very often.
  • I don’t like hamburgers.
  • It doesn’t snow in Thailand.
  • He does not live in Paris (= He doesn’t live in Paris).

⚠️ DO is sometimes the main verb:

  • What do you do?
  • He doesn’t do anything to help us.

2/ Utilisation

* The following verbs are often used in the simple present tense to suggest, express feelings, opinions, will, give opinions or express appearances:

I apologise / I advise / I want / I insist / I like / I love / I know / I hate / I agree / I refuse / I think / I remember / I believe / I need / I seem / I look

  • I promise I will clean my room.
  • I want to go to New York for Christmas.
  • He seems to be a nice guy.
  • I don’t believe in ghosts.
  • I apologise for what I did.
  • They hate dogs.
  • I suggest we go out for a walk.
  • My mum looks angry today.
  • Kat knows how to play the guitar.

* To express the frequency and say how often we do certain things:

  • I play football every day.
  • I start my job at 9am every morning.
  • How often do you go to the supermarket ?
  • Tom doesn’t drink beer very often.
  • Linda usually goes abroad two or three times a year.

* You can also use a frequency adverb with the simple present:

Never / Rarely / Ever / Often / Always / Sometimes / Usually / Once a week / Twice a day / Every friday / Four times a year

Be careful to place it before the verb:

  • He never goes to the restaurant. (NOT ‘He goes never to the restaurant’)
  • I often go to the cinema. (NOT ‘I go often to the cinema’)
  • Do you always eat pizzas ? 
  • sometimes play football.

Sometimes and Usually can also be put at the beginning of a sentence:

  • Sometimes I play tennis with my brother.
  • Usually, I meet my friends on saturday.