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Present Tense


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Present simple—Indicates a habitual action—something that is always true—for example, a train schedule or a scientific fact. This action does not actually need to occur at the moment of speaking.

Present continuous—An action that is occurring at the moment of speaking. Be careful while handling continual or habitual action verbs, "like to read", that are not essentially occurring at the moment of speaking exactly.

Present perfect—Refers to an action in the past that is connected to the moment of speaking. It does not necessarily mean that the action is still continuing, although in some cases, it does. Usually it is a past experience the speaker is using to demonstrate expertise on a subject.

Present perfect continuous—An action that began in the past and is still continuing. Always. Make a parallel between this tense and the present perfect.


Sample Usage

Usage of Present Simple :

I live in Paris.
(Generally speaking, I live in Paris.)
I teach English.
(Generally speaking, I teach English.)

He eats lobster.
(He generally enjoys eating lobster.)


Usage of Present continuous:

I am living in Paris.
(At the moment of speaking, I am living in Paris.)
I am teaching English.
(At the moment of speaking, I am instructing a class or student.)
I am eating lobster.
(Right now, as I speak, I am eating lobster.)


Usage of Present Perfect:

I have lived in Paris for ten years.
(Ten years ago, I moved to Paris and I am still here. In the past, for a period of ten years, I lived in Paris, and that experience is important to the moment of speaking. I can recommend some restaurants.)

I have taught English for ten years.
(Ten years ago, I began teaching English, and I still am today. In the past, for a period of ten years, I taught English, therefore I can help you with your homework.)

I have eaten lobster for ten years.
(I began eating lobster ten years ago, and I still eat it today. I have eaten lobster before. In the past, I ate lobster, and that is why I hate it.)


Usage of Present perfect continuous:

I have been teaching for ten years.(I began teaching ten years ago, and I still am teaching today.)



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