Present Tense: Definition & Structure


The present tense indicates an ongoing action, something that regularly happens.

Types of Present Tense:

  • Present Indefinite Tense.
  • Present Progressive (Continuous) Tense.
  • Present Perfect Tense.
  • Present Perfect Progressive (Continuous).


Present Indefinite Tense:

This is a simple present tense, describing an action that is currently happening.


Subject+ verb in present tense+


Person/Number Singular Plural
First I am studying Computer Science. We are studying Computer Science.
Second You are an exceptional writer. They are exceptional writers.
Third This laptop is used by an employee. These laptops are used by the employees.

Stative verbs are not always used in the continuous form, they represent the state instead of the action. Example:

Wish Concern Belong to Owe
Hear Include Need Satisfy
Believe Understand Recognize Hate
Imagine Matter Equal Contain



  • Her wish was fulfilled on her birthday.
  • Showing concern was all that was required.
  • John always imagined having a sports car.
  • Human beings need water and oxygen.


Present Progressive (Continuous) Tense:

Present progressive describes the ongoing time. Stative verbs do no take the form of present progressive tense despite referring to the present time.

Some of the words that indicate present progressive tenses are:

This time, running year, at this moment, etc.


Subject+ to be verb + ing+



  • This is a good restaurant.
  • I am not so good at programming.
  • We are planning a picnic.

The above structure also defines something about to happen in the future:

  • I am traveling abroad for my vacations.
  • Our class starts at 12 PM.
  • They are graduating next month.


Present Perfect Tense:

The past perfect tense is used to indicate something that has happened previously but the timing is unknown and it is likely to affect the subject, or when something is being carried out since again and again and will occur again at some time in the future. Even an action that begun in the past and it’s still going on.


Subject+ has/have+ past participle form of verb



  • I have watched that movie once. (No time specified).
  • They have shown the highlights of this match several times. (Happened many times).
  • He joined the office last month. (Occurred in the past, still going on).

Some words that indicate a present perfect tense are:

Already, Sometime, Recently, etc.



  • The target has already been achieved, we can end the sales for today.
  • The target has not been achieved yet.
  • I have already had my dinner.
  • I have not had my dinner yet.


Present Perfect Progressive (Continuous):

Like the present perfect tense, present perfect progressive also indicates an action that has started in the past and still being carried out. Although, present perfect progressive is the least used tense.


Subject+ have/has+ been+ verb –ing+



  • I have been going for a walk daily since last week.
  • He has been the minister for 5 years.
  • Alex and Erica have been married for 2 years now.


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