The present tenses in English Grammar are the simple present, the present progressive, also present continuous, the present perfect and the present perfect progressive, also present perfect continuous. We can also use the future simple and progressive to make assumptions about something happening in the present.
Learn the difference between the present tenses in English grammar and when to use them correctly in a sentence. With Lingolia’s exercises, you can practise what you have learnt.
- Look! Buster is sleeping in the armchair!
- I know. He sleeps there every day.
- I have been looking for him outside for half an hour, you know. When I didn’t find him outside I thought, “He will probably be inside.”
- Well, now you’ve found him.
- How long has he been lying there?
- For about an hour. Look, he is dreaming.
- He will probably be dreaming of a nice bowl of milk.
The chart below provides an overview of the differences in usage between the English present tenses: simple present, present progressive, present perfect and present perfect progressive.
indicates regularity or facts and general truths
emphasises that an action is currently taking place
|present perfect simple||
an action has just been completed
whether/how often until now
action in the past with a connection to the present
|present perfect progressive||
emphasises the progression of an action from the past until now (except for static verbs that can’t be used in the progressive form for example: be, think, smell etc.)
supposition about a condition/process in the present
supposition about what is currently happening
For information on the conjugation of these tenses, see:
- Simple Present
- Present Progressive
- Present Perfect Simple
- Present Perfect Progressive
- Future I Simple (will)
- Future I Progressive
For information about verbs the can’t be used in the progressive form, see: