English Present Tenses ComparisonJust here for the exercises? Click here.
Present tenses in English grammar
The present tenses in English Grammar are: the simple present, the present progressive (present continuous), the present perfect simple and the present perfect progressive (also present perfect continuous).
Learn the difference between the present tenses in English grammar and how to use them correctly in a sentence. Put your knowledge to the test in the interactive exercises.
- 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.
When to use the English present tenses
The table below shows how to use the different English present tenses: simple present, present progressive, present perfect simple and present perfect progressive.
facts, general truths and regularly occurring actions
actions in progress at the moment of speaking
|Present Perfect Simple||
recently completed actions (often with just)
whether/how many times up to now (often with ever/never, how much/many)
completed action with a connection to the present
|Present Perfect Progressive||
duration of an action that started in the past and is still ongoing at the moment of speaking (often with how long, for, since)
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: