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Present Tense

Now you have to learn that each of the three principal tenses has four forms namely

(a) Present Indefinite Tense

(b) Present Continuous Tense

(c) Present Perfect Tense

(d) Present Perfect Continuous Tense.

1.Present Indefinite Tense is used to express:

(i)A universal or general truth             :         The earth moves round the sun.

Honesty is the best policy.

(ii) A habitual or permanent action     :         He reads the Quran everyday

My watch keeps right time.

(iii) A near future action           :         The school opens next week.

He returns tomorrow.

Note : This usage is common with verbs of motion: Come, go, start, return, begin, close etc.

(iv)    A present action: It rains. He walks.

(v)     Quotations from authors: John Keats says, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever".

(vi)    Past events in order to make the narrative more lively: Alexander now attacks the enemy. (This is called the Historic or Graphic Present).

  1. Present Continuous Tense expresses:

An action going on at present: I am writing. He is playing.

An immediate future action. I am returning next week.

This tense is not used with the following verbs called verbs of perception such as, believe, feel, taste, smell, desire, hate, recognize, hear, hope, know, like, love, see, understand, want, wish, wonder, belong, consist, contain, matter, possess, resemble etc.

We do not say I am loving you

He is desiring to go.

We say I love you

He desires to go.

But nowadays we find the use : I am feeling unwell.

3.Present Perfect tense is used to express :

An action just finished: I have done my duty. He has written a letter.

A past action the result of which is still going on: He has finished his work.

An action begun in the past but not yet completed: He has served in the school for ten years (He is still serving).

A future jperfect action when preceded by when, before, after, as soon as

etc : I shall return when I have finished the work.


Note : Present Perfect Tense form of some verbs like go, come, set, rise etc. is sometimes formed with the verb'be': He is gone.The sun is set.

  1. Present Perfect Continuous Tense :It indicates that the action has been going on for a period and is not finished yet. I have been reading in this school for five years. It has been raining since morning.

Exercise :

Read the passage A again and identify the tense of the sentences. Say which form of tense each belongs to.

Fill in the following gaps with right form of verbs:

  1. i) A good boy [dash] school regularly. (attend) .
  2. ii) The man is [dash] in the garden. (work)

iii)     It often [dash]       heavily in Bangladesh. (rain)

  1. iv) Linda [dash] a beautiful picture. (draw)
  2. v) Handsome [dash] what handsome does. (be)
  3. vi) Bangladesh is gradually [dash] (develop)

vii) We [dash] in this school for four years. (read)

viii) He [dash] ill for three days. (be)

  1. ix) Our school [dash] tomorrow. (reopen)

Fill in the gaps with the verbs given in the box. Use the right form of present tenses:

give form to be live conquer advance succeed try work need

Man [dash] a social being. He lives in society because society [dash]  him security. But it is man who [dash] society. Man cannot live alone. He [dash] the help of others to survive. So man [dash] together in co-operation with one another from time immemorial. He has been [dash] hard to bring about changes in society. He in [dash] developing society and the condition of his life by dint of his own efforts.He[dash] many forces of nature. He is [dash] hard to earn complete mastery over nature he [dash] step by step.