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In today’s class, we will be talking about using present tense accurately in sentences. Enjoy the class!
Using present tense accurately in sentences
What is the Present Tense?
The present tense is used when describing an action that is currently happening, or an event that happens regularly. The present tense is made up of three different aspects, including the simple present, present continuous and present perfect.
Simple Present Tense:
- The simple present tense is when events happen continually over a period of time in the present. For example, when activities are done daily or by expressing thoughts and feelings.
- Carl goes on holiday every year
- I feel ill
- We wake up for work at 7 am.
How to form the simple present tense
- First-person singular: I dance
- Second-person singular: You dance
- Third-person singular: He/she/It dances (note the ‑s)
- First-person plural: We dance
- Second-person plural: You dance
- Third-person plural: They dance
|I / You / We/ They||go||to school every day.|
|He / She / It||goes|
- With he/she/it, we add -s or -es to most verbs.
- walk — walks get — gets go— goes
Sentences with ‘not’
|I / You / We/ They||do not go||to school every Sunday.|
|He / She / It||does not go|
|Do||I / you/ we/ they||go to school every day?|
|Does||he/ she/ it|
We use the Simple Present tense
1. For habits e.g.
- He drinks milk for breakfast.
- I sleep early at night.
2. For repeated actions e.g.
- I (always/ sometimes/ usually/ often) watch TV at night.
- He plays football every Sunday.
3. For general truths e.g.
- The sun rises in the east.
- It is cold in winter.
Present Continuous Tense:
The present continuous tense is used to describe an ongoing action that is happening right now, which is in progress or hasn’t been completed.
- It is raining
- I am not going out after work today.
- James can’t come to the phone right now because he is making a cup of tea.
How to form the present continuous tense
- First-person singular: I am
- Second-person singular: You are
- Third-person singular: He/She/It is
- First-person plural: We are
- Second-person plural: You are
- Third-person plural: They are
|I||am||going to school now.|
|You / We/ They||are|
|He / She / It||is|
Sentences with ‘not’
|I||am not||going to school now.|
|You / We/ They||are not|
|He / She / It||is not|
|Am||I||going to school now?|
|Are||you/ we/ they|
|Is||he/ she/ it|
We use the present continuous tense
|1. For things that are happening now|
e.g. He is riding a bicycle now.
Mary is doing homework at this moment
|2.||To describe an action that is going on during this period of time|
e.g. Look! A car is coming.
Present Perfect Tense:
The present perfect tense is used for repeated actions that began in the past but are not finished yet.
- I have guitar lessons every Monday.
- We have known each other since school.
- There has been an accident.
How to form the present perfect tense
- First-person singular: I have
- Second-person singular: You have
- Third-person singular: He/She/It has
- First-person plural: We have
- Second-person plural: You have
- Third-person plural: They have
Have/ has + past participle (e.g. gone)
|I / You / We / They||have gone||to school already.|
|He / She / It||has gone|
Sentences with “not’
|I / You / We / They||haven’t gone||to school yet.|
|He / She / It||hasn’t gone|
|Have||I / you / we / they||gone to school yet?|
|Has||he / she / it|
We use the Present perfect tense
1. To talk about something that happened in the past, but we do not know exactly when it happened e.g. I have been to there before.
2. To describe an action that started in the past and continues in the present
- I have studied in this school for five years.
- John hasn’t seen Mary since Tuesday.
3. To describe an action that has completed in the recent past e.g. He has just finished his work.
4. To describe a repeated action in an unspecified period between the past and now e.g. Mary has visited Hong Kong several times.
We often use Present Perfect Tense with the following words: ‘ever’; ‘since’ ‘for’; ‘already’; ‘just’; ‘almost’; ‘never’; ‘yet’.
Simple conversation using the appropriate words – simple conversation in excusing, obligations, and permission
We use have to and must to express obligation. There is a slight difference between the way we use them.
- have to
Have to shows us that the obligation comes from outside the speaker.
1. We have to wear a uniform when we’re working in reception.
2. When do we have to hand in our homework?
3. Jill has to work tomorrow so he can’t come.
We sometimes call this ‘external obligation’.
Must express a strong obligation or necessity. It often shows us that the obligation comes from the speaker (or the authority that wrote the sentence).
1. I must phone my dad. It’s his birthday today.
2. You must hand in your homework on Tuesday or you will lose ten per cent of your mark.
3. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers.
Note that we don’t use must to express obligation in the past. We use have to instead.
I had to pay £5 to renew my passport last week.
- don’t have to
We use don’t have to show that there is no obligation. You can do something if you want to but it’s not compulsory.
1. You don’t have to wear a tie in our office, but some people like to dress more formally.
2. You don’t have to go to the bank to do a transfer. You can do it online.
3. You don’t have to come with me, honestly. I’ll be fine!
In our next class, we will be talking about Using Future Tense Accurately in Sentences, etc. We hope you enjoyed the class.
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