Present Continuous – ESL: tenses – from elementary to upper-intermeidate levels.

Present continuous for actions at time of speaking

We use the present continuous for actions that are happening as we speak – verb ‘to be’ + ‘verb+ing':

I´m painting a chair.
I´m not painting.
I´m reading the newspaper.

When we talk about future arrangements we use the present continuous tense.

What are you doing on Saturday, Rob?
I’m working all day on Saturday.
What are you doing on Sunday?
I’m not working on Sunday!
We’re going to the cinema.

Present Simple. ESL: tenses – from elementary to upper-intermediate levels.

We use the present simple to talk about actions that happen often, that are routines:

I wake up at 7 o’clock.

I go to work by bus.

I play tennis at the weekend.

These actions happen in the past, present and future.

Present Perfect to express “experience”. ESL: tenses – from pre-intermediate to advanced levels.

We use the present perfect to talk about experiences in the past up to the moment of speaking. The present perfect is “subject + auxiliary ‘have’ + past participle”. We often shorten ‘have/has’ to ”ve/’s’.

I’ve eaten in this restaurant many times.

To make the negative we add ‘not’ between the auxiliary ‘have’ and the past participle.

I haven’t had it before.

The question form is auxiliary ‘have/has’ + past participle.

Have you tried this vegetable dish?


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