The present tense is a grammatical tense
A tense is a grammatical category that locates a situation in time, to indicate when the situation takes place.Bernard Comrie, Aspect, 1976:6:...
that locates a situation or event in present time. This linguistic
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....
definition refers to a concept that indicates a feature of the meaning
of a verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...
. However, in discussions of specific languages, the term "present tense" is often used to refer to a particular grammatical form
that, depending on the language, may frequently be used to express the present nature of an action or, in some cases, may be used to express non-present action. The discussion in this article focuses on the forms
used in various languages.
In English, present tense form may be used to express action in the present, a current state of being, an occurrence in the future, or an action that started in the past and continues.
There are two common types of present tense form in most Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...
: the present indicative (i.e., the combination of present tense and indicative mood
In linguistics, grammatical mood is a grammatical feature of verbs, used to signal modality. That is, it is the use of verbal inflections that allow speakers to express their attitude toward what they are saying...
) and the present subjunctive (i.e., the combination of present tense and subjunctive mood).
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...
present tense can be combined with aspects
In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb is a grammatical category that defines the temporal flow in a given action, event, or state, from the point of view of the speaker...
in the following verbal constructions:this is not present tense verb
The present simple or simple present is used in several ways:
- to describe both habits and or routines (habitual aspect) (I eat breakfast every morning at 6:30; I go to work every day), and general facts or the truth (The earth revolves around the sun);
- to present thoughts, feelings, and other unchanging states (stative aspect) (I think so; I like it; It is hot; The sun always shines in the desert);
- to indicate scheduled events in the near future (so that the simple “present” verb form actually indicates future tense
In grammar, a future tense is a verb form that marks the event described by the verb as not having happened yet, but expected to happen in the future , or to happen subsequent to some other event, whether that is past, present, or future .-Expressions of future tense:The concept of the future,...
) (I take the train tomorrow at 6:00);
- to indicate events at any time in the future in a dependent clause (I’ll retire when I reach age 65);
- to provide narratives such as instructional narratives (Now I mix the ingredients; now I put the pan in the oven);
- to narrate past events (the historical present
In linguistics and rhetoric, the historical present refers to the employment of the present tense when narrating past events...
) for stylistic effect.
In the present simple, English uses the verb without an ending (I get the lunch ready at one o’clock, usually.
) except that in the third person singular, (after he, she, it, your friend, etc.) the suffix -s
is appended to the verb (It gets busy on the weekends
; Sarah catches the early train
The present simple tense is often used with adverbs of repeated time, as in these examples with the adverbs shown in italics:
- I never come to school by cycle.
- He always forgets to do his homework.
- I never catch the late bus home.
The emphatic present: The present tense can be expressed with emphasis by using the auxiliary verb do
and the uninflected main verb, (I do walk
, He does walk
The present progressive or present continuous: This form is used to describe events happening now, e.g., I am reading this wiki article, and I am thinking about editing it.
This tense is formed by combining the present form of the verb “to be” with a present participle
In linguistics, a participle is a word that shares some characteristics of both verbs and adjectives. It can be used in compound verb tenses or voices , or as a modifier...
The present perfect In English this is a present tense with retrospective aspect, which describes a present state of existence based on past action (I have visited Paris several times
; I have listened to you for five minutes now
The present perfect progressive: This is used to describe events or actions that have begun at some point in the past and continue through the present, e.g., I have been reading this book for some time now.
Turkish present indicative tense
In the Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...
, the pronouns have their own ending according to vowel harmony
Vowel harmony is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels that occurs in some languages. In languages with vowel harmony, there are constraints on which vowels may be found near each other....
Present tense suffix is "r".
Finnish present indicative tense
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...
, the pronouns have their own ending in the verb. These verbs may be used by themselves, without the pronoun (except he/she=hän).
Modern Greek present indicative tense
In Modern Greek
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...
, the present tense is used similarly to the present tense in English, and they can also convey the present continuous
The present continous is one of the present tenses used in modern English, the others being the simple present and the emphatic present. All of these can be employed in both the indicative and subjunctive moods.-Common uses:...
. As with some other conjugations in Greek, some verbs in the present tense accept different (but equivalent) forms of use for the same person. What follows is an example of present tense conjugation in Greek for the verbs see (βλέπω), eat (τρώω) and love (αγαπώ).
|| τρώω, τρώγω
|| αγαπώ, αγαπάω
|| τρώω, τρώγω
|| αγαπώ, αγαπάω
|| τρως, τρώεις
|| τρώει, τρώγει
|| τρώμε, τρώγομε, τρώγουμε
|| αγαπάμε, αγαπούμε
|| τρώτε, τρώγετε
|| τρών(ε), τρώγουν(ε)
|| αγαπούν(ε), αγαπάν(ε)
The Romance languages are derived from Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...
, and in particular western Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...
. As a result, their usages and forms are similar.
Latin present indicative tense
In Latin, the present tense can be translated as being progressive or simple. Below is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Latin
Latin verbs have four main patterns of conjugation. As in a number of other languages, Latin verbs have an active voice and a passive voice. Furthermore, there exist deponent and semi-deponent Latin verbs , as well as defective verbs...
|is, ea, id
|ei, eae, ea
French present indicative tense
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...
, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. Below is an example of present tense conjugation in French
French conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a French verb from its principal parts by inflection. French verbs are conventionally divided into three conjugations with the following grouping:...
To express (and emphasise) the present continuous, expressions such as "en train de" or "en cours de" may be used. For example, Jean est en train de manger
, may be translated as John is eating, John is in the middle of eating. On est en train de chercher un nouvel appartement
may be translated as We are looking for a new apartment, we are in the process of finding a new apartment.
Italian present indicative tense
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...
, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. What follows is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Italian
Italian verbs have a high degree of inflection, the majority of which follow one of three common patterns of conjugation. Conjugation is affected by mood, person, tense, number and occasionally gender....
Portuguese present indicative tense
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...
, the present tense is used almost identically to that of Spanish. What follows is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Portuguese
Portuguese verbs display a high degree of inflection. A typical regular verb has over fifty different forms, expressing up to six different grammatical tenses and three moods...
Spanish present indicative tense
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...
, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. What follows is an example of present tense conjugation in Spanish
This article presents a set of paradigms — that is, conjugation tables — of Spanish verbs, including examples of regular verbs and some of the most common irregular verbs...
|él / ella / usted
|ellos / ellas / ustedes
It should be noted that vosotros
both signify the second-person plural pronoun. The main difference between the two is that vosotros
is more common in Spain whereas only ustedes
is used in Latin America.
Bulgarian present indicative tense
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...
, the present indicative tense of imperfective verbs is used very similarly to that of English. It can also be used as present progressive. Below is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Bulgarian.
|той, тя, то
- Archaic, no infinitive in the modern language.
Macedonian present tense
The present tense of the Macedonian language
Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...
is made of the imperfective verbs. The following table shows the conjugation of the verbs write
) and open
|тој, таа, тоа