Present tense

Present tense

For referencing in Wikipedia, see .
The present tense is the tense (that is, the form of the verb) that may be used to express:

  • action at the present
  • a state of being;
  • a habitual action;
  • an occurrence in the (very) near future; or
  • an action that occurred in the past and continues up to the present.

There are two common types of present tenses to be found in most Indo-European languages: the present indicative (i.e., the combination of present tense and indicative mood) and the present subjunctive (i.e., the combination of present tense and subjunctive mood).

Germanic Languages


English, like other Germanic languages, has two tenses, past and non-past. These tenses have several aspects. The present tense aspects comprise:

  • present simple, which is used to describe both habits and or routines (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);

We use the present simple for thoughts and feelings. (Ex. I think so, I like it.)

In the present simple, we use the verb without an ending. (Ex. I get the lunch ready at one o'clock, usually.) In the third person singular (after he, she, it, your friend and etc.,) however, the verb ends in -s or -es. (Ex. It gets busy on the weekends. Sarah catches the early train.)

  • present progressive or present continuous, which is used to describe events happening now, e.g. I am reading this wiki article, and I am thinking about editing it;

The present simple tense is very often used with adverbs of repeated time. Look at these examples (the adverbs are shown in bold): - I always come to school by cycle. - She frequently arrives here before me. - He never forgets to do his homework. - I often catch the late bus home.

When we want to state a fact or ask a question without any time reference, we use the present simple tense. - I live in Frankfurt. - She plays football but she does not play tennis. - For breakfast, he eats rice and drinks cold milk.

Statements about rules of nature and the way the world is are in the present simple tense. - The sun sets in the West. - Most babies learn to speak when they are about two years old. - Water boils at 100° Celsius.

  • present perfect progressive, which 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 article for some time now.

The conjugation of the present indicative tense in regular verbs is as follows:

  to walk
I walk
you walk
he/she/it walks
we walk
they walk

German present indicative tense

In German, the present tense is used in a rather different fashion from English. The present tense is a simple construction. There is no close equivalent to the English present continuous.

Here is an example of present tense conjugation in German:

  gehen sprechen finden laufen
ich gehe spreche finde laufe
du gehst sprichst findest läufst
er/sie/es geht spricht findet läuft
wir gehen sprechen finden laufen
ihr geht sprecht findet lauft
sie gehen sprechen finden laufen

Romance Languages

The Romance languages are derived from Latin, and in particular western Vulgate Latin. 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.

  plicāre debēre dicere cupere scīre
Ego plicō debeō dīcō cupiō sciō
Tu plicās debēs dīcis cupis scīs
Is, Ea, Id plicat debet dicit cupit scit
Nos plicāmus debēmus dīcimus cupimus scīmus
Vos plicātis debētis dīcitis cupitis scītis
Ei, Eae, Ea plicant debent dīcunt cupiunt sciunt

French present indicative tense

In French, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. Below is an example of present tense conjugation in French.

  parler prendre finir partir
je parle prends finis pars
tu parles prends finis pars
il/elle/on parle prend finit part
nous parlons prenons finissons partons
vous parlez prenez finissez partez
ils/elles parlent prennent finissent partent

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

In Italian, the present tense is used almost identically to that of English. What follows is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Italian.

  guardare credere partire finire
io guardo credo parto finisco
tu guardi credi parti finisci
lui/lei/egli/ella guarda crede parte finisce
noi guardiamo crediamo partiamo finiamo
voi guardate credete partite finite
loro guardano credono partono finiscono

Portuguese present indicative tense

In Portuguese regular verbs, the present tense is conjugated according to the model below:

  acabar comer partir
eu acabo como parto
tu acabas comes partes
ele/ela/você acaba come parte
nós acabamos comemos partimos
vós acabais comeis partis
eles/elas/vocês acabam comem partem

In Portuguese, one sometimes uses the present tense where in English one would use the present continuous. The present tense is used with a future sense more often than in English.

Spanish present indicative tense

In Spanish, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. What follows is an example of present tense conjugation in Spanish.

  hablar comer insistir
yo hablo como insisto
hablas comes insistes
vos hablás comés insistís
él / ella / usted habla come insiste
nosotros hablamos comemos insistimos
vosotros habláis coméis insistís
ellos / ellas / ustedes hablan comen insisten

Slavic Languages

Bulgarian present indicative tense

In Bulgarian, 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.

  писати* говорити* искати* отваряти*
аз пиша говоря искам отварям
ти пишеш говориш искаш отваряш
той, тя, то пише говори иска отваря
ние пишем говорим искаме отваряме
вие пишете говорите искате отваряте
те пишат говорят искат отварят

*Archaic, no infinitive in the modern language.

Finno-Ugric Languages

Finnish present indicative tense

In Finnish, the pronouns have their own ending in the verb. These verbs may be used by themselves, without the pronoun (except he/she=hän).

  olla laskea antaa katsoa vapista
minä olen lasken annan katson vapisen
sinä olet lasket annat katsot vapiset
hän, se on laskee antaa katsoo vapisee
me olemme laskemme annamme katsomme vapisemme
te olette laskette annatte katsotte vapisette
he, ne ovat laskevat antavat katsovat vapisevat

See also

External links

Search another word or see present tenseon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature