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Wednesday, July 13, 2016 Verbs: Present Tense

This is the second post in our series on verb tenses. Our goal is to educate you about verb tenses so you'll understand which tense you’re using and so your papers have consistent parallelism. Present tense verb forms have almost the same names as past tense verbs but are definitely different in practice.

The present tense verbs are called simple present, present continuous, present perfect, and present perfect continuous.

Simple Present

With “simple” in the name, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. Simple present verbs describe an action that is currently taking place.

  • I eat delicious sandwiches.
  • You enjoy spicy food.
  • My pet fish Beatríce enjoys staring at whoever walks by.
  • The building looms over downtown and casts a shadow.

Present Continuous

Present continuous form uses verbs that are occurring over a period of time (that period being the same time you are writing). To form this verb tense, use the present tense of “be” (is, are, and am), and the present participle. These will end in “ing.”

  • She is spraying the fire with the fire extinguisher.
  • The fire extinguisher is puttering out because it is empty.
  • She is running to the sink to get the hose to spray water.
  • She is sad that the chicken is burning and smoking in the pan.

Present Perfect

This verb tense can be kind of confusing because it uses past tense verbs to describe something that is still currently important. It uses the word “have” or “has” and then the past participle. Yep, the past participle.

  • I have seen a thousand rainfalls, but nothing comparable to Lynchburg’s wet season.
  • You’ve eaten eight meals today.
  • The kitten has licked clean the bowl of milk
  • The baker has dipped hundreds of strawberries in chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

Present Perfect Continuous

This is a verb tense that we use all the time, but many of us don’t know what it's called! For this verb tense, use “have been” (or "has been" as appropriate) and the present participle.

  • I have been exploring downtown since this morning.
  • You have been eating sandwiches every day since third grade.
  • The dog has been running circles around the yard ever since he lost his bone.
  • The stars have been shining more brightly these days.

There you have it: present tense verbs! I hope this helps you make sense out of what the present verb tenses are, and how to properly form them within sentences.

The information for this blog post was adapted from Grammarly, which is an excellent resource for checking your grammar! Check out their website for more information. 

Posted at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)
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