Glossary: present tense


The present tense is a grammatical marking on verbs which often, but not always, expresses present time. (See also inflection.) E.g. the verb in She sounds tired is a present tense form (compare the past tense form in She sounded tired).

Verbs in the present tense are commonly used to:

  • talk about the present
  • talk about the future.

They may take a suffix –s (depending on the subject).

See also tense.

  • Jamal goes to the pool every day. [describes a habit that exists now]
  • He can swim. [describes a state that is true now]
  • The bus arrives at three. [scheduled now]
  • My friends are coming to play. [describes a plan in progress now]

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