Present tensesدوره: گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / درس 31
Finn and Catherine take a look at the present simple, present continuous and present perfect tenses. Find out which one to use when, listen out for lots of examples and see if you can score top marks in our quiz!
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Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Catherine.
And me, Finn. Hello.
In this programme we’re talking about present tenses.
Now let’s get started. The first thing we need to know is that the present simple tense is mainly for facts, habits and truths. Now, Catherine, give me a true fact about you.
A true fact about me is that I like gardening.
Finn Oh, wow, great.
Catherine Love it.
Finn Thanks Catherine. And can you tell me one of your habits?
I drink a cup of coffee every morning. I drink one at home and I drink another one when I get to work.
Finn So far so good. We make the present simple with a subject and base verb, and we add -s to the verb for he , she and it . So: I work, you work, he works, she works, and so on. We make questions and negatives with do or does . So Catherine, do you take milk in your coffee?
I do take milk in my coffee, Finn. Do you take milk in your coffee?
I don’t. I like it black.
Catherine And what about Mrs Finn, does she take milk in her coffee?
Finn She doesn’t drink coffee.
Catherine Oh, what does she drink?
Finn Tea. All the time.
Catherine Very British.
Good. So that’s present simple for facts and habits. Now when we’re talking about activities, temporary situations, and things that are happening now - or around now - we use am , is or are plus an i-n-g verb to make the present continuous. So Finn, what are you doing now?
Finn Now, right now, right at this minute, I’m sitting in the studio, on a chair, talking to you, but off and on, I’m also reading a novel called The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s great.
Catherine Well pronounced.
Finn Thank you. And are you reading anything right now Catherine?
Catherine Yes I am. I’m reading a novel also. It’s a comedy about Adrian Mole and it’s really good, I’m enjoying it a lot.
Finn Sounds great. I’d like to borrow it.
Catherine You can. We can also use the present continuous for future arrangements. So Finn, what are you doing tonight?
Finn Tonight I’m taking my wife to dinner. Don’t tell her.
Catherine Lucky wife.
Finn That’s right. So, present simple for facts and habits; present continuous for activities and future arrangements.
And now for the present perfect. We make it with have or has plus the past participle, it connects the past to the present, and it’s useful for asking about life experiences. So, life experience question coming, Finn. Have you ever eaten insects?
I have, yes. I’ve eaten ants and beetles in Cambodia. So in the question, the word ever means ‘at any time in your life’. Never means at no time in your life. So Catherine, tell us about an experience that you have never had.
Catherine Well, I’ve never eaten insects Finn. And I’ve never been on safari. But I’m sure that our colleague Rob has been on safari.
Finn He’s been to many places.
Catherine He has. Other words we use with present perfect are just , already and yet . We use just , already and yet a lot when we’re using the present perfect tense to talk about the present effect of a past event. Already means something has happened, perhaps earlier than expected. So Finn, give us an example of already :
Finn Right. I’ve already had breakfast today.
And coffee? Have you had coffee?
I’ve just had a cup of coffee. Just means recently. I haven’t had lunch yet .
Catherine I should think not, it’s only half ten.
Finn It’s a bit early for lunch, yeah.
And yet means something like ‘not until now’.
Good. And if a past situation has continued until now, use for or since to say how long it has continued, like this:
I’ve lived in London for five years. I’ve been married since 2003.
Finn We also use the present perfect to give news. Things that happened a short time ago, and are important now. So, have you got any news for us, Catherine?
Yes I have, actually.
Catherine I’ve won the lottery!
Finn I don’t believe you.
Catherine That’s because I’m not telling the truth, it’s just an example!
You’re listening to bbclearningenglish.com.
And we’re talking about present tenses. And it’s quiz time! Question one. Which of these sentences best describes a habit? a) I have smoked 20 cigarettes a day, b) I smoke 20 cigarettes a day.
Finn And the answer’s b) I smoke 20 cigarettes a day. Question two. Is this sentence grammatically correct, or wrong? Humans have not visited the planet Mars yet, but they have already been to the moon.
Catherine It’s correct.
Finn It is. Now, last one: Which sentence is correct? a) Catherine has never eaten insects, b) Catherine never eats insects, or c) Catherine is never eating insects.
Catherine And the answer is that both a) and b) are correct. As a life experience it’s true to say that I have never eaten insects; and as a fact I can say: I never eat insects. So that brings us to the end of the quiz, and well done to you if you got them all right.
A free insect for everyone who got all of those right! Now, there’s more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.
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