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The Twelve Tenses - The Present Tense    12個の時制 - 現在形

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of English is the tense system. In English there are twelve of these tenses within three main time categories. These are the past, present, and future tenses. So, what is a tense? A tense is, “a set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time (and sometimes also the continuance or completeness) of the action in relation to the time of the utterance.” What this means is that a verb and how it’s used when either written or spoken will change depending on numerous criteria. Though it might take time to learn how to uses these tenses properly it can be done. Much of this information come from ITTT.

英語で一番難しく思われている部分は時制かもしれません。英語では、時制は12個の時制があり、三つのカテゴリーに分けられます。過去形、現在形、そして未来形。さて、「時制」とは何でしょう?時制は:「時間の区別を表現するために使われる動詞の文法的カテゴリー。」すなわち、様々なクライテリアによって、ある動詞を書くまたは話す時に動詞自体が変わっていくと言うことです。全ての時制を習うまでに時間がかかるかもしれませんが、無理なことではありません。次の多くの内容は ”ITTT”から取られています。

Today let’s look at the present tense and its four different divisions.



First, let’s look at the present simple tense.

The present simple tense is used to tell someone what it is that is happening now. Whether it’s talking about yourself or someone else.



Affirmative: (subject + base form [+s/es])

I read.

Negative: (subject + aux. verb 'do' + not + base form)

She doesn’t dance.

Question: (aux. verb 'do' + subject + base form)

Do they live in Tokyo?


Second, the Present continuous or the present progressive.

“The present continuous (also known as the present progressive) tense is made with the present simple tense of the auxiliary verb to be and the present participle (verb plus ing – working) of the main verb.” - ITTT



Affirmative: (subject + aux. verb 'be' + verb+ing)

I’m sitting at my desk.

Negative: (subject + aux. verb 'be' + not + verb+ing)

They’re not at home.

Question: (aux. verb 'be' + subject + verb+ing)

She’s learning French.


Third, the Present Perfect.

“The present perfect relates the past to the present and although commonly used by a native speaker, presents some difficulties to the English language learner.” - ITTT



Affirmative: Affirmative: (subject + aux. verb 'have' + past participle)

She has read all the books in my room.

Negative: (subject + aux. verb 'have' + not + past participle)

I’ve not been to New York.

Question: (aux. verb 'have' + subject + past participle)

They’ve been students since 2017.


Fourth, the Present Perfect Continuous.

“This tense relates past activities to the present. It implies that either the activity is likely to continue in the future, or that the activity was in progress for some length of time, or both.” - ITTT



Affirmative: (subject + aux. verb 'have' + been + verb+ing)

I have been eating pizza.

Negative: (subject + aux. verb 'have' + not + been + verb+ing)

He hasn’t been drawing.

Question: (aux. verb 'have' + subject + been + verb+ing)

Have we been talking all this time?


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