Grammar-QuizzesVerb PhrasesVerbs › Present

Present Tense

Summary of Practices



Present Tense Diagnostic: identify specific points that need review


Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced

General Truths

Present–GenTruth: state facts and observations

Beginning ESL


The earth turns 360 degrees every day.

The earth is turning right now. 

Subj Predicate Agr: mark verbs for third person singular agreement

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Wakes up early 

*Simon get up at 6 a.m. everyday.

GenTruth Practice: talk about weather

Beginning ESL

External link to NASA El Nino site

El Nino is an unusual warming of ocean water.

This weather pattern comes about the time of the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child, "El Nino" – December.


Temporary (progressive)

Present–At Moment:  talk about temporary or ongoing activities

Beginning ESL


My name is Isabela. (100% permanent)

I am a mother.  (99% permanent)

I am married. (50% permanent)

I work at Children's Hospital in Oakland. (?)

I am working to get my nursing certification. (temporary)

I am having difficulty.  (temporary)

Permanent  (simple present)

Present–Habitual: relate current activities—temporary vs. permanent

Beginning ESL

Greek church

I usually work 9 to 5. He often plays golf on Saturday. We always eat dinner together. Frequently, we have lunch out. We never eat breakfast together.


Present Progressive: talk about temporary habits or activities at the moment of speaking

Beginning ESL


Helen is jogging around the park right now.

Helen is jogging around the park this morning.

Scheduled Activities (Present & Future)

Present–Scheduled: refer to planned activities in the future

Beginning ESL


On Thursday, I assist the librarian at the Public Library. (routine)

I am working at the preschool on Wednesday. (near future, personal plan)

I will get there around noon. (scheduled/ estimated)

"Be": copular v. lexical verb

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

happy child

She is joyful.  (static)

 Be joyful!  Don't be sad. (dynamic)

I am her sister.  (identifying)

I am older.  (descriptive)

We are outside.  (locative)



States of Being:  express existence and changes in states

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

a sleepwalker

He is tired.

He seems tired.

He appears tired.

 (No action involved.)

Sensory States: express sensation and perception

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

skunk with a clothes pin on his nose

The skunk smells bad. He stinks!

Sandpaper feels rough.

The soup tastes salty.

*The skunk is smelling bad.  

Cognitive States: express thinking, cognition and attitude

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


I think you are correct.

I believe you know what you are talking about.

I like living here.

~How are you liking living here?

~I am thinking that…

Possession States: indicate possession or ownership

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

a babe sitting on a sports car

I have a car.

We own our home.

 (No action involved.)

Emotion States: express reacting to experiences

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


Baby faces amuse people.

Politicians please voters.

Her action amazed everyone.

Measurement States:  indicate weight, distance, height and count

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate bridge measures 8,981 ft. / 2,737 m. long.

The bridge weighs 887,000 tons / 804,700,00 kg.



Present–Narration: tell anecdotes, stories and events

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

a man being cornered by an eight ball

This man goes into a bar and he has a few drinks. Then he asks the bartender to play a game of billiards.


Time-Relative Events: relate the timing of two connected events

Intermediate–Advanced ESL


After I make tea, we will watch a movie on TV .

I will make tea. Afterward, we'll watch a movie on TV

I will make some tea before we watch a movie on TV.

After/ Before/ When: indicate time-relative activities

Intermediate ESL, Native Speakers

Dog coming in door

When I call the dog, she comes.

After I call the dog, she comes.

Before I call the dog, I open the door.

After I take the dog out, we'll sit down for a while.


When / While: indicate same-time (synchronous) activities

Intermediate ESL, Native Speaker

Talking on phone and looking at newborn

When you called, he picked up his cell phone.

While he was talking on the phone, the baby slept.


By the time: view relative progress or completion

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speaker


By the time I leave work, the sun will be setting. (ongoing)

By the time I leave work, the sun will have set. (completed)

Verbs That Take Objects

Transitive Verbs–Direct Objects: indicate the "patient" of the action

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Jason studies

Jason rises.
Jason raises the blinds.

Jason studies.
Jason studies English.

The glass broke.
Jason broke the glass.

The baby weighs 10 lbs.
The doctor weighed the baby.

Ditransitive Verbs–Indirect Objects: indicate the "recipient" or "beneficiary" of the action

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

A letter

My friend is bringing me a letter.

My friend is bringing a letter to me.

My friend is bringing me it.

Final -S Practice: edit nouns and verbs for final -S / -ES

Beginning ESL


*Tom work at a grocery store.

*Every day, he arrive early to do his chore.

Final -S Audio: listen for final "s"

Beginning ESL


rope [s]

robes  [z]


Present Context: identify present tense verbs

Intermediate ESL

driver distraction

A year ago, people weren't much thinking about cell phones but now the voices are getting louder about it.

Audio Practice

Been / Being: contrast the sounds of been and being

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Doctor spanking baby

We've been quiet. (present perfect - active)

We're being quiet.   (present progressive - active)

We've been seen by Dr. Allen.   (present perfect - passive)

We 're being seen by Dr. Allen (present progressive - passive)