- For the verb form often referred to as the "present tense (of a verb)" see base form.
The present tense is used to indicate closeness or proximity.
There is an important distinction to be made between time and tense - the time-tense distinction. The present tense can describe events that occur in past time, present time or future time. This is contrary to its name; more logical suggestions such as "unmarked tense" or "close tense" have been suggested but are unlikely to catch on.
|Simple (i.e. none)||Present simple||I do something.|
|Perfect||Present perfect||I have done something.|
|Progressive||Present continuous / present progressive||I am doing something.|
|Perfect and progressive||Present perfect continuous / present perfect progressive||I have been doing something.|
Aspect and modality
|Present simple||Amodal present simple
e.g. I do something
|Modal present simple|
e.g. I will do something
|Present perfect||Amodal present perfect
e.g. I have done something
|Modal present perfect|
e.g. I will have done something
|Present progressive||Amodal present progressive
e.g. I am doing something
|Modal present progressive|
e.g. I will be doing something
|Present perfect progressive||Amodal present perfect progressive
e.g. I have been doing something
|Modal present perfect progressive|
e.g. I will have been doing something.
Learners typically study and acquire the present tense before they start to acquire the past tense. It's a little complicated though, as the past simple usually precedes the present perfect.