In English these are often confused, because the tenses are called the present tense and the past tense. However, each tense can refer to events at any time. The tenses are known as such because of the influence of traditional grammar, and despite these names being in common use, are really misnamed. Some suggestions for more logical names for the present and past tenses include "marked" and "unmarked" or "close" and "distant" tense. However, realistically, these are unlikely to catch on.