Grammar Rules: The Present Tense

Written by Leny Ortega

Tense of the verb indicates the time when the action is done or completed. Tenses are classified as Simple Tenses and Compound Tenses.  Each classification has three tenses. Present tense, Past Tense and Future Tense comprise the Simple Tense while the Compound Tenses have the Present Perfect Tense, Past Perfect Tense and the Future Perfect Tense.

Let us first discuss the Simple Tenses.

The Basic Forms


The present tense is used to express an action presently or habitually done. It is also used to state a fact or general truth.

The Verb forms are:

S-form = watches, listens, eats, etc. for singular subject ( noun or pronoun)
Base form = watch, listen, eat, etc. for plural subject (noun or pronoun)
Auxiliary Verbs = is (singular), are (plural)
          Has (singular), have (plural)
          Does (singular), Do (plural)
  • He plays basketball.  (present time)
  • Honesty is the best policy. (generally accepted truth)
  • I check my e-mails in the morning before going to school. (habitual action)
Pop Quiz
Answer the following sentences then, check your answer/s below.
  1. The earth (revolve, revolves, revolved) around the sun.
  2. Manny Pacquiao (is, am, been) a popular boxer worldwide.
  3. Maegan Young (is, am, was) the first Filipina to win the Miss World in 2013.
  4. The Philippines (has, have, had) more than seven thousand islands.
  5. Vigan City (is, am , been) one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ilocos, Norte.
  1. The earth revolves around the sun.
The answer uses the s-form of the verb because this is a statement of fact. In addition, the s-form is used when the subject is singular and is in the present time.
  1. Manny Pacquiao is a popular boxer worldwide.
The correct answer is the verb is because Manny Pacquiao is indeed a famous boxer not only in the Philippines but also internationally. Therefore, this is also a statement of fact.
  1. Maegan Young is the first Filipina to win the Miss World in 2013.
Again, this is a statement of fact that’s why the correct form of the verb is, is. Historically speaking, Maegan Young is indeed the only Filipina so far to win the Miss World Title.
  1. The Philippines has more than seven thousand islands.
The subject Philippines is singular. The auxiliary verb Has should be used. This is also a statement of fact.
  1. Vigan City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Ilocos province.
This number has also singular subject – Vigan City which is located in Ilocos province.This is not  an opinion but a fact.
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2 Responses

  1. January 21, 2015

    […] the last post, we talked about Present Tense. In this post, we continue our series on tenses with Past […]

  2. January 31, 2015

    […] simple tenses, perfect or sometimes called compound tenses have three categories namely: Present Perfect, Past […]

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