Present tense explained

The present tense (abbreviated or) is a grammatical tense that locates a situation or event in present time.[1] This linguistic definition refers to a concept that indicates a feature of the meaning of a verb. However, in discussions of specific languages, the term "present tense" is often used to refer to a particular grammatical form that, depending on the language, may frequently be used to express the present nature of an action or, in some cases, may be used to express non-present action. The discussion in this article focuses on the forms used in various languages.

In English, present tense form may be used to express action in the present, a current state of being, an occurrence in the future, or an action that started in the past and continues.

There are two common types of present tense form in most Indo-European languages: the present indicative (i.e., the combination of present tense and indicative mood) and the present subjunctive (i.e., the combination of present tense and subjunctive mood).

Germanic languages

English

The English present tense can be combined with aspects in the following verbal constructions: The present simple or simple present is used in several ways:

In the present simple, English uses the verb without an ending (I get the lunch ready at one o’clock, usually.) except that in the third person singular, (after he, she, it, your friend, etc.) the suffix -s or -es is appended to the verb (It gets busy on the weekends; Sarah catches the early train). The present simple tense is often used with adverbs of repeated time, as in these examples with the adverbs shown in italics:

The emphatic present: The present tense can be expressed with emphasis by using the auxiliary verb do and the uninflected main verb, (I do walk, He does walk). The present progressive or present continuous: This form is used to describe events happening now, e.g., I am reading this wiki article, and I am thinking about editing it. This tense is formed by combining the present form of the verb “to be” with a present participle. The present perfect In English this is a present tense with retrospective aspect, which describes a present state of existence based on past action (I have visited Paris several times; I have listened to you for five minutes now). The present perfect progressive: This is used to describe events or actions that have begun at some point in the past and continue through the present, e.g., I have been reading this book for some time now.

Altaic languages

Turkish present indicative tense

In the Turkish language, the pronouns have their own ending according to vowel harmony.Present tense suffix is "r".

 endingkal-maksev-mekbul-makgör-mek
benım/im/um/ümkalırımseverimbulurumgörürüm
sensın/sin/sun/sünkalırsınseversinbulursungörürsün
okalırseverbulurgörür
bizız/iz/uz/üzkalırızseverizbuluruzgörürüz
sizsınız/siniz/sunuz/sünüzkalırsınızseversinizbulursunuzgörürsünüz
onlarlar/lerkalırlarseverlerbulurlargörürler

Finno-Ugric languages

Finnish present indicative tense

See also: Finnish verb conjugation. In Finnish, the pronouns have their own ending in the verb. These verbs may be used by themselves, without the pronoun (except he/she=hän).

 ollalaskeaantaakatsoavapista
minäolenlaskenannankatsonvapisen
sinäoletlasketannatkatsotvapiset
hän, seonlaskeeantaakatsoovapisee
meolemmelaskemmeannammekatsommevapisemme
teolettelasketteannattekatsottevapisette
he, neovatlaskevatantavatkatsovatvapisevat

Hellenic Languages

Modern Greek present indicative tense

In Modern Greek, the present tense is used similarly to the present tense in English, and they can also convey the present continuous. As with some other conjugations in Greek, some verbs in the present tense accept different (but equivalent) forms of use for the same person. What follows is an example of present tense conjugation in Greek for the verbs see (βλέπω), eat (τρώω) and love (αγαπώ).

 βλέπωτρώω, τρώγωαγαπώ, αγαπάω
εγώβλέπωτρώω, τρώγωαγαπώ, αγαπάω
εσύβλέπειςτρως, τρώειςαγαπάς
αυτός/αυτή/αυτόβλέπειτρώει, τρώγειαγαπά(ει)
εμείςβλέπουμετρώμε, τρώγομε, τρώγουμεαγαπάμε, αγαπούμε
εσείςβλέπετετρώτε, τρώγετεαγαπάτε
αυτοί/αυτές/αυτάβλέπουν(ε)τρών(ε), τρώγουν(ε)αγαπούν(ε), αγαπάν(ε)

Romance languages

The Romance languages are derived from Latin, and in particular western Vulgar Latin. As a result, their usages and forms are similar.

Latin present indicative tense

In Latin, the present tense can be translated as being progressive or simple. Below is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Latin.

 plicāredebēredicerecuperescīre
egoplicōdebeōdīcōcupiōsciō
tuplicāsdebēsdīciscupisscīs
is, ea, idplicatdebetdicitcupitscit
nosplicāmusdebēmusdīcimuscupimusscīmus
vosplicātisdebētisdīcitiscupitisscītis
ei, eae, eaplicantdebentdīcuntcupiuntsciunt

French present indicative tense

In French, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. Below is an example of present tense conjugation in French.

 parlerperdrefinirpartir
jeparleperdsfinispars
tuparlesperdsfinispars
il/elle/onparleperdfinitpart
nousparlonsperdonsfinissonspartons
vousparlezperdezfinissezpartez
ils/ellesparlentperdentfinissentpartent

To express (and emphasise) the present continuous, expressions such as "en train de" or "en cours de" may be used. For example, Jean est en train de manger, may be translated as John is eating, John is in the middle of eating. On est en train de chercher un nouvel appartement may be translated as We are looking for a new apartment, we are in the process of finding a new apartment.

Italian present indicative tense

In Italian, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. What follows is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Italian.

 parlarevederesentire
ioparlovedosento
tuparlivedisenti
egli/ellaparlavedesente
noiparliamovediamosentiamo
voiparlatevedetesentite
essi/esseparlanovedonosentono

Portuguese present indicative tense

In Portuguese, the present tense is used almost identically to that of Spanish. What follows is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Portuguese.

 falarcomerinsistir
eufalocomoinsisto
tufalascomesinsistes
ele/elafalacomeinsiste
nósfalamoscomemosinsistimos
vósfalaiscomeisinsistis
eles/elasfalamcomeminsistem

Spanish present indicative tense

In Spanish, the present tense is used similarly to that of English. What follows is an example of present tense conjugation in Spanish.

 hablarcomerinsistir
yohablocomoinsisto
hablascomesinsistes
él / ella / ustedhablacomeinsiste
nosotroshablamoscomemosinsistimos
vosotroshabláiscoméisinsistís
ellos / ellas / ustedeshablancomeninsisten

It should be noted that vosotros and ustedes both signify the second-person plural pronoun. The main difference between the two is that vosotros is more common in Spain whereas only ustedes is used in Latin America.

Slavic languages

Bulgarian present indicative tense

In Bulgarian, the present indicative tense of imperfective verbs is used very similarly to that of English. It can also be used as present progressive. Below is an example of present indicative tense conjugation in Bulgarian.

 писати*говорити*искати*отваряти*
азпишаговоряискамотварям
типишешговоришискашотваряш
той, тя, топишеговориискаотваря
ниепишемговоримискамеотваряме
виепишетеговоритеискатеотваряте
тепишатговорятискатотварят

Macedonian present tense

The present tense of the Macedonian language is made of the imperfective verbs. The following table shows the conjugation of the verbs write (пишува/pišuva), speak (зборува/zboruva), love (сака/saka) and open (отвaра/otvara).

 пишувазборувасакаотвaрa
јаспишувамзборувамсакамотвaрам
типишувашзборувашсакашотвaраш
тој, таа, тоапишувазборувасакаотвaра
ниепишувамезборувамесакамеотвaраме
виепишуватезборуватесакатеотвaрате
тиепишуваатзборуваатсакаатотвaраат

See also

External links

Notes and References

  1. Comrie, Bernard, Tense, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985.