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Anglais: les temps

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Simple Present


[VERB] + s/es in third person


You speak English.

Do you speak English?

You do not speak English.

Complete List of Simple Present Forms

USE 1 Repeated Actions

Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.


I play tennis.

She does not play tennis.

Does he play tennis?

The train leaves every morning at 8 AM.

The train does not leave at 9 AM.

When does the train usually leave?

She always forgets her purse.

He never forgets his wallet.

Every twelve months, the Earth circles the Sun.

Does the Sun circle the Earth?

USE 2 Facts or Generalizations

The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things.


Cats like milk.

Birds do not like milk.

Do pigs like milk?

California is in America.

California is not in the United Kingdom.

Windows are made of glass.

Windows are not made of wood.

New York is a small city.

Present Continuous


[am/is/are + present participle]


You are watching TV.

Are you watching TV?

You are not watching TV.

Complete List of Present Continuous Forms

USE 1 Now

Use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now.


You are learning English now.

You are not swimming now.

Are you sleeping?

I am sitting.

I am not standing.

Is he sitting or standing?

They are reading their books.

They are not watching television.

What are you doing?

Why aren't you doing your homework?

USE 2 Longer Actions in Progress Now

In English, "now" can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous to say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress; however, we might not be doing it at this exact second.

Examples: (All of these sentences can be said while eating dinner in a restaurant.)

I am studying to become a doctor.

I am not studying to become a dentist.

I am reading the book Tom Sawyer.

I am not reading any books right now.

Are you working on any special projects at work?

Aren't you teaching at the university now?

USE 3 Near Future

Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future.


I am meeting some friends after work.

I am not going to the party tonight.

Is he visiting his parents next weekend?

Isn't he coming with us tonight?

USE 4 Repetition and Irritation with "Always"

The Present Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. Notice that the meaning is like Simple Present, but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing."


She is always coming to class late.

He is constantly talking. I wish he would shut up.

I don't like them because they are always complaining.

Simple Past


[VERB+ed] or irregular verbs


You called Debbie.

Did you call Debbie?

You did not call Debbie.


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