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What's Going On? - Present Tense Forms
Suzi has been taking lots of photos.

What's Going On? - Present Tense Forms

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “What’s Going On?” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Present Tense Forms quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

A lot of the time we need to talk (and write) about what's going on. This is called a present tense form and we can do this in various ways: try and pick the best present tense form in each case.

1.
Which is the best way to express what's happening?
My grandfather go's to the bowling club twice a week.
My grandfather gose to the bowling club twice a week.
My grandfather goes to the bowling club twice a week.
My grandfather is going to the bowling club twice a week.
You need a simple form of this verb ... correctly spelt!
2.
It's easy to say 'how often' someone does something (see q.1); but how about 'how long they have been doing' it? Many other languages can say this far more simply than English. How would you answer this question: 'How long have you been learning English?'?
I learn English since three years.
I am learning English since three years.
I have been learning English since three years.
I have been learning English for three years.
In English, the verb needs to suggest a sense of 'past time' already spent, as well it being true that you are still dong the learning. Unlike in many other languages, a simple Present Tense is NOT right in such a situation.
3.
Which of these is the correct version?
Me and my friends are going to the beach this afternoon.
My friends and I am going to the beach this afternoon.
My friends and I are going to the beach this afternoon.
Me and my friends is going to the beach this afternoon.
The centre of this statement is about what 'you are' going to do.
4.
Which of these is the best version?
Our team lead at the moment.
Our team leads at the moment.
Our team is leading at the moment.
Our team are leading at the moment.
A team may (of course!) consist of several people; but the team itself is a single unit, so it needs a verb in the singular. Meanwhile, 'at the moment' suggests that the position might change again later - so think which form of the Present Tense will express that temporary situation.
5.
Which of these is the best version?
Here on holiday we never have breakfast before nine o'clock.
Here on holiday we're never eating breakfast before nine o'clock.
Here on holiday we never take breakfast before nine o'clock.
Here on holiday we never have been eating breakfast before nine o'clock.
What do we do with our meals in English: 'eat' them, 'have' them or 'take' them? (And think about the Tense, too ...)
6.
Which is the best English version here?
Suzi take lots of photos.
Suzi is making lots of photos.
Suzi has been taking lots of photos.
Suzi makes many photos.
You want to emphasise what a lot of pictures she's taking: lots already (with a sense of the past), and she's still doing it. Which form of the verb expresses that most thoroughly?
7.
What would be the best way to complete this sentence?
Every hour, the little mechanical man on the town clock comes out and ...
... make a dance and ring the bell.
... makes dancing and rings the bell.
... does a dance and rings the bell.
... is dancing and ringing the bell.
Once again, think how many people are doing the action (one / several?), and which form of the Present Tense is best here.
8.
Which is the best version here?
We have been wating for the rane to stop.
We have waited for the raining to stop.
We have been waiting for the rain to stop.
We have being waited for the rain stopped.
It seems that the rain is still falling ... you must be in England! Which form of the verb is best, after all this time?
9.
Which is the best version here?
It is feels very strange when one drives along the left-hand side of the road.
It is feeling very strange when people are driving along the left-hand side of the road.
It is feels very strange when people drives along the left-hand side of the road.
It feels very strange when people drive along the left-hand side of the road.
This clearly refers to 'continuous or repeated action' ... but you don't necessarily need Continuous ('-ing') forms. And in English, we don't often say 'one' when we mean 'people, generally' (like 'on' in French, or 'man' in German); in fact, we say 'we' to include ourselves in what we say - like in the Introduction to this quiz - or else, 'people' if we mean others but not ourselves.
10.
'How long has your girlfriend been working in Scotland?'
'She's working there since April last year.'
'She's been working there since April last year.'
'She works there since April last year.'
'She's been worked there since April last year.'
This is another example like Question 2, earlier.
Author:  Ian Miles

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