Verbs in the Present Tense

The present tense of a verb explains what is happening, what does happen, or what happens at the current time. The present is also sometimes used to express an action that will occur in the near future.

A verb expresses an action or a state of being and is generally shown in its “to” form, called the infinitive. Verbs are used in the present tense as follows:

To express what is or does happen now:

  • Je travaille. (I work. I'm working. I do work.)

To imply the immediate future:

  • Il arrive ce matin. (He's arriving this morning.)

To show that an action began in the past and is continuing in the present, using one of the following two formulas:

  • present + depuis + an expression of time
  • il y a (or voilà or ça fait) + expression of time + que + present

Both of the expressions below mean “We've been living here for two years.”

  • Nous habitons ici depuis deux ans.

  • Il y a (or Voilà) (or Ça fait) deux ans que nous habitons ici.