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ESL Easy Quiz

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?
    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?'?
    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?
    The centre of this statement is about what 'you are' going to do.
  4. Which of these is the best version?
    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?
    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?
    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 ...
    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?
    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?
    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?'
    This is another example like Question 2, earlier.

Author: Ian Miles

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