present tense


Definition of present tense

: the tense of a verb that expresses action or state in the present time and is used of what occurs or is true at the time of speaking and of what is habitual or characteristic or is always or necessarily true, that is sometimes used to refer to action in the past, and that is sometimes used for future events

Examples of present tense in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, this Polish language teacher and yoga instructor catches herself at one point still referring to her normal life in the present tense. Andy Meek, Forbes, 14 May 2022 Writing in the present tense, Scurati immerses us in the hurly-burly of politics on the ground. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2022 These recordings, which should be the emotional heart of the film, never make it to the present tense as vividly as Ball’s voice does in Burnett’s on-camera interpretation. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 1 Mar. 2022 After Endgame, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the MCU’s present tense is somewhere after 2023. Chris Smith, BGR, 19 July 2021 In the present tense, Beth visits a local winery to drum up business (Jon Glaser plays its uncooperative, irritated, irritating owner) and, at the connected organic farm, meets John (Michael Cera), the farmer. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 February 22: Rodgers appears on The Pat McAfee show and seems to talk about his relationship in the present tense while apologizing for putting Woodley in the crosshairs of the vaccine debate and thanking her for improving his life. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 25 Feb. 2022 But the bottom line is that climate science, and the cataclysm of climate change, has lurched into the present tense. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 9 Aug. 2021 There are chapters where Skye switches into the present tense, directly addresses the reader, and breaks down her internal thoughts in numbered lists. Marie Claire, 2 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'present tense.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of present tense

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for present tense

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The first known use of present tense was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near present tense

present perfect

present tense

present value

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Statistics for present tense

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Present tense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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present tense


Kids Definition of present tense

: a verb tense that expresses action or state in the present time and is used of what is true at the time of speaking or is always true

More from Merriam-Webster on present tense

Nglish: Translation of present tense for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about present tense


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