I understand that the present tense can express the simple present, the present progressive tense, and a future event if an adverbial expression of future time is included.

However, I have noticed that the sentence

Ella canta is translated as either

She sings.


She is singing.

But the respective question

¿Canta ella? is only translated as

Does she sing?

My question is, can this also mean

Is she singing?

Similarly since Ella canta mañana means

She will sing tomorrow.

will ¿Canta ella mañana? mean

Will she sing tomorrow?

  • Not to blow your mind too much but present tense can also be used for the past :-) Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 14:36
  • It's OK @guifa we can do that too and our minds still remain unblown.
    – mdewey
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 14:39
  • If you are referring to the historic present mind not equal blown :)
    – Simple
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


The answer to both of your questions is yes. In fact for the future example I would say this sounds more natural than using the actual future tense itself. However what sounds natural to me does not always sound natural to our colleagues here (I am an L1 English speaker) but they will doubtless chip in if necessary.

  • This answer is perfectly correct and I won't add mine because it would essentially be a copy. What I would add is that the future tense here would be possibly heard as a future of uncertainty.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 15:41

I think the answers so far, albeit correct, lack a little bit of qualification. I agree that the answer to both questions is "yes", but I would not say "Ella canta" for the progressive, rather "ella está cantando" (except for very specific situations, in which the progressive would still be a better choice).

Example: someone comes looking for her. To the question "Is she here" you can reply "Hoy es martes. Ella canta hasta las 8 de la noche." It implies that she's singing, until 8PM. It also implies that she sings every whatever-day-of-the-week, until 8PM. On the flipside, were you to answer with the progressive, there would be no implicit hint that it's a regular activity, it could be a one-off.

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