The present tense is used to express habitual actions and indicate continuing action, to tell what you are currently doing. A verb in the present tense consists of two words – main verb or principal verb that has full lexical meaning and auxiliary verb performing grammatical function.
In Altaian language an auxiliary verb јат helps to form a positive sentence in present tense. The auxiliary јат has its personal forms.

Positive form

Positive formula of the Present tense is:

verb root+ tense sign –ып (-уп, -ип) + auxiliary јат

In order to form main verb we take an infinitive and drop its affix –ар (-ор, -ер, -ӧр) then add tense sign –ип ( -ып, ап,-уп,-ӱп, -еп, -ӧп) to a verb stem according to vowel harmony rule.

aйдарto say, to tell
Step 1. At first we drop affix –ар
and we have айд– is a verb stem
Step 2.then we add the suffix, so it looks this way: айд+ып = айдып – it is the main verb (we took suffix –ып because the verb’s last vowel is a back sound). Main verb has one form for all persons.
Step 3. And after that we add a personal form of the auxiliary verb јат.

Personal forms of the auxiliary verb јат

1st (I) јадырым (Here we see consonant mutation when т changes into д in a position before a vowel: јатјадырым)
2nd (you) јадырыҥ
3rd (he, she, it) јат

1st (we) јадырыбыс (short form is јадыс)
2nd (you) јадыгар
3rd (they) јат

So we put together the main verb and auxiliary to form positive in present and we have:

мен айдып јадырымI say/am saying
сен айдып јадырыҥyou say/are saying
ол айдып јатhe (she,it) says/is saying
бис айдып јадырыбыс – we say/are saying
слер айдып јадыгарyou say/are saying
олор айдып јатthey say/are saying

Another example:
угарto hear, to listen to
уг+suffix –уп = угуп
угуп + auxiliary јат
угуп јадырым – I hear, I’m listening to

мен угуп јадырым – I hear/ am listening to
сен угуп јадырыҥyou hear/ are listening to
ол угуп јатhe (she, it) hears/ is listening to
бис угуп јадыбысwe hear/ are listening to
слер угуп јадыгарyou hear/ are listening to
олор угуп јатthey hear/ are listening to

Negative form

Negative formula of present continuous is constructed this way:

Verb root + negating suffix ба +й auxiliary јат


To form present continuous negative
1. We take an infinitive and drop its suffix –р for example, барар – to go
2. So we have бар then add to it a negative particle -ба, and it gets ,барба
3. Then we add affix –й to the main verb and after that we add the auxiliary јат, and we have: барбай јат.

бар+ба+й јат

кел+бе+й јат

Consonant mutation 

When forming negative of the present tense we should remember the rule: last voiced consonant in the verb root mutates into its voiceless version this way: letter “г” changes into “к“, “ж” into “ш“, “б” into “п“, “д” into “т“, “з” into “с. And therefore we add suffix -па (-по, -пе, пӧ) to a voiceless consonant instead of -ба (-бо, -бе, бӧ), for example, айдар – айт + пай јат, cогор-сок + пой јат, болужар-болуш + пай јат.

In case a verb root ends in sonorant sounds м, н, л, р we add suffixes -ба (-бо, -бе, -бӧ), for example, келеркел + бей јат, барар – бар + бай јат.

Also  in case the verb has a doubled vowel, like in verbs сакыыр to wait for, ыйлаарto cry we add suffix -ба (-бо, -бе, -бӧ). Here we leave one of the doubled vowels in a verb root, after dropping verb affixes -ар, -ыр, and we have verb root: сакы, ыйла. Finally we form negative verb: сакы+ба+й јат, ыйла+ба+й јат.

мен ыйлабай јадырымI don’t cry/ am not crying
сен ыйлабай јадырыҥyou don’t cry/ are not crying
ол ыйлабай јатhe (she, it) doesn’t cry/ is not crying
бис ыйлабай јадыбысwe don’t cry/are not crying
слер ыйлабай јадыгарyou don’t cry/ are not crying
олор ыйлабай јатthey don’t cry/ are not crying

Question form

Question formula of the present tense is constructed just by adding a question particle ба ( бо, бе, бӧ, па, по, пе, пӧ) at the end of a sentence.

verb root+ tense sign –ып (-уп, –ип) + auxiliary јат+ба?

барып јат is a positive sentence of the present tense, we just add particle ба and make a guestion sentence – барып јат ба?

Мен бичип јадырым ба? Do I write?/ Am I writing?
Сен бичип јадырыҥ ба?Do you write?/ Are you writing?
Ол бичип јат ба?Does (he, she, it) write?/ Is he writing?
Бис бичип јадыбыс ба? Do we write?/ Are we writing?
Слер бичип јадыгар ба? Do you write?/ Are you writing?
Олор бичип јат ба?Do they write?/Are they writing?