Now I'm NOT an expert, but in general Japanese either uses past-tense, or no tense at all/the tense being implied by the context.
This feels weird at first, but you'll get used to it.
Also don't try getting your sentences to sound right in English, Japanese is NOT English, and thus you must accept that good Japanese will often make for weird/bad English sentences.
For example, 食べる would mean 'eat' or 'to eat', in English. However Japanese is so context-based that this single verb could be an entire sentence, meaning something like 'i am eating', or 'she is eating', or even asking a question 'are you eating?' simply due to context.
Hope this helped a tidbit lad! :D
PS. It also doesn't mandate a distinction between singular and plural, in fact it lets you ignore a ton of stuff so long as the context implies it.
PPS. Sorry if my answer is a tad 'messy' in its presentation, lol.