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Talking about the present

Level: intermediate

We use the present simple to talk about:

  • something that is true in the present:

They live next door to us.
He works for the Post Office.

  • something that happens regularly in the present:

The children come home from school at about four.
We often see your brother at work.

  • something that is always true:

Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
The Nile is the longest river in Africa.

We use the present continuous to talk about:

  • something happening at the moment of speaking:

I can't hear you. I'm listening to a podcast.
Please be quiet. The children are sleeping.

  • something happening regularly in the present before and after a specific time:

I'm usually having breakfast at this time in the morning.
When I see George he's usually reading his Kindle.

  • something in the present which we think is temporary:

Michael is at university. He's studying history.
I love Harry Potter. I'm reading the last book.

  • something which is new and contrasts with a previous state:

Nowadays people are sending text messages instead of phoning.
I hear you've moved house. Where are you living now?

  • something which is changing, growing or developing:

The weather is getting colder.
Our grandchildren are growing up quickly.

  • something which happens again and again:

It's always raining in London.
They are always arguing.
George is great. He's always laughing.

Note that we normally use always with this use.

We use modal verbs:

I don't know where Henry is. He might be playing tennis.
'Who's knocking at the door?' – 'I don't know. It could be the police.'

I can speak English quite well but I can't speak French at all.
You should do your homework before you go out. 

Present simple and present continuous 1

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Present simple and present continuous 2

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Present simple and present continuous 3

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Comments

Hello sir,
Sir, I read a sentence in a textbook.

Then came the giant wave that swept both of them away.

"came" verb is written before the subject, the giant wave.
I want to know sir, is there any inversion?
As I know, inversion takes place when we write Verb or Helping Verb before the subject.
My question is that there is any inversion or not.
Please clarify Sir.
:)

Hello Kapil Kabir,

Inversion can be used in many different ways. Probably the most common is in question formation, but it can also be used for emphasis and for other reasons. In this case, 'then' is one of a group of short adverbs (others, for example, are 'here' and 'there') that often go first in a sentence. After these, subject-verb inversion is common, unless the the subject is a pronoun -- in such a case, usually there is no inversion.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir
:)

Hello sir,
I have a confusion regarding a sentence, mention below

She could not bear his separation.

The correction in this sentence is that,
Use the phrase "Separation from him" instead of " his separation"
She could not bear separation from him.
I wanna know why the phrase is replaced to the other one.
Is there any rule...?
Please help sir.

Hello Kapil Kabir,

It's very hard to say without seeing the context in which the sentence is used. I think 'the separation' or 'their separation' would be more likely, but I'd need to see the context to be sure.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir,
As far as I know about copular verb, it tells us about the state of the subject and change in state of the subject.

Suppose I say, "He look handsome." Here "look" is a copular verb representing only state of the subject or change in state of the subject?

Same sentence if i say like this "He looks handsome these days" is it representing copular verb change in state of the subject??

Hello Rsb

As I understand it, 'look' isn't used to speak about a change of state, but rather about a state, even if you modify the sentence with an adverbial such as 'these days'.

You might find it interesting to do a little research on this subject. A good place to start might be the Linking verb and Copula entries in the Wikipedia.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Rsb

I can confirm that 'get' and 'become' both generally refer to changes of state, but I'm sorry, we don't provide lists such as the one you're asking for. I expect you could find such a list if you did a bit of research on the internet.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, I have a question??

If I say, "he got angry" here get is a copular verb as it is describing change in state of the subject right??

Hello Rsb

Yes, that is correct – 'get' is a copular verb in this phrase.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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