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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:

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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Can we say "I am totally agree."?
Is this example wrong?

Hello Metin,

No, that is not correct. 'Agree' is a regular verb and it does not have 'be' before it. You can say either of these:

I totally agree (with you).

I am in total agreement (with you).

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi
what is the meaning of off here?
maybe Sam is off somewhere sulking

sir,
What is the difference between the following two sentences-
I don't get your mail on my email.
I am not getting your mail on my email.

Hello neh7272,

The first sentence tells us about a permanent state; the second about a temporary state. You would use the second to talk about a problem which you hope will be solved, and the first if, for example, the mail is blocked and will remain so.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

1)when a child is marked absent, his parents would immediately be sent an SMS.(can 'will' be used instead of would, what would be difference in meaning?)
2)if your parents do not report to me by 11am you would be debarred from attending further classes.
3)the PM would visit this place tommorrow.
are these correct?

Hello innocentashish420,

Over time I have noticed that conditional forms seem to be used differently in India, so these might be acceptable there. In standard British English, on the other hand, none of these sentences would be correct, as they mix first and second conditional forms. For example, 1 and 2 should have 'will' instead of 'would'. 3 could be correct in some contexts, but as a simple statement of the PM's plans for tomorrow, 'would' is not correct – 'visits' or 'is to visit' would probably be best.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I'm usually getting ready for work at eight o'clock - can we use this sentence in present simple? like ' I usually get ready for work at eight o'clock' ? thank you.

Hello eıtney,

Generally we would use 'I usually get ready' to talk about routines. We can use the present continuous when we want to emphasise that we are usually in the middle of doing something at the time given, however.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

1)can modal verb 'would' be used for present time and future time (NOT future from past) reference.
a)The PM would visit this place next Monday.(future time)
b) CCTV cameras are installed in the classrooms, parents would now be able to see their wards from their homes.(present time)
c)After getting married he would become more responsible in his life.