1. We use the present simple:

  • to talk about something happening regularly in the present:

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

  •  to talk about something happening continually in the present:

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

  •  to talk about things which are generally true:

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

2. We use the present continuous:

  • to show that something in the present is temporary:

We are living in a rented flat at present.
My wife usually goes in to the office, but she is working at home today.

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

I’m usually getting ready for work at eight o’clock.
When I see George he’s always reading his newspaper.

  • for something happening before and after the moment of speaking:

I can’t hear you. I’m listening to my iPod.
Be quiet. The children are sleeping.

3. We use modal verbs

  • to talk about the present when we are not sure of something:

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.

 

 

Exercise

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Comments

Hello!
I have a question regarding two of examples:
"The children come home from school at about four." - present simple
"I’m usually getting ready for work at eight o’clock." - present continuous
Both are happening regulary and we have a given time.
If i will say: I get ready for work at eight o'clock. - that will be mistake?
Regards,
Karolka

Hello Karolka,

No, it would not be a mistake but the meaning would be slightly different. The present continuous form here means something like 'I'm usually in the middle of this action at...' while the present simple means 'I do this action at...'

Generally this is not a hugely important distinction, but sometimes it can be important.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello there,

Can you help me understand the difference between these two sentences?

My wife usually goes in to the office, but she is working at home today.

My wife usually goes in to the office, but she is working from home today.

I think they mean the same thing.

Kind Regards,
SK

Hello SK,

Yes, they mean the same thing in general. The only possible contradiction to this that I can think of would be, for example, that your wife works as a salewoman who spends most of her day out of the office with her clients. If that were the case, the second sentence would mean she's using your home as her office for the day but that she's actually spending most of her time out of the house. In that case, the first sentence wouldn't be completely accurate, as it implies her work is done inside the house.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I can read and write English but can't speak please help how to I improve?Thanks

Hello mehtab72,

We have advice on improving speaking on our Help pages - you can find that advice here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

This convenience store often get ninety cents discount for every one hundred dollar at Tuesday.
We can often getting ninety cents discount for every one hundred dollar at Tuesday in this convenience store.
this two sencences is correct?

Hello Ice,

I'm afraid we can't offer a service checking sentences for our users - if we tried to do this then we would have no time for anything else! Our role here is to help with the material on our pages, not to correct or check sentences when needed.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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

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