talking about the present


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.





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,
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,


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.

Hello innocentashish420,

'Would' is the past form of 'will' but it can certainly be used with present and future meaning. Generally, it suggests a hypothetical meaning - a possibility, depending on some other condition or requirement.

For examples of the use of both 'will' and 'would' see this page.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

this error happens again. i match both present continuous with "to describe a temporary situation" and "to describe something happening before and after a given time" but it's wrong answer. why???

Hello Anh Tuấn,

Thank you for letting us know about this. We are currently updating many of the exercises to new formats and it appears that there are some gremlins in the system! We will try to fix the exercise as soon as possible.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

it was a good movie. Although the script wasn't that much good as it was expected but Anushka played her role very well in the movie.Movie delivers a clear message to the Govt. about its flaws in the Law and they must do something to stop these Crime.

The review about the movie that i have written above is grammatically correct or not?
i want to know that initally i was writing in the past tense and suddenly i changed to present tense.Is this correct ?