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.

 

 

Exercise

Comments

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,

Peter

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 ?

Hello tagrapankaj,

We don't correct errors for users as we simply don't have time to offer such a service! The tense switch is fine, however: you use a past tense to describe the action of the film and a present tense to talk about the film's effects in the wider world today.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

i need help to understand the usage of "been" in present prefect tense

Example : Is must have been easy

Is above example comes under present perfect or present perfect continuous?

Hello bharathkumarreddy,

I think the explanation on our modals + have page will help you understand this. In the phrase you ask about, which I think should be 'It must have been easy', 'been' is a past participle. Other past participles, e.g. 'seemed', could go there as well.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello mahmoodsalah,

No, 'continually' and 'regularly' don't mean the same thing. You can see definitions and examples of both words by searching for them in the Cambridge Dictionaries Online searchbox on the lower right side of this page. The main difference between the two is that 'regularly' has the idea of intervals, whereas 'continuous' is without such interruptions.

The present tense page is more general than the talking about the present page, and so does not go into as much detail. 

I hope this answers your question, but if not, please let us know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter
I've already joined to this site and it's appreciated for me to be one of the members who wants to improve her English knowledge. My questions is that is it possible to use of present simple tense to describe the "certain future"???
Regards
Rita

Hello rita7,

The present simple can be used to talk about the future in limited situations. As our talking about the future page explains, it can be used to speak about a timetable. It can also have a future meaning in a subordinate clause, e.g. 'I'll call you when I arrive', which is explained on our verbs in time clauses page.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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