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

Hello bimsara,

The first sentence here is best thought of as having an adjective, for the reason which you give - that we would use the past participle 'opened' rather than 'open'.  The second sentence could be seen as either, but I think it is more helpful to consider it an adjectival form as it describes the state of the business rather than a particular action of closing.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello there,

We have known each other for long time. This is a present perfect sentence. And I'd like to know that can we use 'for' with present simple sentences?As an example

We know each other for long time.
And also what are the sentence pattens that we can use 'yet'? I only know present perfect.

Thank you.

Hello bimsara,

We would use the present perfect in the sentence you suggest, provided the two people still know one another:

We have known each other for long time.

If, on the other hand, they no longer know each other (because they, for example, lost contact with each other long ago), then we would use a past form:

We knew each other for long time.

We would not use a present form with this construction as this use of 'for' by definition involves a non-present time reference.

With this meaning, 'yet' can also be used with past perfect forms.  As with the present perfect, it is used with a negative verb:

I called, but he hadn't arrived yet.

We do not use 'yet' with future perfect forms ('will have').  Instead we use 'by then', and can use this with positive or negative verbs:

I will have finished the job by then.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

Could we use 'for' with past perfect and past perfect continuous?.As examples,

We had known each other for long time.
I had been sitting there for hours.

Thank you.

Hello bimsara,

Yes, it's perfectly fine to use 'for' with those verb forms.  In fact, it's very common to use it with perfect verb forms, whether present perfect, past perfect or future perfect (will have).  You should, though, remember the article in the phrase 'a long time'.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir,
"My wife usually goes in to the office, but she is working at home today."
I am confused about why "goes into the office" is used instead of "goes to the office".
Thank you.

Hello mangeshnik,

We often use the phrases 'go into work' or 'go into the office' with the same meaning as 'go to work' or 'go to the office'.  In this context either of the forms you suggest would be acceptable.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,
Thank you very much for your reply.
English is a very wonderful language.
I feel very happy and lucky that I came across this website.
Thank you once again.

HELLO,
What tips would you give to any students thinking of coming to study in the UK
 
Can we write that above mentioned sentence in these ways and is the meaning same?

  1. What tips would you give to any students who think of coming to study in UK.
  2. What tips would you give to any students thinking to come to study in the UK
  3. What tips would you give to any students thinking of coming and studying in the UK.

And also there is no relative pronoun in original sentence.It is the subject of the relative clause.I have learned that if the relative pronoun is the subject of a clause we cant omit that.Can you explain these things?
 
Thank you.

Hello bimsara,

No, none of those sentences are correct.  The correct versions would be:

1. What tips would you give to any students who are thinking of coming to study in UK.
2. What tips would you give to any students thinking of coming to study in the UK. [the same as the original]
3. What tips would you give to any students thinking of coming to and studying in the UK.

The reason there is no relative pronoun in the first sentence is not that the relative pronoun is missed out - if that was the case then the sentence would have '...any students are thinking of...' - but that it is a participle clause or a reduced relative clause.  In other words, it is not jus the relative pronoun which is missed out but everything up to the -ing form.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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