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:

Nowadays people are sending text messages instead of phoning.
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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Comments

Hello dipakrgandhi,

I agree with you. The hospital is the body which admits or does not admit someone, not your relative. Thus it should be phrased as you say, though I would suggest 'be admitted' rather than 'get admitted'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir

I was following a text commentary of a cricket match on a well known cricket website. The match ended in a tie and after that the comments were :

What.a.match.

Is it correct to palce a full stop after every word ?

The english on the website is always of highest standard and I don't think they ever go wrong

Please clear my doubt.

Regards

Dipak Gandhi

Hello Dipak,

It's not standard to put full stops after every word, but it is used sometimes on the internet as a way of adding emphasis or showing astonishment in such situations, especially in phrases like 'What a...'

For example:

Kohli has become the fastest player to reach 10,000 runs in one-day cricket.

What.a.player.

 

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir

Hello Learn English team,
Would there a difference in meaning if I said "We will not go out if it is raining. versus if it rains"
Thanks in advance.

Hi Hopefinder,

No, there is no real difference in meaning. The present continuous could suggest you are imagining that rainy day and the present simple is more matter-of-fact, but in the end they mean the same thing.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

"all we can do is watch and wait".... why is there not infinitive form(to watch)or ing form(watching) in this example?

Hi manuel24,

It's possible to use 'to' ('All we can do is to watch ...') but it's much more common not to use 'to' here. As far as I know, this is just due to usage, i.e. this is just how people speak. This is a kind of cleft sentence -- perhaps reading a bit more about how these work would be interesting for you. 

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you kirk!

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