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 or always 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

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

Thanks a lot Peter. Nice explanation . Have a good time.

Hi Kirk and Peter,
Most of the times in movies I find dialogues like
1.Miguel! I give you my blessings.
2.(on the stage to the audience) Now, I give you Mr Bunny the talking rabbit.
Why simple present tense is uesd here not continuous. I don't understand the grammar here. Please explain it.

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