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


Present simple and present continuous 2


Present simple and present continuous 3



Hello dipakrgandhi,

If we say 'there' then we usually have a concrete place in mind. if we say 'out there' then we are talking more generally. 'Out there' means simply 'somewhere that is not here'.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Is my explanation correct : ' thinking ' takes ' of ' after it because ' think of ' is a phrase , but ' think to ' is not a standard phrase. So we can't use thinking to come...

Hello dipakrgandhi,

The preposition is connected to the verb here and is a lexical pattern. There is no reason for the pattern; it is essentially arbitrary and has come about through common patterns of use.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

In explanation 3 you mention ' if that was the case ' : what difference would it make if we say ' if that were the case '

Hello dipakrgandhi,

There is no difference in meaning. After 'if' in hypothetical constructions of this kind we can use either 'was' or 'were'.

If I was a rich man...

If I were a rich man...


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

"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,



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 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,



The LearnEnglish Team