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.





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"???

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,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Krik
thanks a lot for your help. it was completely useful.

I think it would be also helpful if you add some keywords for the present simple such as often, always,never, everyday, usually&sometimes. some keywords for the present continuous such as look, listen, now, at the moment, still& at present
they will help learners know when to use each tense. thanks

Hello Sarah Fathy,

Thank you for your suggestion. The problem with these words is that they can be used with many different verb forms - past, present and future forms, simple and continuous, perfective and so on. I think trying to like them to any particular verb forms would not be very helpful because of this.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team


my yesterday

here i would like to ex plane my yesterday. that was a day make me explainable that's why it was a celebration with my college friends. we are five members and we had celebrated lots of moments after college life. we had completed our college life since 2011. whenever we met, we celebrate well and when lots of fun and recollected our memories then those we recreated. so that we would love our get together but yesterday not only have fun that was day our friend who one will be going to Italy, so the day also have tears

Mr peter could you help me what are the mistakes above my tweet and please suggests to me what kind of things i need to make up on my English.

Hello vishak mv,

I'm afraid that we are too small a team with too much work to be able to offer corrections on users' writing. But reading through your text quickly, I'd recommend you revise the verb tenses you use - there are some that are correct and others that are not - and the use of verb tenses with the word 'since'.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

He is placed in infosys.

He has placed in infosys.

He got placed in infosys
Plz explain tbe difference with proper timeline and context... I be very thankful..

in the examples of present simple to talk about something happening continually in the present:
1. They live next door to us.
2. He works for the Post Office.
is it possible to use present continous to mean the same?
example 1. they are living next door to us
2. he is working for the post office