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Talking about the present

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 Rsb

Yes, that is correct – 'get' is a copular verb in this phrase.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team


Like we say "Sachin would have played" here it is hypothetical situation of past. we used "would" here for past imagination.

If I say for present hypothetical situation, can we use "would" here for hypothetical situation of present.

Suppose "sachin would be playing now" showing imaginory situation of present.

Is it correct "would" can be used for present hypothetical situation??

Hello Rsb

Yes, that is correct -- your sentence is correct. Well done!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

This is the sentence I came across in a newspaper :

The minister directed the concerned authority and got help to the elderly lady by getting her an LPG connection.

' Got help to the ... ' , is that the correct usage ? I would use ... and saw that the elderly lady gets/got help ...

What would you say sir ?

Hello dipakrgandhi

Yes, that is correct -- one of the meanings of 'get' has to do with causing something to be done. You could also say 'saw that she got help' ('gets' is not correct in that case, since it's the past) in this case. Another possibility would be 'and helped her get an LPG connection'.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

What is the difference between drive out , drive away and drive off...please reply

Hello Kamil

In general, 'out' suggests the vehicle is leaving an enclosed space, 'away' expresses that it is leaving a person or place behind and 'off' also focuses on the vehicle leaving a person a behind.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

I would like to ask about the following:
In the specific following case, which is better to use?:
Example: I always lived in Italy but now I live or I am living for 3 years in France
Can temporary, in this case, be 2-3 years or it is better to use Simple Present?
Thank you in advance

Hello agie,

Since your sentence contains 'for three years' it is describing a time which began in the past and is not finished. Present perfect is therefore needed.

You can use present perfect simple or continuous. Simple suggests that you believe that living in France is something permanent for you. Continuous suggests that you see living in France as something which will not be permanent.

I always lived in Italy but I've lived in France for 3 years now.

I always lived in Italy but I've been living in France for 3 years now.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you