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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



Thanks a lot again,Kirk,for very helpful advice!

Hello again!
What would be the best way to say in the following situaton:
Imagine situation where I am acting as a interpreter  between english and russian speakers. Russian asks Englishman about something... Question!- How can I say here in most correct way -
1.He is asking about...
2.He asks about...
3. He asked about...
I*m inсlined to think that the 1 option is most correct,but maybe there are any others options(cliches) here on english-speaker opinion?
Thanks in advance

Hi Slava,

You could use all three of these options, but I suppose 1 or perhaps 2 would be best. The context makes it clear that the questions are being asked in the moment.

You might want to consider translating exactly what each speaker says. For example, if the Russian says (in Russian) 'I would like to invite you to a meeting', instead of saying (in English) 'He says he would like to invite you to a meeting', say 'I would like you to a meeting'.

I was trained to do this when I was an interpreter and it worked well. It also has the advantage of saving you some time and mental effort!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

My relative studies in a medical college.Yesterday she fell ill.The college wanted to get her admitted for treatment but she did not want to get admitted in the college hospital. So college asked her to give it in writing.

This is what her room-mates gave in writing : ' We are not admitting the patient and we are taking leave at our own risk.'

I have some doubt about first part of the statement - ' we are not admitting ' :

In my opinion ' we are not admitting ' will always be considered college's statement as they are the authority to admit the patient and ' we are not admitting' will always mean that college is not ready to admit the patient for whatever reason.

Patient can not say ' we are not admitting ' if she does not want to get admitted. Rather her friends should say ' we do not want/ wish to get the patient admitted '

Am I right sir ? What do you say ?

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'.



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 :


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.


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.





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.