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 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.






Thank you for your fast answer. I've got another question.
Can we start a sentence with this expression ' in the morning/evening'?
Eg. In the evening, I do my homework at 6 o'clock and read a book at 8.
Thank you.

Hi Marua,

Yes, that is perfectly correct.

You're welcome!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I've got 1 question about linking words used in the present. Is it appropriate to use 'after this/that' when it comes to daily routines?
'I get up at 8 o'clock and have breakfast. After this/after that I go to school...'
I know that 'then' works better here, but what about 'after this/ that'?

Hi Marua,

Yes, that's fine, I'd say, though, as you say, 'then' is more common. 'after that' is better than 'after this' -- we usually use 'that' when speaking about something's that's just finished.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Team,
Could you help me to understand this?
Sentence 1: Let me know when you finish the report.
Sentence 2: Let me know when you have finished the report.
Are the both sentences correct? If so, what is the difference?

Hello Donald Harrison,

Both sentences are correct and in almost all contexts there is no difference in meaning. Some people might suggest that the first sentence emphasises that the speaker wants to be informed immediately upon completion of the report, but I think both forms can emphasise this through intonation much more effectively.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Peter.

Why we use "is" in present tense except present continous? I mean what are the indications to use "is" as helping verb in present tense except present continious?

Hello Kashif ch,

Complete English sentences always have a verb. In the present simple, 'is' is not a helping verb -- it is a main verb.

I'm not completely sure I've answered your question. If not, please don't hesitate to ask again.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, team! I have read such a sentence "How long does it takes to form a first impression about someone’s face? " To me, it's strange that 'takes' had been spelt with s in the end. Would you comment please? Thank you!