samedi 30 août 2014

Top Tips Grammar: Talking about the present

Main points

*For general present, general truths, and habitual actions, you use the present simple (I walk).
*For something which is happening now, or for temporary situations, you use the preset continuous (I am walking).

 

a) If you are talking about the present in general, you normally use the present simple tense. You use the present simple for talking about the general present including the present moment.

- My dad works in Saudi Arabia.
- He lives in the French Alps near the Swiss border.

 

b) If you are talking about general truth, you use the present simple.

- Water boils at 100 degrees centigrade.
- Love makes the world go round.
- The bus takes longer than the train.

 

c) If you are talking about regular or habitual actions, you use the present simple.

- Do you eat meat?
- I get up early and eat my breakfast in bed.
- I pay the milkman on Fridays.

 

d) If you are talking about something which is regarded as temporary, you use the present continuous.

- Do you know if she’s still playing tennis these days?
- I’m working as a British Council officer.

 

e) If you are talking about something which is happening now, you normally use the present continuous tense.

- We’re having a meeting. Come and join in.
- Wait a moment. I’m listening to the news.

 

f) There are a number of verbs which are used in the present simple tense even when you are talking about the present moment. These verbs are not normally used in the present continuous or the other continuous tenses.

These verbs usually refer to:

Thinking : believe, forget, imagine, know, realize,   recognize, suppose, think, understand,   want, wish.
Liking and disliking : admire, dislike, hate, like, love, prefer.
Appearance : appear, look, like, resemble, seem.
Possession : belong to, contain, have, include, own,   possess.
Perception : hear, see, smell, taste.
Being : be, consist of, exist.

- I believe he was not to blame.
- She hates going to parties.
- Our neighbours have two cars.


Note that you normally use verbs of perception with the modal ‘can’, rather than using the present simple tense.

- I can smell gas.

Some other common verbs are not normally used in the present continuous or the other continuous tenses.

concer fit matter
deserve interest mean
satisfy involve satisfy

- What do you mean?

Remember that some of the verbs listed above can be used in continuous tenses in other meaning. For example, ‘have’ referring to possession is not used in continuous tenses. You don’t say ‘I’m having a car’. But note the following examples.

- We are having a party tomorrow.
- He’s having problems with his car.
- She’s having a shower.

 

 

 

 

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Top Tips Abz Ingles: Part A    -    Part B
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See also:

Words related to Failure to Cooperate Irregular Verbs list
Common Phrasal Verbs Common Slangs
Common misspellings Regular vs Irregular Verbs
Common Errors Frequently confused words
Common Slangs Lista de Términos Gramaticales
Common Clichés Common Prepositions

 

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