Present simple is one of several forms of present tense in English.
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Present simple generally refers to:
Facts that are always true
- The earth moves round the sun.
- Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
- Aspirin is a medicine used to relieve headaches.
- British people drink a lot of tea.
- He drinks coffee at breakfast.
- She only eats fish.
- We do this regularly.
Repeated actions ( routines, actions or something which we do regularly) or events
- They catch the train every evening.
- It rains often in the hot season in our country.
- They drive to Lviv every winter.
- Ann always gets up at 6.30 and does exercises every evening.
- She walks to school everyday.
- When we have free time, we play football with our friends.
- I don't like horror movies.
- Actions or situations generally or permanently true.
- Peter lives in Lviv.
- We have a lot of books.
Programs and Timetables
Something which is already prepared and organized with definite time expression in the schedule for the future action.
- His exam starts at 9 a.m.
- The train to Lviv leaves at 5.30.
- My call starts at 3.15.
- Ann`s work starts at 9:00 a.m. and finishes at 6:00 p.m.
Present simple can be used for
Headlines are often written in present simple, even where the report refers to a past event. This is done to make the news seem more dramatic and immediate:
- Ship sinks in midnight collision.
- I bet you don’t know this!
- We declare this center open!
Instructions and itineraries
Instructions and recipes can be written in the present simple instead of in imperative forms. This style is more personal.
- First you roll out pie dough.
- You walk for fifty meters, then you turn right.
Itineraries are descriptions of travel arrangements.
- On day two we visit Lviv.
Summaries of events
Plots of stories, films, etc, and summaries of historical events use present verb forms.
- May 1945: The war in Europe comes to an end.
- ... At the end of the play both families realize that their hatred caused the deaths of the lovers ...
‘Historic present’ in narrative and funny stories
In informal speech, we can use what we call the ‘historic present’ to describe past events when we whant make the narration seem more immediate.
- ... So then the second man asks the first one why he has a banana in his ear and the first one says …
- I'll see him you before he leaves.
- We'll give it to him when he arrives.