RE: Present Tense page 2

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The present simple tense is commonly used as follows:

1. When talking about habits.
2. What talking about facts.
3. With certain verbs called non-action (or stative) verbs.

Habits are usually repeated actions. They can also include permanent (or semi-permanent) states. Examples:
She does her homework every night.
He smokes a lot.
I work at a bank.
She teaches French.
He lives in Japan.
That shop fixes motorcycles.
My mother doesn’t work. She stays at home.

The present simple is used to express general truths:
The sky is blue.
Water freezes at zero degrees.
The earth orbits the sun.

It is also used for schedules and timetables:
The train leaves at 9:00.
The movie starts in two hours.

Non-action verbs (also called stative verbs) relate to emotions, cognitive processes, and the five senses. These verbs can be used in the present simple rather than present progressive tense.
We say "I love you," not "I am loving you".
We say "The students respect the teacher," not "The students are respecting the teacher."
We say "That tastes terrible!", not "That is tasting terrible."

1. Emotions

Verbs used to express emotions and feelings include like, dislike, love, hate, want, need, hope, expect, wish, mind, fear, prefer, admire, respect, resent, care, enjoy, appreciate, and miss:
We all dislike tests.
I want a new car.
I need a drink.
I hope to become a doctor.
He expects to pass his test.
She wishes she were a movie star.
Do you mind if I come in?
She fears her father.
He prefers chicken to beef.
We all admire heroes.
I respect my teacher.
She resents his unpleasant behavior.
I care a lot about my family.
They enjoy skiing.
She appreciates my help.
I miss my family.

2. Verbs of Cognition, Perception, and Thought Processes

These verbs include know, mean, understand, think, believe, agree, trust, guess, imagine, remember, forget, appear, seem, look like, notice, tolerate, plan, recall, and consider:
I know you.
I know the answer.
Does she mean to be so rude?
A green light means go.
I understand mathematics.
My parents don’t understand me.
She thinks I’m stupid.
I believe you.
She agrees with my suggestion.
He trusts his wife.
I guess it’s true.
Sometimes I imagine doing something different with my life.
My old teacher still remembers me.
I forget who she is.
This task appears to be impossible.
He seems stupid.
He looks like his father.
She never notices me.
She tolerates his foolishness.
We plan to go there tomorrow.
I don’t recall ever meeting him before.
I consider you a friend.

3. The Five Senses

The most common verbs relating to the senses are see, hear, smell, taste and feel:
I see him.
I hear music.
It smells terrible.
The pizza tastes great.
That feels good.

Note that the verbs listen, look, watch and read involve the senses but form progressive tenses because they express deliberate actions:
I’m listening to the radio now.
He’s watching TV in his room.
That man is looking at me.
She’s reading a book now.

4. Other Non-Action Verbs

Other verbs that can be used in the present simple include have, own, belong to, cost, weigh, depend on, recommend, claim, guarantee, deserve, admit, tend, manage, deny, suggest, consist, and promise:
She has a son.
They own a large home.
That dogs belongs to me.
That car costs a lot of money.
She weighs 100 kilos.
She depends on her parents for everything.
I recommend this book.
He claims to be rich.
I guarantee you'll be satisfied with my work.
The killer deserves to die.
He admits to the crime.
She tends to make mistakes.
He manages a big company.
They deny everything.
I suggest you work harder.
Computers consist of many different parts.
He promises to change.
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