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Simple Present Tense #4, by Dennis Oliver

 
 

Verb Tenses: Simple Present (#4)

 

Besides showing generally accepted facts or truth and
showing habits, simple present tense is sometimes used
in two other quite different ways:

1.   with a future time expression, to show
an action that was
previously scheduled,
     
2.   current slang: to report what another
person said.

Detail / Examples:


1.
 


showing previously-scheduled actions


In English, there are several different ways to

show future actions or situations because unlike
many languages, English does not have a single
future tense.

When arrangements for a future action or
situation exist because they were made in the
past, the simple present tense can be used to
talk about the arrangements if a future time
expression is also used. (If there is no future
time expression, people will usually understand
the "habit" meaning.)

Examples:

Josť leaves at 9:30 tomorrow morning.

Andrea can't go with us next Tuesday.
She has a meeting then.

Hurry up! The meeting begins in
five minutes!

We have plenty of time. The movie starts
at 8:30 and it's only 7:00 now.

_____________________________________


Note: In all the examples above, the action
or situation was scheduled in advance.
Also, every sentence has some kind of
future time expression.

     

2.
 


current slang: to report what

another person said


In current slang, simple present tense is often
used
to report what another person said--but only two
verbs are used: be like and go. This strange use
of present tense is not appropriate for writing, but
you may hear it very often in casual conversations
by young people.

Example:

Joe:

  What happened?


Ted:

 
I was talking to Bob. l
go,
"Hey, man-- What's up?" and
he goes, "Shut up! I don't want
to talk to you!"


Joe:

 
So what did you do?

 
Ted:

 
I'm like
, "Hey, man, how come?
What'd I do?" Then he's like,
"Come on! I know what you
said about me!"


Joe:

 
So then what happened?


Ted:

 
So I go, "Hey, I didn't say
anything about you, man," and
he goes, "That's not what Kelly
told me!" Then I'm like, "Hey,
Bob, don't pay any attention to
Kelly. He was probably just
teasing you."


Joe:

 
So is he still mad at you?


Ted:

 
Yeah, he is. He
goes, "I don't believe
you. Kelly's my buddy. He wouldn't
put me on."


Remember:
This is current slang. It's "cool"
today, but it might change tomorrow. Also,
remember that this strange use of present tense
is not appropriate for writing.

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