historic’ or ‘dramatic’ present
: used to give the flavour of immediacy to past events (real or fictitious) or to recount ‘funny’ stories/jokesI get out of the bus and find myself in that bad neighbourhood (real event, colloquial register)When Hamlet meets his father’s ghost, he learns the truth about his uncle Claudius (fictitiousevent)6)
Present Simple with stative Vs
: the use of Present Simple is generally preferred to the use of the Present Continuous with Vs describing
agree, assume, believe, belong to, contain,cost, disagree, feel, hate, have, hope, know, like, look, love, own, prefer, realise, regret, resemble, smell, taste.
BUT: the Present Progressive can be used with some such Vs if we intend to point out that thesituation is temporary:I
him a moron (this is my opinion) vs.
quitting this job (I’m weighing the pros and cons right now)The kids
playing with your pets (they love it whenever such playing takes place)The kids
playing with your pets (they are playing with your pets now and are having agood time)Little difference in meaning with Vs describing a temporary state:
ache, hurt, feel, look (=seem)
You don’t look healthy to me/ aren’t looking healthy to me.BUT : Some Vs have a stative meaning that differs from the active meaning. Compare:Jack
is being childish
a two-storey mansion
is having a shower/dinner
about you as a good friend.
about getting a new boyfriend.The stew
there’s more to it than you confess.
I’m feeling dizzy
10 lbs.The doctors
the newborn baby.It all
on the grant. His family
on him.Other uses of Present Simple:
announcements :The Bon Jovi concert starts at 8.
Bush Wins Elections
stage directions, film scripts :The Highlander
his sword. He
it over his enemy’s head.
definitions and explanationsTeacher to pupils: You
an apple and cut it into two. You
two halves. Then you
eachhalf into two. You
spoken statements introduced by
I gather, I hear, I see, I understand, I reckon,
meant tointroduce newly heard items of news:I hear Bush's IQ is the lowest in the history of American presidents.I gather Britney's second marriage is as much of a fake as her first.