Present Tenses with Time Expressions

Review

 

Present Tenses with Time Expressions

 

You use the Present Simple to talk about routines and habits but you also use it in other circumstances. You often use the Present Simple to talk about the future, in ‘zero’ conditional sentences and when you give people instructions. Here are these most common further examples of when it is used.

 

  • You use the Present Simple (not WILL) after WHEN to talk about the future.
    • Buy some milk when you go out.
      • (Not… when you will)
    • I’ll tell him when I see him.
      • (Not… when I’ll see him)

 

  • You use the Present Simple after AS SOON AS when you mean ‘immediately after’. Again you are talking about a future event. You don’t use WILL or Going To.
    • I’ll cook some food as soon as the programme ends
      • (Not… as soon as the programme will end)

 

  • You use the Present Simple or the Present Perfect Simple in clauses with AFTER to talk about the future. There is no difference in meaning between the two tenses you can use either.
    • After the movie has ended, we’ll go home.
      • (Not After the movie will end)
    • After he passes his exams he’ll be a doctor.
      • (Not After he will pass…)

 

  • You use the Present Simple in clauses with BEFORE to talk about the future.
    • Remember to call me before you come.
      • (not …before you will come)

 

  • You use the Present Simple after UNTIL to talk about a time between now and the future.
    • I won’t help you until you say ‘please’.
    • Let’s play until it gets dark
      • (Not …until it will get dark)

 

  • You use the Present Simple after IF when the statement is always true. Some books call this the Zero Conditional, you use the Present Simple in both clauses.
    • If you heat ice, it melts.
    • If you smile, I feel happy.

 

  • You often use the Present Simple to talk about scheduled future events, especially timetables.
    • When does the bus leave Paris?
    • The exam starts at nine.

 

  • You use the Present Simple to give people instructions or directions, and to ask for instructions.
    • You turn left, then you go straight on
    • I’ve turned the machine on. Now what do I do?
    • Where can I go for help?