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For Present Simple form click here

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Further Functions


We use the Present Simple to:

  • give instructions and directions

This is often done using words to signify the order of instructions, such as: first, second, then, lastly, etc.


Giving Directions


You catch the number 23 bus and get off at the stop after the harbour.


Giving Instructions


First,  open the paper and then read the questions carefully. Write your  answers on the answer paper. Do not write on the question paper.



  • tell stories and giving commentaries

The present simple can often be used to describe a series of actions in order. This is especially true in narratives.


Ben  doesn't like the cold, but he takes the dog out for a walk anyway. The neighbours know he is out as the dog barks at everything and everyone.


The present simple is used to give sports commentary to report on actions as they occur


Gilman passes to Morris. The defender fouls him but the referee waves play on and Keane scores!

  • performative utterances

We can use the present simple with verbs that "perform" the act that they describe (Performative Utterances)


I promise to study harder


I don't agree with you


This use is also seen in legal or formal language


I attach the documents for your review


I write to confirm receipt of your resignation

(a formal alternative to I'm writing to confirm....)

  • Newspaper headlines

The  present simple is often used in news headlines to report events in the  past. This emphasis immediacy and provides a sense of drama


Dog eats homework


US delegation arrives in London


Manager quits at half time


That these uses can be understood as statements of truth or fact. As explained in the basic functions of the present simple here

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Related Topics

Present Simple form and function here            

Facts/Opinions/Habitual Actions. Exceptions & Spelling notes

Present Continuous form and function here   

What is happening now 

Present Continuous further functions here     

Temporary states/Repeated actions/Change/Criticism of consistent behaviour

Present Simple or Present Continuous here

Permananent or Temporary states/Stative or Dynamic verbs

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