I'm an advanced English learner so I'm pretty confident as far as using the Present Simple tense in most contexts. However, recently I've stumbled upon a youtube video where the Present Simple was used to describe a singluar event. I'm mainly confused with the following sentence:

"like he lands, he keeps his hands up"

Especially the "he keeps his hands up" part.

Below, I provide you with the link to the video. The link is set up to start 6-7 seconds before the sentences in the Present Simple are said.


  • It's good that you provided a link, but you are supposed to transcribe the part that confuses you. Without that, what you are asking is unclear. Anyway, did you mean "Does not physics properly"? – Em. Nov 16 '16 at 1:45
  • Let me edit the question, I''ll transcribe the part that confuses me – IGO Nov 16 '16 at 1:59
  • We need more than that... context is important. – Catija Nov 16 '16 at 2:04

This is unremarkable use of the present simple to describe an event as it takes place. The speaker uses idiomatic American English to say:

"like he lands, he keeps his hands up"

Translated into standard English, the speaker says:

"Notice how, in this excerpt from the game, the character lands with his hands up."

Similarly, a play-by-play announcer might use the simple present to describe a goal in a hockey game:

"He shoots—he scores!"

The speaker then demonstrates how a human being might react to a hard fall in reality by lowering his hands. His subsequent comment:

"Does not physics properly..."

...may be interpreted as a truncated version of:

"Does not physics properly dictate an entirely different movement from that shown in the game?"

...or as a use of to physics as a verb with the meaning:

"The character's body does not act as an actual person's body would in this situation as subject to Newton's First Law of Motion."

  • I think that person used "physics" as a verb in that context. – Robusto Nov 16 '16 at 2:37
  • @Robusto Hard to say. He does later say "I didn't see what the further details were..." which hints at a certain level of acquaintance with English. I suppose there's nothing wrong with a transitive physics if we're talking about idiomatic speech. – P. E. Dant Nov 16 '16 at 2:50
  • I don't know if you saw The Martian, but in that film the Matt Damon character says "I'm gonna have to science the shit out of this." That usage would serve as a template for this one, IMO. – Robusto Nov 16 '16 at 3:14
  • @Robusto I saw it, good call. In this vid, though, it's not clear that's what he's doing. I've watched it as many times as I can tolerate and still can't decide whether it's truncation or antimeria. – P. E. Dant Nov 16 '16 at 4:49
  • 1
    Thank you for you very much for your feedback P.E.Dant, I really appreciate it. And it makes me wonder: What sort of meaning does the present continous convey in this type of usage, that makes it so different from the present continuous? When the continuous aspect is missing, what does the "simple" aspect convey in those kind of contexts? – IGO Nov 16 '16 at 22:15

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