Ok, image there is a situation like this:

Mary: Where is Bob?

Bod: I think he is at home.

According to this website, there are 4 present uses of present simple tense.

1: We use the present simple when something is generally or always true.

Ex: People need food.

2: Similarly, we need to use this tense for a situation that we think is more or less permanent. (See the present continuous for temporary situations.)

Ex: Where do you live?

3: The next use is for habits or things that we do regularly. We often use adverbs of frequency (such as 'often', 'always' and 'sometimes') in this case, as well as expressions like 'every Sunday' or 'twice a month'. (See the present continuous for new, temporary or annoying habits).

Ex: Do you smoke?

4: We can also use the present simple for short actions that are happening now. The actions are so short that they are finished almost as soon as you've said the sentence. This is often used with sports commentary, or in demonstrations.

Ex: He takes the ball, he runs down the wing, and he scores!

I would say the sentence "I think he is at home." falls to the Use #4 (an action is happening but stops immediately right at the time the speaker says it.

But see this sentence "I think chocolate is great", I would say this sentence falls to the use #2 (a situation that we think is more or less permanent.) or use # 3 (habits or things that we do regularly.)

But I am not sure I am right.

  • 1
    Why does it matter how some website chooses to categorize the uses of Present Simple? Without knowing what "Bod" thinks or why or how he thinks it (which we likely cannot) the question can't be answered.
    – Robusto
    Jan 11, 2017 at 2:11
  • 2
    That webpage has an incomplete list of the uses of present. Look at this webpage from the same website for the answer. We also use present tense for stative verbs like think, see, hear, feel, know. Jan 11, 2017 at 14:41
  • I strongly suggest you stop trying to analyze English and go out and use it and/or get more exposure to authentic usages. You can't be fluent in a language by learning rules. Feb 12, 2017 at 4:54
  • I think you did a great job categorizing this according to the definitions you are using, but some do seem to be left out. Doesn't your native language have some way to describe something that is happening now, whether or not you think it will be "short"? Dec 7, 2017 at 4:40

1 Answer 1


How about using the present tense to simply describe a current condition or situation?

He is in bed.

They are hungry.

I am fond of answering ELL questions.

and so on. It's the basic use of the "to be" verb, to describe how things are. Moreover, as Peter Shor mentions, you can use the present tense for certain verbs like think, see, hear, feel, want, know, etc. again to indicate a current condition.

I think I will have soup for lunch.

I feel blue.

I see three little birds on my doorstep.

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.

and so on.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .