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I know if I add the word "here" at the end as "Look, the bus comes here", it won't sound right, but what if I simply say "Look, the bus comes"? Does it mean the same as "Look, here comes the bus"? Does it sound natural?

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    The first two sound unnatural. The third is good, but you can also say "Here comes the bus". Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 14:33

3 Answers 3

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The way you are using the simple present tense to describe a current event

Look, the bus comes.

is probably the most obvious giveaway that you are not a native speaker of English.

Languages like German

Der Bus kommt.

or Spanish

El autobús viene.

commonly use simple present to express that an event is happening right now, but in English we do that with the present continuous:

The bus is coming.

Moreover, if you use the simple present you are likely to suggest that the event is durable and general. For example

Geese fly.

means that the act of flying is a property of geese, while

Geese are flying.

means you should look up in the sky right now if you want to see some geese.

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  • Hmm. I think you need to be a bit more explicit. You don't actually say that they need the present continuous/progressive and you don't say that "the bus is coming" would be preferable. At the moment the learner needs to cryptically infer this from the answer ;) Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 16:03
  • @Araucaria: I think my first sentence covers that ground pretty well, though perhaps not baldly enough for your taste.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 20:22
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Short answer, you should rephrase it to;

"... Look, the bus is coming."

The sentence means exactly the same as "Look, here comes the bus". This works due to talking in the present tense. Both are casual and used socially. The alternate way you provided sounds awkward and unnatural, I would stick to the sample I provided, although it is clear that you mean it the same way.

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    Why the random use of bold? Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 16:04
  • I always bold words / phrases that I think are important out of all of them, so it's easier to skim through the text without missing key parts. Good for lengthy answers.
    – Tyler
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 16:12
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    Good answer, though I agree the bolded words are more distracting than informative -- but it's your choice of style.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 16:29
  • I find it helpful myself, so I'm only reciprocating what I like to see. If general consensus says it's distracting, I'll remove the habit :-)
    – Tyler
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 16:30
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I agree with the other answers that

The bus is coming

is the most natural way to express its imminent arrival. However, it is possible to use the simple present in an ironic way as if to express some kind of special or momentous event. This is because of the now-archaic third-person singular simple present indicative form of the verb, "cometh", now only commonly seen in texts like The Bible:

I am the living bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die.

If you want to be appropriately melodramatic, you could say something like:

Lo! The bus cometh!

but it is acceptable to shift this to the modern conjugation, and say (with appropriately dramatic tone)

There! The bus comes!

Again, this particular use is dramatic, archaic, and can be satirical -- but it may be helpful to be familiar with it, in case you see it in a movie. For example:

The birds! The birds! He rises! Moby Dick (1956)

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  • Speaking of Moby Dick, would 'Thar she blows!' be appropraite for an approaching bus?
    – Lars Mekes
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 11:01
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    @LarsMekes It would probably be funnier if the bus was predominantly white.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 16:45

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