3

Can simple present tense used with a specific time?

Generally, simple present is used to express habits, repeated action, but can it used to express habits in a period time including now?

For example:

He always goes to cinema this year.

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"He always goes to cinema this year" doesn't make sense. "Always" doesn't just mean that something has been repeated a few times, it implies that something is continuous, perpetual. "This year" will eventually end - will his habit perpetuate then?

You can say:

He always goes to the cinema on Sunday.

Although this includes a condition, it isn't a limited one. This is because there is a Sunday every week!

What you probably want to say is:

He has gone to the cinema a lot this year.

or

He has gone to the cinema often this year.

or

He has been regularly going to the cinema this year.

(These are examples, not an exhaustive list)

  • 1
    Is "He is going to the cinema a lot this year" correct? – Abu Omar Sep 30 at 8:52
  • @AbuOmar Yep that too, my examples were not an exhaustive list. – Astralbee Sep 30 at 9:05
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He has always gone to the cinema this year is correct if the OP insists on using always in his sentence

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? He always goes to cinema this year.

The only thing wrong with this is the lack of an article.

If you add an article, and it's put in the right context, it's fine:

"Last year, he went to the theatre as often as he did to the cinema. Where does he go this year?"

✔ "He always goes to the cinema this year."

It means that this year, every time he goes out, he goes to the cinema. So, both always and this year can be used and understood.

But note that this needs to have the right context. Without that context, it sounds strange.

  • I think the last sentence "this needs the right context", is the most important one. – James K Oct 6 at 6:34

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