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If it is just a one-time thing, do we use the present simple tense?

Example 1

Today people have a strike which is not a regular event, and I want to talk about this.

Do I use the present tense?

A: People don't work and go on the streets protesting today.

Example 2

Today the school has an event and it is not a regular event. With this event, we have shuttle buses.

Do I use the present tense?

A: We have shuttle buses today.

Example 3

Today the movie theater has an event and it is not a regular event. We do not need to pay money to watch movies.

Do I use the present tense?

A: Why don't people pay money for movies?

B: People don't pay money to watch movies today.

1 Answer 1

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The general rule is that for temporary things with action verbs, we use present continuous. For everything else, we use present simple.

Example 1 is not a regular event, and the verbs "work" and "go" are action verbs, so we use present continuous:

People aren't going to work, and are going into the streets protesting today. (slightly modified to make it sound natural)

Example 2 is not a regular event, but the verb "have" is a state verb (not an action verb), so we cannot use the continuous. It is correct.

Example 3 is the same situation as example 1, where the verb "pay" is an action verb, so we should use present continuous:

A: Why aren't people paying money for movies?

The second part isn't natural though. Likely, it should read like this:

B: People don't have to pay money to watch movies today.

This is present simple because "have to" is a state verb, so cannot be continuous.

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