Recently, questions have been asked questions about how, for instance, the past tense can be used to express a future event, or the simple present can be used to express a continuous action or, lastly, the future tense can be used in reference to the present time.

After reading these questions I began to think about, not complicated things, but when we can use the present tense to express the present tense.

So: as everybody knows, the present tense of the verb drive is drive; but, for instance:

  • in "I used to drive to work but now I don't" the present tense drive is clearly used in a past sense;

  • in "I will drive you to work tomorrow" the present tense drive is clearly used in a future sense;

  • in "I would drive if I could afford to" the present tense drive is clearly used in a conditional sense;

Since I'm not able to think of another sentence in which the present tense drive is used in a present sense - i.e., now, neither before nor after - and I also know that "I drive the car now" is ungrammatical, can anybody suggest one?

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    None of those drives is present tense: they're all infinitives used as complement of a modal. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 20 '13 at 14:48
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    But simple present is ordinarily used for habitual actions and permanent truths: "I drive to work every morning", "Most people drive too fast", "People in St. Louis drive badly in snow", "He drives a '57 Chevy". – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 20 '13 at 14:54
  • @Stoney, so I should stop to think about it? Yes, it would be better; but what is a sentence in which "drive" is used in present sense and in reference to "now", not before nor after? – user114 Jul 20 '13 at 14:55
  • It's also used in immediate narration - a sportscast for instance: "They're side by side at the turn ... Petty drops down quicker, he's pulling ahead ... and he drives across the finish line just ahead of Baker." – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 20 '13 at 15:01
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    @Stoney, thank you! I never would have thought about a case like "immediate narretion". – user114 Jul 20 '13 at 15:04

Your question drives me to provide this answer.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. – Danubian Sailor Jul 25 '13 at 1:23
  • He asked for people to suggest a sentence in which the present tense of the verb "drive" is used. I did exactly that. What am I missing? – Rookatu Jul 25 '13 at 1:41
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    @Rookatu It's possible that this doesn't address the OP's question because they were asking about a different sense of drive. Although the question doesn't state this explicitly, all of the examples above are about operating automobiles. – snailplane Jul 25 '13 at 2:55
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    One sense of the word comes metaphorically from the other, like so many of the words we use. But if it helps, I can make the metaphor explicit by saying that his question is an agent that drives me to that place in my heart where I feel compelled to provide an answer. – Rookatu Jul 25 '13 at 3:23

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