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?

  • 3
    None of those drives is present tense: they're all infinitives used as complement of a modal. Jul 20, 2013 at 14:48
  • 1
    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". Jul 20, 2013 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, 2013 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." Jul 20, 2013 at 15:01
  • 1
    @Stoney, thank you! I never would have thought about a case like "immediate narretion".
    – user114
    Jul 20, 2013 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


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. Jul 25, 2013 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, 2013 at 1:41
  • 1
    @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.
    – user230
    Jul 25, 2013 at 2:55
  • 1
    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, 2013 at 3:23

You must log in to answer this question.