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Using Present Simple
2014/10/14
In business English you should use the present simple tense to talk and write about the following meanings:
 
opinions
facts
desires
routines
general statements
procedures
 
 
 
All these meanings are not about time. In fact, the present simple is a tense which is not about time at all. If I say: “Taiwan is an island” this sentence is not a sentence about time, it’s about a timeless fact. It does not mean Taiwan is an island now, yesterday it wasn’t. If I say: “I like coffee”, this is also a sentence about a timeless fact. It does not mean I only like coffee now, tomorrow I will prefer tea. So you must always remember, present simple does not mean present time.
 
Task 1: Match the sentences to the meanings below by writing the relevant letter in the column on the right. Look at the example.
 
Opinions = O
Facts = F
Desires = D
Routines = R
General statements = G
Procedures = P
 
 
1
 I think we can increase our market share by 3%.
O
2
 I don’t know about this case.
 
3
 I feel excited about the new project.
 
4
 I hope you can do this.
 
5
 I usually meet my clients in their offices.
 
6
 I want this project to be completed as quickly as possible.
 
7
 I call my client about his account every Monday.
 
8
 I wish you a Happy New Year.
 
9
 The office looks untidy.
 
10
 We give a bonus of one month at Chinese New Year.
 
11
 You need to send a copy of every document you receive to your boss.
 
12
 You need to keep a record of all expenses.
 
 
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*2014/10/17更新
 
Feedback
 
Check out your answers below.
1
 I think we can increase our market share by 3%.
O
2
 I don’t know about this case.
G
3
 I feel excited about the new project.
O/D
4
 I hope you can do this.
D
5
 I usually meet my clients in their offices.
R
6
 I call my client about his account every Monday.
R
7
 I want this project to be completed as quickly as possible.
D
8
 I wish you a Happy New Year.
D
9
 The office looks untidy.
F/O
10
 We give a bonus of one month at Chinese New Year.
F
11
 You need to send a copy of every document you receive to your boss.
P
12
 You need to keep a record of all expenses.
P
 
* You’ll notice that for some of the answers it’s a bit difficult to say clearly exactly what they are, and that some have two possibilities. This is because without a bit more context and understanding of the situation, it’s sometimes difficult to say whether a sentence is clearly an opinion or a desire.
 
* However, don’t worry if your answers are quite different. The main point is that you understand all these sentences are not about present time.
 
* Many people are often confused about this. They think that because the name of the tense is present simple, that it means present time. In fact, this tense is usually used to describe things which are not about time. The sentences in the previous task are statements of fact or desire or opinion, and not statements about an action or a state which only exists at the moment of speaking. If this is difficult for you to understand, don’t try to understand it, just learn it, remember it, and use it!
 
* When you are using the present simple tense to talk or write about other people, as opposed to talking to others or about yourself, don’t forget to add ‘s’ to the verb: I go to /you go to/she goes to the gym every Friday afternoon.
 
 
文章分類:Tense overview
上一篇:How to use verb tenses correctly
下一篇:Present Continuous and Present Perfect Continuous
 

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