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General Truths

Occurrences in nature

 

 

 

Fact vs. Observation

GENERAL TRUTH — FACT

The simple present tense is used to state fact, how things exist or behave. Few if any adverbs are used.

earth

The earth turns 360º every day.   (fact)

The earth changes because of the surrounding solar system. (permanent5

ocean

The oceans are deep and cold.  

The oceans move in circular currents.

land

The land moves on plates.

Earthquakes occur often.

Poles

The north and south poles are covered with ice.

Polar bears struggle to survive in the arctic climate.

wind

Wind blows across the land.

Wind comes from differences in air pressure.

rain

Rain gives water to life.

Rain falls in the winter.

plants

Plants grow in soil.

Plants give us oxygen.

people

People depend on earth's resources.

People exercise for good health. (in general)

time

 Time passes quickly.

Daylight Savings time begins in spring.

OBSERVATION — AT THE MOMENT

The present progressive tense is used to state an observation such as an action happening at the moment or a temporary change from the usual.

observing earth turning

The earth is turning right now as we speak.  (observation)

The earth is changing due to global warming.   (a change from the usual)

polarbears

The oceans are warming(a change from the usual)

The currents are moving farther north.

land is moving

The plates are constantly moving. 

Earthquakes are occurring more frequently.

melting polar ice

The polar ice is melting at a surprising rate.   

Polar bears are struggling to survive as the ice melts

blowing wind

The wind is blowing umbrellas backwards.

The wind is coming from the north. 

observing rain

This rain is giving us the water we need. 

Rain is falling on my head.   (observation)

growing plants

My plants are growing well.   (observation)

These plants are giving me a lot of trouble.

people running

These people are running for good health.  (observation)

Some people are wearing silly costumes. (observation)

time passing slowly

Time is passing slowly as I do my homework.

Daylight Savings Time is ending this weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adverbs

For Simple Present Tense

tomato plant
 

 

Present Adverbs

PRESENT – ADVERBS

 Present tense uses more permanent time words (adverbs).

 We plant tomatoes in May in general.

As a rule, we put  the plants in four-inch holes in the ground.

We normally water the garden every other day.

We usually pick the tomatoes first.

PRESENT PROGRESSIVE  – ADVERBS

 Present progressive uses more temporary, happening-now time words (adverbs).

We are planting tomatoes today.

We are putting the tomato plants in the ground now.

We are watering the garden currently.

We are picking the tomatoes this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentence Types

Word Order

 

 

 

AUXILIARY VERB SUBJECT AUXILIARY VERB MAIN VERB ADVERB CLAUSE
STATEMENT          

 

He  (She)

 

plants

in the spring. 

 

 

They (I, We, You)

 

plant

in the spring. 
 

 

QUESTION          

Does

he  (she)

 

plant   

in the spring?

 

Do 

they (I, we, you)
 

 

plant   

in the spring?

 

* TAG QUESTION          

 

He  (She)

 

plants

in the spring,

doesn't  he?

 

They (I, We, You)
 

 

plant

in the spring,

don't they?

NEGATIVE          

 

He  (She)

doesn't  

plant

in the spring.

 

 

They (I, We, You)
 

don't

plant

in the spring.

 

EMPHASIS          

 

He  (She)

does

plant

in the spring!

 

 

They (I, We, You)

do
 

plant

in the spring!

 

*A tag question can also occur with a negative main sentence and a positive final question: They don't plant in the spring, do they?   See And so / too.       
Useemphasis word order when contradicting or stating that the opposite is true: "I think they don't plant in the spring."   "No, they do plant in the spring."  

Related page: 3rd Person Agreement 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors & Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*The wind is blowing during the winter. 

*The earth is spinning faster than Mars.
 

SOLUTION

The wind blows during the winter.  
( The progressive verb is not used with during.)

The earth spins faster than Mars. 
(The progressive verb is not used for a permanent state.)

 

*Yellowhighlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Descriptions

 

 

 

Traditional Description and Linguistic

TRADITIONAL DESCRIPTION LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

Traditional grammar diagrams 'parse' or separate sentences into parts (e.g., subject, verb, object) into mostly linear components. A lines's length, position or angle indicates the relative function of the word in the sentence.. 

Linguistic tree diagrams are composed of angled brackets which mark the subject and the predicate. The sub-parts are commonly, but not always, divided into two parts.

REED-KELLOGG SYSTEM DIAGRAM TREE DIAGRAM

The wind blows

The wind blows

The wind blows leaves

My family plants tomatoes

The wind is strong

The wind is strong

The wind blows in the winter

The wind blows in the winter

CATEGORIES:  NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Detdeterminer; PP – prepositional phrase; P – preposition; AdvP – adverb phrase; Adv – adverb; AdjP– adjective phrase; Adj – adjective

FUNCTIONS: Subject:  Subject,   Predicate: Predicator (V) Complements: (elements required by verb) Object, Indirect Object, Predicative Complement  Adjuncts: (optional modifiers) Adj, Adv

 

 

 Resources

 

 

 

 

 

Practice

Fact vs. Observation

 

 

 

Present Tense – nonprogressive vs. progressive

  1. Select the verb form from the menu that best completes the sentence.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the check button to the left or the "Check 1-8" button at the bottom.

 

1.
Moon

 

2.
watch


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watch


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kids


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kids


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kids

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