grammar: present habits


Today in A.1 English class at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas we’ve started with the second lesson which is about animals. The first grammar subject we’ve studied is present habits and the tenses we have to use with them. We’ve also done several exercises.

GRAMMAR: present habits

We can use a variety of verb forms to talk about present habits (actions that are repeated regularly over a long period of time).

The simple present is the most common form. It is often used with adverbs of frequency (eg usually, sometimes, once a week).

  • A fox comes into our garden almost every night.

We use will/won’t + infinitive to talk about predictable or characteristic behaviour, habits and tendencies.

  • A hungry fox will attack pet rabbits.

We use keep + verb + -ing to talk about repeated behaviour usually viewed negatively by the speaker.

  • If your newspaper keeps publishing this type of journalism, you will lose loyal readers.

We use the present continuous + always/forever/constantly to talk about <a href="http://www.google.es/search?q=annoying+habits”>annoying habits. We often use this form to exaggerate or complain about behaviour we find annoying.

  • The gutter press is forever filling its pages with sensationalist stories.

Exercises

Ex. 1 Tick the sentences 1-5 which describe a habit.

NOTE: I put a (*) to tick them :)

1 I will not buy any more copies in the foreseeable future. (future tense)

2 Dolphins will attack to protect their young. (*)

3 People keep swimming out to him despite the warnings. (*)

4 The popular press is constantly filling its pages with sensationalist stories. (*)

5 The number of these operators is increasing year by year. (?)

Ex. 2 Rewrite the sentences using the word in brackets.

1 Popular newspapers invent stories all the time. (constantly)

A: Popular newspapers are constantly inventing/will constantly invent stories.

2 They don’t worry about the accuracy of their facts. (won’t)

A: They won’t worry about the accuracy of their facts.

3 They refer to anonymous ‘experts’ who don’t actually exist. (will)

A: They will refer to anonymous ‘experts’ who don’t actually exist.

4 They regularly print apologies for giving incorrect information. (forever)

A: They are forever printing apologies for giving incorrect information.

5 They get into trouble for invading people’s privacy all the time. (always)

A: They are always getting into trouble for invading people’s privacy.

6 Unfortunately, millions of people continue to buy this papers. (keep)

A: Unfortunately, millions of people keep buying these papers.

Ex. 3 Write the names of three people who annoy you in some way. They can be people you know personally of famous people.

  • journalists
  • politics
  • religious leaders

Now write about the (annoying) habits of the three people.

  • Journalists are forever harassing popular people just for being popular!
  • Politics keep promising things they are not going to do after being elected!
  • Religious leaders make people hate ‘the others’ instead of preaching love to every mankind!

NOTE: They are one more exercise in the workbook about present habits we should do as homework.

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