Uses of the present tense (indicative mood)


Buongiorno e buona domenica a tutti!

Oggi vi parlo degli usi più importanti del tempo presente, come da richiesta di una lettrice che mi ha fatto giustamente notare che dovrei insegnarvi come si usano i tempi verbali piuttosto che dirvi come si formano, visto che potete trovare la formazione dei verbi ovunque su internet.

So here we go:

The “presente” is a tense of the indicative mood. Presente means present so it is a tense used to express present actions, actions that take place when the speaker is talking.

1. presente intemporale is the use of the present tense for actions or statements which do not require a specification of time. Intemporale means atemporal.

For example: l’acqua bolle a 100°C (water boils at 100°C); 2 più 2 fa 4 (2 plus 2 equals 4)

Also, it is valid for proverbs, definitions, scientific assertions, summaries of books and movies, instructions.

2. presente onnitemporale is used to indicate events or the state of things that endure in time.

It is valid for geographical assertions, Roma si trova in Italia (Rome is situated in Italy); descriptions of a place, dalla terrazza del Pincio di si vede Piazza del Popolo (Piazza del Popolo si visible from the Pincio terrace); references to other people’s statements, Calvino scrive che … (Calvino writes that…).

3. presente di “attualità”, present used to indicate current events and it is usually followed by an adverb of time referring to the present.

For example: Luisa dorme ora/al momento/adesso/in questo momento; Paolo studia ora/al momento/adesso/in questo momento; ecc.

The alternative is using a perifrasi gerundiva progressiva, that is stare + gerundio: Luisa sta dormendo; Paolo sta studiando; ecc.

4. presente “immediato” o “riportivo” is used to indicate events that happen as the speaker speaks. It is used in television reports and sports reports.

For example: il calciatore X tocca palla e fa goal.

5. presente abituale is used to indicate events that take place periodically or regularly or to indicate aptitudes.

For example: Paolo guida la macchina; Camilla parla l’inglese –> (not that Paolo is driving now and Camilla speaking English now, but in the sense that they are able to do those things); Luisa viaggia sempre in treno; Andiamo a trovare la nonna tutte le settimane; ecc.

6. presente storico is used to refer to historical events using the present tense in the place of passato remoto (it is a stylistic feature of writing).

For example: Napoleone è sconfitto nella battaglia di Waterloo; Bruto assassina Cesare il 15 marzo del 44 a.C.; ecc.

 

And there it is, hope you liked this lesson!

Leave your comments and thoughts below 😀

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