What is the Habitual Present? (with Examples)

Basil Manning

The usual present is one of the uses of the present verb tense in the indicative mood, which aims to express habits, routines or other actions that are carried out repeatedly over time.

It is also used for actions that are rarely performed or frequently forgotten..

For example:

Every day i brush my teeth.

I never know where I leave the house keys.

The present habitual tense is usually accompanied by adverbs of frequency, such as:

  • forever
  • never
  • every day
  • rarely
  • rarely
  • frequently
  • frequently
  • once a day
  • twice a month
  • every day sometimes
  • sometimes, often, sometimes
  • every time
  • every day
  • biweekly
  • as usual
  • usually

Likewise, there are some verbs that express habits and repetition without the need to be accompanied by an adverb of frequency, such as soler and accustom.

For example:

The child usually goes to school.

I don't usually eat dairy.

Examples of usual present

1- "When my work day is done, and I have closed my notebook, hidden my pen, and made some holes in my rented canoe so that it cannot be found., I often like to spend the afternoon talking with some of my surviving friends. Sometimes we talk about literature. Sometimes we talk about people who are trying to destroy us, and if there is any hope of escaping them. And sometimes we talk about the terrifying andannoying animals that can be found in the vicinity".

Lemony Snicket's "Carnivorous Carnival".

2- “Asdic is nothing more than the British acronym for what the Yankees call sound, but every time that word is spoken in Alan's presence, adopts a mischievous expression and starts crying with laughter".

"Kryptonomicon I: The Enigma Code" by Neal Stephenson.

3- Very rarely does someone who knows what they are looking for goes to the Wall, already sometimes these people let it pass. They have a certain look that, once recognized, can never be forgotten ".

"Stardust: Stardust" by Neil Gaiman.

4- "I usually have chemicals on hand, and from time to time I do experiments. Would that be a nuisance to you? ".

"A Study in Scarlet" by Arthur Conan Doyle.

5- "Sometimes I get over it, others I don't get it, but always me I am far from reaching my dream. The human form that I now obtain with relative ease is lithe and graceful, or burly and strong, but I usually have problems with hands and claws, very painful parts that I don't dare to model freely ".

"The Island of Doctor Moreau" by H. G. Wells.

6- “The path became steeper and steeper and the cane was a great help. It also served as a conversation partner. In the end, older people often speak to themselves".

"Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wayne.

7- "When one listens to a piece of classical music, usually be entertaining try to guess what inspired the musician to write those particular notes. Sometimes the composer is inspired by nature and composes a symphony that imitates the trills of the birds and the noises of the trees. Other times, a composer is inspired by the city and composes a concert that imitates the sounds of traffic and sidewalks ".

"A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Very Spartan Academy" by Lemony Snicket.

8- "When I receive my data from humans, sometimes my rational conclusions are wrong, since they are based on false premises ".

"Children of the Mind" by Orson Scott Card.

9- “In the Barrikadnaya we have wooden beds that we have made ourselves, do you know?? Sometimes I have to sleep on the floor, on rags. But I don't care. 'Mikhail Porfiryevich pointed to his chest. What matters is inside us, and not outside ”.

"Metro 2033" by Dmitri Glukhovsky.

10- "-Moths and all sorts of unpleasant animals," Estella replied, giving him a look.- they usually hover around a lit spark plug. Can the spark plug prevent it? ".

"Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens.

11- "I had never met anyone more interesting. Usually has an exalted expression, like madness, in the look. But there are times when, if someone shows you any attention or gives you the slightest service, the fas is illuminated with a benevolence and tenderness that I have not seen in another man "

"Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley.

12- “… people murmured, as is usually done while wait for a funeral or wedding to start".

"Death Hall" by Stephen King.

13- "-¿How many hours do you usually sleep, on average, every night? -the gray man continued inquiring ".

"Momo" by Michael Ende.

14- "Every day he dedicates an hour to the good lady whole, which means that he sits with her and talks to her, even though she is so deaf she can barely hear him ”.

"Momo" by Michael Ende.

15- “We also know that goes once to the week to the movies, what once a week he sings in a choir, what has a group of friends, with whom he meets twice per week So what sometimes he even reads a book".

"Momo" by Michael Ende.

16- “Courting is difficult when the person being courted has an elderly relative at home; they usually murmur, laugh slyly... "

"Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

17- "I'm usually outside sweeping the hallway and can see who has entered".

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey.

18- "People our age don't usually drink coffee".

"All the wrong questions: Who can it be at this hour?" by Lemony Snicket.

19- "Sure, dear, I assure you that it will be like this. Mary always gets her way".

"Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen.

20- "In some media people always believe the opposite of what you tell them".

Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting".


  1. Definition and examples of the usual present tense. Retrieved on June 13, 2017, from thoughtco.com.
  2. Usual aspect. Retrieved on June 13, 2017, from wikipedia.org.
  3. Present simple for the present habits and states. Retrieved on June 13, 2017, from grammaring.com.
  4. Habitual actions. Retrieved on June 13, 2017, from grammaring.com.
  5. Present continous tense for habitual or regular actiosn. Retrieved on June 13, 2017, from englishforums.com.
  6. Simple present tense. Retrieved on June 13, 2017, from grammar.ccc.commnet.edu.
  7. Habitual actions. Retrieved on June 13, 2017, from fluenciysteps.blogspot.com.

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