Using Le Présent where English uses Present Tense (current actions, habits and situations)

Look at these sentences:

Tous les jours, je me lève à 6 heures.
Every day, I wake up at 6.

Les lions mangent de la viande.
Lions eat meat.

Le téléphone sonne.
The phone rings.

 

Notice that le Présent is used to refer to current actions, timeless facts and habitual actions. In these examples, it translates to the Present tense in English*.

 

*but be aware as this is not always the case! It can also imply Present Continuous or Immediate Future actions depending on context - see these other lessons:

Using Le Présent for immediate/near future actions

Using Le Présent for ongoing actions where English uses Present Continuous

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Les lions mangent de la viande.
Lions eat meat.


Tous les jours, je me lève à 6 heures.
Every day, I wake up at 6.


Le téléphone sonne.
The phone rings.


Current actions


Je suis dans la douche
I am in the shower


Habitual actions


Je prends le train tous les matins
I take the train every morning


Timeless facts


La lune tourne autour de la Terre
The moon goes round the Earth


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 7 answers

CaroleC1Kwiziq community member

autour de

- i was told that it is always autour DE (by a french conversation teacher),  Is this something that is so commonly used incorrectly that it has become acceptable over time? (in one of your examples, and in others from other sites, it is autour DE LA lune, or autour DU monde.)

Asked 7 months ago
JimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributorCorrect answer

I don't understand why it would be described as something used incorrectly.

"Autour" is an adverb

"Autour de" is a preposition

So to write "autour de la lune"  would express "around the moon" and autour du (de le) monde would express "around the world"

 

Hope that this will help?

CaroleC1Kwiziq community member

thanks.

i'm just confused as to when DE always remains DE and when it sometimes goes to "DE, D', DE LA, DES"

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The forms of "de" you quote are all contractions with whatever comes afterwards. For example:

de le = du, de les = des

autour de

- i was told that it is always autour DE (by a french conversation teacher),  Is this something that is so commonly used incorrectly that it has become acceptable over time? (in one of your examples, and in others from other sites, it is autour DE LA lune, or autour DU monde.)

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CelineA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Vendredi and Le Vendredi

Hi, I'm having a problem understanding why "Pierre is taking the train on Friday" is wrong. I see the correct answer is "Pierrs takes the train on Fridays", but the "explain this" is not really explaining it for me as the only difference is the "le" vendredi. Can you explain why please when you get a chance. Thanks a mil, Celine
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Céline,

The difference between: 

Pierre prend le train vendredi  = Pierre is taking the train on Friday

(meaning  this Friday)

and

Pierre prend le train le vendredi  = Pierre takes the train on Fridays  (meaning every Friday)

We use le + day of the week for something you do regularly on that day.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Celine,

in French, the article in front of a weekday signifies that this happens all days, not just the one. 

Samedi je joue aux cartes. -- Saturday I play cards. 

Le samedi je joue aux cartes. -- SaturdayS I play cards. 

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

TarsilaA1Kwiziq community member

Hello! Would that be correct? (meaning every Friday)

Pierre prend le train les vendredis.

thank you!

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Tarsila, 

You would have to add 'tous' -

Pierre prend le train tous les vendredis.

or

Pierre prend le train le vendredi. 

meaning the same thing.

Hope this helps!

Vendredi and Le Vendredi

Hi, I'm having a problem understanding why "Pierre is taking the train on Friday" is wrong. I see the correct answer is "Pierrs takes the train on Fridays", but the "explain this" is not really explaining it for me as the only difference is the "le" vendredi. Can you explain why please when you get a chance. Thanks a mil, Celine

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Getting that for you now.