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

Celine

Kwiziq community member

3 March 2018

2 replies

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

5 March 2018

5/03/18

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). 

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

29 June 2018

29/06/18

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!

Thinking...