I understand we use the present tense when we describe habits.

"My dog always sleeps under the bed."
"It usually sits on the sofa."

Does it make sense if I leave 'always' and 'usually' out? as in the sentences below, without any background information?

"My dog sleeps under the bed."
"It sits on the sofa."

Are they complete sentences? or grammatically correct?

  • 4
    The adverbs are not required. – KarlG Mar 13 '18 at 14:25
  • 1
    Yes. This is the principal use of the present tense with active verbs. The real present time is referred to by the present progressive: My dog is sleeping under the bed. – John Lawler Mar 13 '18 at 15:48
  • THANKS guys! So it’s not always necessary to add “adverbs” to a sentence with simple present tense? How about “My dog swims. It swims well.” Does this make sense? It seems like something is missing. Should I say “My dog can swim. It can swim well” instead? – user286503 Mar 14 '18 at 0:18

My dog always sleeps under the bed


My dog sleeps under the bed

both convey the notion in both being that your dog habitually sleeps under the bed.
If you intend to completely precise, and your dog occasionally sleeps somewhere other than under the bed, then

My dog sleeps under the bed

will be more appropriate.

It usually sits on the sofa

is fine. There is an excellent chance the dog sits somewhere other than on the sofa.

It sits on the sofa

is also OK As far a grammar goes, both example sentences are fine. The adverbs would serve to create a fine, exact meaning. If that is desired, the adverbs should be used.

  • If I want to be more specific and clear about how often my dogs does that, then I'd use 'always', 'usually', 'sometimes'. But, without "the adverbs of frequency", the sentence itself totally makes sense. Am I right? – user286503 Mar 14 '18 at 1:06
  • Yes, of course. The adverbs add only specific meaning. – J. Taylor Mar 14 '18 at 1:13
  • Does it apply to other verbs? For example, "My dog (often) touches my feet." I think it sounds OK without 'often'. How about "My dog swims fast." It doesn't sound right. I feel like, I need to say "My dog can swim fast." instead. But does "My dog swims fast" still make sense? is it a grammatically correct sentence? – user286503 Mar 14 '18 at 2:16
  • Everything you've mentioned is fine as to gram,mar – J. Taylor Mar 14 '18 at 8:37

Yes. Complete, grammatically correct sentence. Basic SVO structure with dependent clauses (led by prepositions "under" and "on"). Can come across as awkward in some contexts, but is actually a common construction. Listen carefully in conversation and you'll hear it.

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