If so, is there any difference in meaning and the field of use? Can "He sleeps now." be considered grammatically wrong?

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    This brings to mind the supposed Sicilian expression as quoted in The Godfather ..."he sleeps with the fishes." – Cascabel Feb 10 at 23:45

Both sentences are technically correct, though the former is a lot better. The latter is a bit awkward to say, due to the irregular way of using the simple present tense.

The simple present tense is used for habitual or factual actions, as in; he works on Fridays. It is something he does, in this time space, though he is not doing it right now.

That is what we use present participle for, things that are happening right now. If set person is sleeping right now, as we are speaking, then I would use the first option; "He is sleeping now". Though, the other option is correct, and could be used to one's advantage, as to perhaps highlight a trait with the person saying it, i.e. that they're a bit social awkward, or that English is there second language. Also, the latter option could even sound poetic, as said by someone siting a legend.

He sleeps now... but one day he shall awaken.

So, there are places one can use the simple present in situations like this. Here's a link if you want further explaining, or if you found my explanation worded badly. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/tenses/simple_present.htm

  • @AKvåle 'He shall awaken". Shalt belongs only with thou. – Kate Bunting Feb 11 at 10:00
  • Thanks, I didn't know that. I'm currently trying to learn Shakespearean, so you're comment is highly appreciated. @KateBunting – A. Kvåle Feb 11 at 11:10

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