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1. The time sense in the present
1.1. The main usage of the present tense
"The present" means the time when we think as "now" that is not the past or the future. See the following figure.


The red circle means an event. This event is expressed by the present tense. Needless to say, there are many verbs as it. But we can consider that the meaning of it is only one. That is, "the speaker treats the event as the present."

a. My house stands on the hill.
b. I like English better than any other subject.
c. Mary walks to school every day.
d. He usually gets up early in the morning.

The above is the examples. (2a) and (2b) means stative in the present. (2c) and (2d) means habitual which is repeated every day.

Time sensation cut 1

We can see the two usages in the above, stative and habitual. In any case, these are derived from "he or she treats it as the present." We use the present tense because we feel them in the present. Thus, it is also used in the following.

a. Twice two is four.
b. Water boils at 100 degree C.

The above is what is called the generic present. They are not properly the past things. If we treat them as the past, twice two might not be four and water might not boil at 100 degrees.
Moreover, it is natural that the present tense is used as follows.

a. There is no royal road to learning.
(There is no shortcut to learn.)
b. There is no smoke without fire.
(There should be some fact if it is heard.)

The above is the proverbs, they are not properly the past things too. Next, see the following example.

(5) Beckham passes the ball to Gerard, Gerard shoots!

The above is the sports commentary on a soccer game. It means the sequence act at the moment, thus, next act may be seen before s/he comments the act. We can consider it as the past in view of the end of the act. But we use it because of the instant which makes us feel the present.

Time sensation cut 1

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