Simple Present vs. Present Continuous : Simple Present vs. Present Continuous When do we use
each tense? Remember: : Remember: Grammar has meaning!
Different grammar tenses are used in different situations or contexts and they carry different meanings.
For example . . . Slide 3: Use the simple present for:
1) action that happens repeatedly (habitual action)
2) general or permanent situations
3) facts Use the present continuous for:
Something that is happening now or close to the time of speaking
2) A temporary situation Examples . . . Slide 4: Simple Present (Examples)
1) Habitual Action:
Tom goes fishing every week.
I usually work until 2:00 p.m.
My family comes to visit me every year.
*Frequency adverbs: these adverbs are commonly used with simple present:
Always, never, usually, rarely, sometimes, often, etc. Slide 5: Simple Present (More Examples)
2) General or Permanent Situations:
My family lives far away.
Jack doesn’t work on Saturday.
Beth and Toan work at ECC.
The Earth is round.
Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
The Eiffel Tower is in Paris. Slide 6: Present Continuous (Examples)
1) Action happening now or close to time of speaking:
Where’s Tom? He’s playing soccer.
Don’t bother the kids. They are doing their homework.
2) Temporary situations:
Martha and her husband are traveling around Europe for two weeks.
Lisa is living with friends until she finds an apartment. Slide 7: Present Continuous . . .
We often use the present continuous (and not simple present) when action continues over a period of time.
this week, this semester, this year
I’m working 50 hours this week.
She’s taking an Italian class this semester.
This year, I’m trying
to cut back on junk food. Slide 8: Grammar Structure:
Here are some reminders about how to make the simple present and present continuous: Simple Present: : Simple Present: The most important thing to remember about this tense is . . .
3rd person singular (he, she, it)
They work Simple Present: : Simple Present: But for 3rd person singular, we say . . .
It work s The verb BE : The verb BE Remember the forms of verb BE for the simple present tense:
He, She, It IS
They, We, You ARE Simple Present (Negative) : Simple Present (Negative) For all verbs (EXCEPT be), use: doesn't don't simple form
of VERB + Examples . . . Slide 13: 1) Sara works on Sunday.Sara doesn’t work on Sunday.2) They have a big house.They don’t have a big house.3) Sam takes classes at night.Sam doesn’t take classes at night.4) I have a lot of free time.I don’t have a lot of free time. Slide 14: VERB BE (Negative)
For this verb ONLY, never use doesn’t or don’t. Simple ADD the word NOT after the verb.
I am tired. I am NOT tired.
She is rich. She is NOT rich.
They are here. They are NOT here. Present Continuous: : Present Continuous: Don’t forget that VERB BE is part of this structure.
You, We, They ARE
He, She, It IS verb
-ING + Slide 16: Examples:
Everyone is studying hard.
They are celebrating their 40th anniversary today.
I am cleaning my house this week. Slide 17: Present Continuous (Negative)
For this tense, simply ADD the word NOT after the verb BE.
They are working today.
They are NOT working today.
She is taking a Math class.
She is NOT taking a Math class. Slide 18: Important Note about
Some verbs are NOT typically used in the present continuous tense. Instead, we prefer to use these verbs in the simple present.
These verbs are called STATIVE (or non-action) verbs. Here are some examples:
want like love hate
know need see hear
believe understand have (possession)
forget remember belong Slide 19: Examples:
I like Rome.
NOT: I am liking Rome.
She has a big house.
NOT: She is having a big house.
I prefer to have coffee.
NOT: I am preferring to have coffee. _____________ _____________ _____________ Slide 20: Practice!
Do these exercises with your class.
Choose the simple present or present continuous and discuss why each is correct.
1. On Tuesdays, I ________ (go) to the gym.
2. Karen ________ (paint) her apartment this week.
3. This room __________ (be) very large.
4. He _________ (have) a headache right now.
5. It ________ (rain) really hard right now.
6. Where is John? He _______ (work).
7. I ________ (meet) my friend in a few minutes.
8. My family ________ (come) to San Diego often. Slide 21: Answers!
1. On Tuesdays, I go to the gym.
2. Karen is painting her apartment this week.
3. This room is very large. (fact)
4. He has a headache right now. (stative)
5. It is raining really hard right now.
6. Where is John? He is working. (right now)
7. I am meeting my friend in a few minutes.
8. My family comes to San Diego often. Slide 22: For more practice . . .
1) Go to our class website:
2) On the right side, click on Grammar Site. Then click on 330.
3) Click on Grammar, and then go down the page to Verbs. Click on the Simple Present or Present Continuous? for explanation and practice. Slide 23: And . . .
Remember to ask your teacher or another classmate if you need help.
Your teacher can give you more explanation, examples, and exercises if you need them.