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No Time Like the Present

In this lesson we’re looking at using two present tenses in English.

We’re looking at how to use the Present Simple and the Present Continuous. We’re also going to look at how to use frequency adverbs.

Have fun with the lesson, and don’t forget to try the quizzes.

– James.

Lesson Contents

Forming the Present Simple

Let’s look at how to form present simple sentences:

  • Positive sentences:

Subject + verb(s)

I work.

He works.

  • Negative sentences:

Subject + do/does + not + verb

I don’t work.

He doesn’t work.

  • Questions:

Do/does + subject + verb

Where do I work?

Where does he work?

  • Short answers:

Yes/No + subject + do/does + (not)

Do you live in Europe? – Yes, I do.

Does she like tofu? – No, she doesn’t.

Using the Present Simple

1. A habit, or repeated action:

I go to work by bike.

2. A fact that is always true:

Mark comes from Italy.

3. A long-term situation:

He works in a library.

Forming the Present Continuous

Let’s look at how to form present continuous sentences:

  • Positive sentences:

Subject + am/are/is + verb+ing

I am working.

He is working.

  • Negative sentences:

Subject + am/are/is + not + verb+ing

I am not working.

He is not working.

  • Questions:

Am/Are/Is + subject + verb+ing

Where am I working?

Where is he working?

  • Short answers:

Yes/No + subject + am/are/is + (not)

Are you working tomorrow? – Yes, I am.

Is she coming later? – No, she isn’t.

Using the Present Continuous

1. An action happening now:

I am driving to work now.

2. An action happening around now:

Don’t take my book, I‘m reading it.

3. A temporary situation:

I‘m taking the bus to work this week.

4. A planned future event:

We‘re watching a film tonight.

Complete the questions and answers by adding the missing auxiliaries.

Frequency Adverbs

These words are often used with the present simple:






not often





Frequency adverbs are placed before the main verb, or after the verb BE.

I don’t often play cards.

I am never late for work.

Sometimes and usually can also go at the beginning or the end of the sentence.

We go to the cinema sometimes.

Usually I go food shopping on Saturday.

Each of the following sentences use frequency adverbs. Can you put the words in the correct order?

All Quizzes