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Simple and Continuous

In this lesson we’re looking at the general rule between simple and continuous tenses, and looking at correcting mistakes when you’re writing texts in English.

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

– James.

Lesson Contents

Simple and continuous tenses: the general rules

  1. Simple verb forms see actions as a complete whole:

He lives in China.

It snowed on the weekend.

She’s lost her dog.

  1. Continuous verb forms see actions in progress, with a beginning and an end:

I’m living with my brother for a while.

It was snowing when I woke up.

The company has been losing money for a long time.

  1. State verbs are not usually used in continuous forms:

I know this song.

I’ve always disliked ice-cream.

She doesn’t believe you.

Verbs that can be used in continuous forms are called action verbs.

Read the sentences and decide if the underlined verbs are action verbs (they CAN be used in continuous tenses) or state verbs (they CAN’T be used in continuous tenses).

Match the halves of the sentences that are either simple or continuous.

Correcting Mistakes

When you’re writing a mail or a message in English, it’s always a good idea to read it again before sending. When you’re doing that, look out for these mistakes. (I’ve added the symbols that I use when correcting texts):

WW – Wrong word

Sp – Spelling

T – Tense

Gr – Grammar

– Missing word

P – Punctuation

Prep – Preposition

WO – Word order

/ – Unnecessary word

Now look at this mail, and notice the correction symbols:

Read the text and add correction symbols where they are needed.

WW Sp T Gr ^ P Prep WO /

All Quizzes