The Present Simple and the Present Continuous

   

 
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Topic Progress:

Welcome to your Present Simple or the Present Continuous lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• The Present Simple
The Present Continuous
Using the Present Continuous to complain
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

The Present Simple

The Present Simple is used for general facts, things that happen repeatedly, and habits:

“Your cakes always taste delicious.”

“I go to the shop every Sunday.”

“Most kids learn to ride a bike when they are six.”

The Present Simple is also used for permanent situations:

“He lives in Paris.”

“France is in Europe.”

The Present Continuous

The Present Continuous is used for things happening now, or around now:

“Stephanie is cooking.”

“We‘re driving to the shop.”

“I‘m learning English so I can go on holiday.”

The Present Continuous is also used for temporary situations:

“He is living with friends until he finds his own place.”

“My car has broken down, so I‘m taking the bus to work.”

Using the Present Continuous to complain

Have a look at this sentence:

“He always leaves his dirty socks on the floor.”

This sentence means that he has a habit of doing an action, nothing more. Have a look at this sentence:

“He is always leaving his dirty socks on the floor.”

This sentence means the same as before, but since I used the Present Continuous it also means: “and it happens too much”. Here are more examples:

“You always watch TV.”
(a fact)

“You are always watching TV.”
(…and you do it too much)

 

“He ignores me.”
(a fact)

“He is always ignoring me.”
(and he does it too much)

Recap

  • The Present Simple is used to talk about actions that repeat.
  • It is also used to say that something is permanent.
  • The Present Continuous is used to talk about something happening now.
  • It is also used to talk about temporary situations.
  • The Present Continuous with always means that you are annoyed by an action by someone else.