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25/04/2017 09:13:04






Simple Present Vs Present Continuous - Intro + exercises



'I play / I am playing.'

What's the difference between the Present Simple / Present Continuous and how to use them.

We use the present simple tense when we want to talk about fixed habits or routines – things that don’t change.

We use the present continuous to talk about actions which are happening at the present moment, but will soon finish. 



Compare these two statements:

(present simple) I play tennis. 

(present continuous/ progressive) I am playing tennis.

(present simple) ‘I play tennis’ tells us that playing tennis is something the speaker always does. It is part of a routine or habit. We can call this a permanent situation.

(present continuous/ progressive) ‘I am playing tennis’ tells us that the speaker is playing tennis right now. Soon the game will be over. We call this a temporary situation. 


With the present simple we say:

I play tennis 

You play tennis 

We play tennis 

They play tennis 

He/she/ it plays tennis. 


With the present continuous we say:

I am playing tennis 

You are playing tennis

We are playing tennis

He/she/it is playing tennis


Frequency Adverbs we use with the Present Simple

With the present simple we use these frequency adverbs: 

(Notice that the adverb comes before the main verb in the sentence.) 

Always: ‘I always read before I go to bed.’

Often: ‘Her sister often comes shopping with us.’ 

Frequently: ‘Michael frequently visits his family.’ 

Sometimes: ‘You sometimes go to the gym, don’t you?’ 

Occasionally: ‘It occasionally rains in summer.’ 

Seldom: ‘They seldom ask for help.’ 

Rarely: ‘He rarely goes out without his backpack.’ 

Hardly ever: ‘I hardly ever eat pizza.’ 

Never: ‘Japanese people never wear shoes inside.’ 


Time Expressions we use with the Present Continuous 

With the present continuous we use these time expressions: 

(Notice that the time expression can come at the start or at the end of the sentence.) 

At the moment: ‘I’m watching TV, at the moment.’

These days: ‘Paul’s living in Cardiff, these days.’ 

Now: ‘What are you doing, now?’ 

Nowadays: ‘I think you are smoking too much, nowadays.’ 



Exercises


Complete these sentences below using either the present simple or present continuous. 

(Play) I ____________________ golf every weekend. 

(Play) The children ____________________  outside at the moment. 

(Work) Haruka ____________________  today. 

(Work) You can’t borrow my lawnmower because it doesn’t _____________

(Make) Smells good! What are you ____________________ 

(Make) My husband never ____________________  me breakfast. 

(Live) Pauline is ____________________  in Hong Kong. 

(Live)Do you still ____________________  with your parents?


Andy sometimes   ____________________  comics. (to read) 

We never ____________________  TV in the morning. (to watch) 

Listen! Sandy ____________________ the bathroom. (to sing) 

My sister usually ____________________  in the kitchen. (to help) 

My mother ____________________  breakfast now. (to make) 

They often ____________________  the bathroom. (to clean) 

Look! The boys ____________________  home. (to come) 

Every day his grandfather ____________________  for a walk. (to go) 

I ____________________  with my friend at the moment. (to chat) 

Cats ____________________  mice. (to eat)


Fill in the gaps 

John ___________________ football at the moment.

We often ___________________ tests at our school.

I ___________________ to my teacher now.

Mandy and Susan ___________________ a film on TV.

Olivia her uncle ___________________ every weekend.

They sometimes ___________________ poems. 

First I ___________________ , then I dress. 

Every morning my mother___________________   up at 6 o'clock.



Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple present or present progressive).

Look! He (leave) ___________________  the house. 

Quiet please! I (write) ___________________  a test. 

She usually (walk) ___________________  to school. 

But look! Today she (go) ___________________  by bike. 

Every Sunday we (go) ___________________  to see my grandparents. 

He often (go) ___________________  to the cinema. 

We (play) ___________________  Monopoly at the moment. 

The child seldom (cry) ___________________ 

I (not / do) ___________________  anything at the moment. 

(watch / he) ___________________  the news regularly?


Look at the picture on the right and complete the sentences (Simple Present or Present Progressive).

Joe and Dennis (be) ___________________  best friends. 

They often (meet) ___________________  in the afternoon. 

What (do / they) ___________________  at the moment? 

They (play) ___________________  football. 

They (love) ___________________  football. 

Joe (practise) ___________________  with his father every weekend, but

Dennis (not / play)  ___________________ 
 football very often.



Complete the story. Use Simple Present and Present Progressive.

It (be) ___________________  early in the morning. 

Sally (get) ___________________ of bed, (open)  ___________________  the

window and (go)  ___________________ 
 into the bathroom. 

Then she (have) ___________________  breakfast. 

After breakfast, Sally usually (cycle) ___________________  to school. 

After school, she (go) ___________________  back home. 

Sally usually (eat) ___________________  her lunch at home. 

In the afternoons, she first (do) ___________________  her homework and

then she (meet)  ___________________ 
her friends in the park. 

What (do / she) ___________________  now? 

She (play) ___________________  the guitar. 

Her friends (listen) ___________________  and some of them (sing)  ___________________  along. 

When Sally (come) ___________________  home in the evening, she (have)  

 dinner and then she (watch) ___________________  TV. 

She (go) ___________________  to bed at about 8 o'clock every day.



Complete the sentences. Use Simple Present and Present Progressive.

I (be) ___________________  very busy today. 

At noon I (visit) ___________________  my friend Tanya. 

We (want) ___________________  to have lunch together. 

In the afternoon I (play) ___________________ with Emily. 

In the evening, I (meet) ___________________  Rob. 

We (go) ___________________  to the cinema. 

The film (start) ___________________  at 8 pm.



Complete the sentences. Use Simple Present and Present Progressive.

Look! Jenny (go) ___________________  to school. 

She (wear) ___________________  a raincoat and wellies and she (carry)  

 an umbrella.

Jenny usually (cycle)  ___________________  to school, but today she (take)  

 the bus because it (rain)

The bus (leave) ___________________  at 7.35 and (arrive)  

 at Jenny's school at 7.45. ___________________ The first lesson (begin)  

 at 8 o'clock.









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