Present simple or Present continuous lesson pdf
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You have seen in the first two lessons the simple present and the continuous present (or Be+ing present). But how to distinguish them? Which one to use in which situation? I go or I am going?
We use the simple present for things that happen in general and not really in time, or that happen frequently or permanently:
- It rains a lot in autumn.
- They learn mathematics in college.
- He works in a factory.
- My brother lives in Spain.
- He usually eats pizzas at the restaurant.
- She sleeps late at night.
BUT we use the continuous present (be+ing) to talk about something that is happening around the moment we are talking and that is not yet finished, but also to talk about temporary situations:
- It’s raining a lot this afternoon.
- I am learning french now.
- He is working late today.
- My brother is living in Spain until next month.
- He is eating a pizza for lunch.
- She’s sleeping in the living room.
Note: there are verbs that are not normally conjugated to the continuous present tense (no be+ing here) !
love / like / hate / understand / need /believe / want / prefer / contain / mean / suppose / consist / seem / belong / know / remember / see / hear / smell / taste / guess / agree
- He always wants to eat sandwiches. (NOT ‘He’s always wanting to eat sandwiches’)
- What do you need ? (NOT ‘What are you needing ?’)
- The room smells bad. (NOT ‘The room is smelling bad’)
- They like this movie. (NOT ‘They are liking this movie’)
- She understand spanish very well. (NOT ‘She is understanding spanish very well’)
- He seems very happy. (NOT ‘He is seeming very happy’)
- This cake tastes really good. (NOT ‘This cake is tasting really good’)
There are some exceptions like think…
- I’m thinking.
- I think it’s very bad.
… but also feel and look, only with -ing as we speak:
- How do you feel now ? OR How are you feeling now?
- You look good tonight ! OR You’re looking good tonight!