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Present Continuous or Present Simple? Pre-Intermediate

Average: 2.7 (22 votes)

Today's lesson is by Caroline

What is the difference between these two tenses and when do we use each one? Here's a brief explanation of present simple and present continuous as well as a quick test to see how much you remember!

Present Simple:

  • Talks about routines e.g. 'I wake up at eight every morning'.
  • Describes things that are repeated or permanent e.g. 'I live with my boyfriend'.

Present Continuous:

  • Talks about things that are happening now or around now e.g. 'I am studying Spanish'.
  • To talk about plans and future arrangements e.g. 'I am going to the cinema tonight'.

Remember:

Some verbs that are called state verbs are NEVER used with the present continuous. e.g. love, like, know, need, want, hate, know etc.

Present Simple and Present Continuous

  • 1. She (do) ballet 3 times a week
  • 2. I (read) this amazing book at the moment!
  • 3. I really (want) an ice-cream. It’s so hot today.
  • 4. They (wait) for their Dad to take them to school.
  • 5. Glyn (act) in a play at the National Theatre.
  • 6. Glyn(go) to the theatre every week.
  • 7. Slow down! You(drive) too fast!
  • 8. I (take) public transport when I travel around Colombia. It’s cheaper.
  • 9. I (go) to hospital again tonight.
  • 10. We (need) to go dancing tonight to relax!