In this section, we are going to explore the many differences between the Present Continuous and the Present Simple. After completing these video tutorials, you will be able to use both tenses more confidently and more accurately. There is also a grammar worksheet for you to download and keep with exercises you can do for even more practice.
I am DOING or I DO?
In this lesson, you will see a comparison of these 2 tenses with the similarities and differences explained. Learn the difference in meaning between 'The water is boiling' and 'Water boils at 100 degrees'.
Incomplete or Regular Actions
It is possible to describe the same actions using both Present Continuous and Present Simple without changing the meaning. However, there is a difference between an 'incomplete' action and a 'regular' or 'repeated' action.
Temporary or Permanent Situations
Another way to understand the different uses of these tenses is to think about them describing either a Temporary or a Permanent situation.
This is a slightly different way to think about why you should use these tenses which I hope will help you to understand them better.
I'm always DOING or I always DO?
In this lesson you will learn how to describe something that happens 'often' compared with something that happens 'always'.
Some verbs cannot be used in the Present Continuous
Some verbs, such as To Want, To Need or To Know cannot be used in the Present Continuous tense and it is important to learn these verbs so that you never make the mistake of using them incorrectly.
I am THINKING or I THINK?
The verb To Think can be used in both the Present Continuous and Present Simple tenses, however the meaning of this verb changes depending on how you use it.
See, Hear, Smell & Taste
These verbs should only ever be used in the Present Simple tense and you will find that most native English speakers will naturally add the Modal Verb CAN to these verbs to help describe an ability.
You look good today & How do you feel?
Some verbs such as Look and Feel can be used in bot the Present Simple & Present Continuous tenses, without any change in the meaning of what you are saying. This is important to understand because most natives will use both of these verbs in both tenses very naturally.
I am BEING...
If you want to describe someones behavior, you can use either the Present Simple or Present Continuous. However, the verb To Be is only used in the Present Continuous tense to describe a behavior that is temporary, while permanent behaviors are described using Present Simple.
Download the worksheets to keep forever absolutely free.
This bonus lesson will help you to describe Long Term (Permanent) or Short Term (Temporary) situations using the Present Simple and Present Continuous Tenses.