Hello everybody! This week we are going to talk about grammar, starting from the scratch. What is the difference between present simple and present continuous form? When do you have to use one or another? Go on and find out the answer.
You use the present simple to talk about…
1. Things or facts that are always true (universal truths).
The sun rises in the east.
The moon orbits the Earth once a day.
If you heat ice, it melts.
2.Habits and routines.
She usually has cereal for breakfast.
I normally go to bed around midnight.
3. Things that are generally true or happen regularly.
I´m never late for work.
I often have problems with my computer.
It gets cold at this time of the year (every year).
5. Permanent situations.
Where do you live? I live in Chiclana (there´s no plan to change this situation).
What does he do? He´s a doctor.
- You have to put adverbs of frequency (usually, sometimes, often…) before the main verb and after the verb be.
E.g. She is often worried. / She usually goes to the beach on Sundays.
- You have to remember spelling rules in the third person (watch–>watches, study–>studies, go–>goes)
- To ask questions you can use ASI (Auxiliary + Subject + Infinitive) or QUASI (Question Word + Auxiliary + Subject + Infinitive).
E.g. Does she go to university on Fridays? / Where does she go to work?
- You usually use the present simple with stative verbs (verbs that describe states, also called ‘non-action verbs’ because they describe feelings) and you rarely use them in the present continuous form.
E.g. agree, appear, be, believe, belong, depend, forget, hate, hear, know, like, look, love, matter, mean, need, own, prefer, realice, recognize, remember, seem, suppose, understand, want…
I understand what you mean (not I’m understanding what you mean).
I like pasta (not I´m liking pasta).
However, a few verbs have an action and non-action meaning. The most common is have.
Sorry, I can´t talk now. I´m having lunch (action, an activity).
I have a big house (non-action, possession).
You use the present continuous form to talk about…
1.Actions happening now or around now.
What are you eating? I´m eating a cheese sandwich (you´re chewing, making noises).
2. Changing situations.
The climate of the Earth is becoming warmer at the moment.
Mike´s growing up. He´s gettting taller and taller.
3. Temporary or new situations.
My flat´s being redecorated so I´m staying at my mum´s (for the moment, but this situation will change)
What are you doing this evening? I´m going to the cinema.
- You often use these time expressions with the present continuous: now, today, currently, at the moment…
- You have to remember the spelling rules: (study –>studying, get–>getting)
- ‘Action verbs’ can be used in the present continuous (make, cook, work…)
- When describing feelings, some verbs such as feel, hurt and ache, can be used in the simple or continuous form with no difference in meaning.
E.g. I feel/ I´m feeling tired and my neck hurts/´s hurting.
To sum up, in both spoken and written English, people usually mix these two tenses. So, we can hear or read expressions such as:
I normally get up at seven o´clock, but this week I´m starting work earlier because it´s a busy period.
It smells good. What are you cooking?
How many people visit your website every month? About one thousand, but this month the number is increasing.
And that is all for today. Do you have any doubts? If so, leave us a comment. Once more, thank you for visiting our blog!