when to use the Simple Present

  • regular actions or routine (I always cycle in the weekends.)
    signal words: always, every day, never, occasionally, often , on Tuesdays, seldom, sometimes , twice a week, usually
  • something is always true (The sun rises in the east.)
  • a situation is more or less permanent (I work in a hotel.)
  • describing an event at the moment of speaking (sports, theatrical or musical performance, etc.)  (Boateng passes to Messi….. Messi to Dembélé ….)

when to use the Present Continuous

  • something is happening now at this moment of speaking (the sun is shining at the moment)
  • a situation is temporary, not necessarily occurring at the moment of speaking (I am reading a book by Hilary Mantel)
  • expressing annoyance at a frequently repeated action (you are always leaving the lights on!)

NOTE: The continuous occurs only with verbs that indicate duration and describe activities that are deliberate. Verbs which are not normally used in the continuous are

  • verbs of the senses (see, hear, feel, etc.)
  • verbs expressing feelings and emotions (love, hate, fear, hate, etc.)
  • verbs expressing possession (own, possess, etc.)
  • verbs expressing perception, remembrance, preference, knowledge (mean, know, believe, forget, understand, appreciate, etc.)

Exercises

Simple Present (I go) and Present Continuous / Progressive (I am going) (elementary)

  • exercise 1: choose the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 2: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 3: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 4: various exercises practising the form and use of the simple present and the present continuous
  • exercise 5: decide which sentence is in the simple present or present continuous
  • exercise 6: various exercises practising the form and use of the simple present and the present continuous
  • exercise 7: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 8: various exercises practising the form and use of the simple present and the present continuous
  • exercise 9: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present and the present continuous
  • exercise 10: choose the simple present or the present continuous

Simple Present (I go) and Present Continuous / Progressive (I am going) (intermediate)

  • exercise 1: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 2: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 3: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous (general ⇔ specific)
  • exercise 4: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 5: choose the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 6: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 7: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 8: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous
  • exercise 9: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous in affirmative sentences
  • exercise 10: fill in the correct verb form of the simple present or the present continuous

Useful pages

  • exercises for practising the Simple Present (I go)
  • exercises for practising the Present Continuous / Present Progressive (I am going)