present-continuous

If you remember the 1st grammar lesson of the present simple we had, you’ll recall the 4 main uses we have for that time tense, which are:

  1. For Facts.
  2. For repeated or regular actions
  3. For habits
  4. For things that are generally true in the present time period.

We use the Simple Continuous tense for similar situations, so where’s the difference between one and the other? It’s actually a very simple but significant one; we use the simple present tense for things that are permanent or are in general and the present progressive tense for things that may change or are temporary.

The main uses we have for the Simple Continuous tense are:

1. When somebody is doing something at this moment:

Sarah is changing her clothes right now.
Her boyfriend is waiting for her.
We are learning the progressive tense in English.

2. When something is happening at this moment. When the action has started but hasn’t finished:

It is snowing at the moment.
The economy is growing at an exponential rate.
The children are sleeping, so please be quiet.

3. To talk about something that is happening around the time of speaking but not necessarily at that exact moment:

Alfredo is studying a lot for his exam.
I’m reading a great book. (not necessary right at this moment)
We are planning a trip to Jamaica.

Exercises:

Complete the following sentences. Change them to the question form using the Question Words (not into a Yes/No Kind of Question). If The sentence is a question then, of course, change it into an answer:

Nell __________ (not/watch) television at the moment.

They _______ (go) to the cinema.

_______ you _______ (call) your mother?

John _______ (read) the newspaper.

_______ Valerie _______ (study) English?

We _______ (not/play) videogames.

I _______ (not/drink) water.

We _______ (know) her.

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