Present Simple or Present Continuous?


1: Work it Out

Do you know when to use the present simple or the present continuous? Look at these sentences. Can you work out the rules?

Adam goes to the same school as my sister.
I'm going to evening classes at the moment to get ready for the exam.
We eat dinner as soon as John gets home from work.
I'm eating dinner just now. Can I call you back?
All children learn a foreign language at our school.
Christine's learning French for her trip to Paris.
That book belongs to Claire.
The children love baking cakes.

Now try the quiz below to check your ideas.


2: Check Present Simple or Continuous

Complete each sentence by choosing the correct form:

1) Most mornings my husband for work at 7.30.
2)
I for work earlier this week as I have some important jobs to get done.
3) Steve guitar for a local group.
4) Sshh, I to the news.
5) I to the gym whenever I get the chance.
6) I a good book at the moment.
7) My youngest daughter all the words to that song.
8) I getting up for school on cold winter mornings.

Well done. We use the present simple to talk about actions or situations that are regular or more permanent (1), (3) and (5). Verbs like 'love', 'like', 'hate', 'know', understand' and 'belong' are mainly used in the present simple (7) and (8). We use the present continuous to talk about actions or situations that are more temporary (2), are happening now (4) or that are not yet finished (6). Try again. Tip: We use the present simple to talk about actions or situations that are regular or more permanent (1), (3) and (5). Verbs like 'love', 'like', 'hate', 'know', understand' and 'belong' are mainly used in the present simple (7) and (8). We use the present continuous to talk about actions or situations that are more temporary (2), are happening now (4) or that are not yet finished (6).Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

3: Multiple Choice Cloze Practice

Read the text below.
For each question choose the correct answer.

How are you? I A) you are well. You wanted me to tell you about my job. Well, I B) in an office in London just for the summer holidays. It's a magazine publishing company and usually I C) my time answering customers questions on the phone but as there are some people off sick I D) letters at the moment. I really E) the people here. They always F) each other out when there are any problems. Unfortunately, this week we G) a course in health and safety, which is a bit boring but it will soon be over. The good news is I H) Spanish as well during my lunchtime! I much at the moment but I better.
Write back soon!

Well done. The correct answers are: A) hope, B) am working, C) spend, D) am writing, E) like, F) help, G) are doing, H) am learning I) do not understand, J) am getting.Your answer has been saved.Check your answer

Need more present simple and continuous practice?

Try our Study Tip below.


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Study Tip!

Practise present simple and continuous forms by comparing things in your life that are permanent with things that are more temporary or in the process of happening. For example:

I live in Lisbon.
I study in a private language school.
I'm trying to find a part-time job.
I'm reading a good book.



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