SIMPLE PRESENT AND CONTINUOUS.
grammar index present continuous grammar home exercises
Use of Simple Present.
We use the simple present for statements that are
Gases expand when heated.
1.2.The present period'
We use the simple present to refer to events,
actions or situations which are true in the present period of time and which,
for all we know, may continue indefinitely. What we are saying, in effect, is
'this is the situation as it stands at present':
My father works in a bank. My sister wears
1.3. Habitual actions
The simple present can be used with or without an adverb of time to
describe habitual actions, things that happen repeatedly:
I get up at 7.
John smokes a lot.
We can be more precise about habitual actions by
using the simple present with adverbs of indefinite frequency (always, never,
etc. or with adverbial phrases such as every day .
stay up till midnight..
We commonly use the simple present to ask and answer questions which
you go to the dentist? - I go every
Questions relating to habit can be asked with ever
and answered with e.g. never and sometimes not...ever .
Do you ever eat meat? -
No, I never eat meat.
1.4. Future reference.
This use is often related to timetables and
programmes or to events in the calendar:
The exhibition opens on
January 1st and closes on January 31st The concert begins at 7.30 and
ends at 9.30
We leave tomorrow at 11.15
and arrive at 17.50.
Wednesday, May 24th marks our
25th wedding anniversary.
Uses of the present progressive.
in progress at the moment of speaking.
We often use adverbials like now, at the moment,
Ex: Someone's knocking at the door. Can you answer
What are you doing? - I'm just tying up my shoe-laces.
He's working at the moment, so he can't come to the telephone.
We can emphasize the idea of duration
He's still talking to his girlfriend on the phone.
2.2 Temporary situations
The present progressive can be used to describe
situations which may not have been happening long,
or which are
thought of as being in progress around the present
time. Such situations may not be happening at the moment of speaking:
Ex: What's your daughter doing these days?
She's studying English at Durham University.
Don't take that ladder away. Your father's using it. (i.e. but
perhaps not at the moment)
2.3 We also use the present progressive to describe
ex: People are becoming less tolerant of smoking
2.4 Planned actions: future reference
We use the present progressive and be going to
to refer to
activities and events planned for the future. We
generally need an
adverbial unless the meaning is clear from the
Ex: We're spending next winter in Australia.
This use of the present progressive is also commonly
future arrival and departure and occurs with
verbs like arrive, come,
go, leave, etc. to describe travel arrangements:
Ex: He's arriving tomorrow morning on the 13.27
Look! The train's leaving. (i.e. it's actually
2.5 Repeated actions
The adverbs always (in the sense of
continually, forever, perpetually and repeatedly
can be used with
progressive forms to describe continually-repeated
She's always helping people.
2.6 Verbs not used in the progressive tense.
There are many verbs that are not usually used in
and others that are not used in the progressive tenses in
certain of their meanings. (In grammars, these verbs
are often called
'stative verbs'; verbs that can normally have
progressive forms are
called 'dynamic verbs'.) The most important of these
DISLIKE, HATE, LIKE, LOVE, PREFER, WANT, WISH
IMPRESS, PLEASE, SATISFY, SURPRISE
DOUBT, FEEL (= HAVE AN OPINION), GUESS, IMAGINE, KNOW, MEAN, REALIZE, RECOGNIZE,
REMEMBER, SUPPOSE, THINK (= HAVE AN OPINION), UNDERSTAND
SEE, MEASURE (= HAVE LENGTH, ETC), TASTE (= HAVE A
FLAVOUR), SMELL (= GIVE OUT A SMELL), SOUND, WEIGH
5 . BELONG TO, CONCERN, CONSIST OF, CONTAIN, DEPEND
ON, DESERVE, FIT, INCLUDE,
INVOLVE, LACK, MATTER, NEED, OWE, OWN, POSSESS
Compare the progressive and non-progressive uses of
What are you thinking about? I think you're right.
I'm feeling fine I feel we shouldn't do it.
Why are you smelling the meat? Is it bad?
The meat smells bad. I
'What are you doing with my whisky?' - 'I'm just
It tastes wonderful.
The scales broke when I was weighing myself this
I weighed 68 kilos three months ago - and look at me
Why's that man measuring the street?
I measure 75 centimetres round the waist.
I'm seeing Philip tomorrow. I see what you mean.
Note the common use of can see and can
hear instead of progressive
tenses of see and hear.
I can hear a funny noise. (Not: *I'm hearing. . .) f
I can see a woman doing the housework in the flat
NOT USED IN THE CONTINUOUS TENSE (choose the correct answer)
We____________of buying a new car.
The waiter _______________the wine and it seems it is good.
A coffee ____________good after a meal.
I______________you very much. I want to be your boyfriend
Mary _______________a new boy at the moment. He is Polish.
Don't talk to me now. I_____________to the radio.
How ___________________today ? Much better, really.
are you feeling
do you feel
did you feel
I_____________the best way to travel is on foot.