Do you ever find it difficult to differentiate between the present simple and present continuous? We recently received the following e-mail:
Please could you help me with the difference between the present simple and the present continuous? I have many problems with these tenses.
Yours truly and sincerely,
June (by e-mail)
Here is my reply:
As you probably know, we can use the present simple to speak about facts. For example:
a) You make cheese from milk.
b) This is the biggest country in the world.
c) It rains every day here.
And we can use the present continuous to talk about an activity in progress at the moment of speaking. For example:
a) She is jumping.
b) He is playing a game.
c) They are running.
I hope that has helped you.
Here is a Grammar exercise we’ve created for you to practise.
Complete each sentence with the correct word/s.
1. Oh, look, it ____.
b) Is raining
2. They usually ____ to the beach for their summer holidays.
3. Look, the chocolate ____. You need to take it out of the sun.
a) Is melting
4. Chocolate ____ if you leave it in the sun.
a) Is melting
5. Who usually ____ the house?
6. Who ____ the house at the moment?
b) Is cleaning
7. She hardly ever ____ television.
8. Sam ____ a documentary on the television at the moment.
a) Is watching
Think you’ve got them all right? The answers are:
1b 2b 3a 4b 5a 6b 7b 8a