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Present Continuous versus Present Simple

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Present Continuous is used to talk about something which is happening at or around the time of speaking. Let’s see the following examples :

  • The kettle isn’t working. It broke down yesterday.
  • Look at the birds. They are flying to the south.

Present Simple is used to talk about habitual actions or general truths. Let’s see the following examples :

  • Fish  live in water.
  • Carol checks her email every week.

Some verbs can only be used in Present Simple. Let’s see the following examples :

  • I don’t know. Don’t say,  “I am not knowing.”
  • I like Bergen. Don’t say, “I am liking Bergen.”

Here are the verbs which are normally used in the Present Simple only.

 believe
belong
forget
hate
have
 hear
know
like
love
mean
 need
prefer
realize
remember
see
 seem
suppose
think
understand
want

Notes :

Have is used only in the Present Simple when it means possess. Think is only used in the Present Simple when it means believe.

See the following Present Continuous versus Present Simple exercises. They are gradually staged from easy to more difficult exercises.

Present Continuous versus Present Simple Exercises

Exercise I : Understanding Correct Present Continuous and Present Simple

Decide whether the underlined verbs in these sentences are right or wrong.  Correct them if they are wrong!

 

Examples: 

I don’t know  your  telephone number.                    Right

Please don’t  make so much noise. I study                    Wrong   –  I am studying.

 

  1. Look! Somebody is climbing up that tree over  there.  ……………………………

  2. Can you hear those people? What do they talk about?  ………………………………

  3. Are you believing in God ………………

  4. Look! That man tries to open the door of your room. ………………………………

  5. The earth goes round the sun. …………                                             

  6. I’m thinking it would be a good idea  to  leave early. ……………………………….

  7. The number of people without jobs is increasing each year. …………………..

  8. I’m usually going to work by car. ………

 

Exercise II Producing Correct Present Continuous and Present Simple

Put the verb into the correct form, Present Continuous (I am doing ) or Present Simple (I do).

 

Examples: 

Please don’t  make so much noise. I am studying (study).

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How many languages does Christopher speak (Christopher/speak)?

This machine doesn’t work (not/work). It hasn’t worked for years.

  1. I……………………..(not/belong ) to this organization.

  2. Hurry up! The train………………………….(come). I…………………………………(not/want) to miss it.

  3. The River Nile ………………(flow) into the Mediterranean sea.

  4. The river ………………………(flow) very fast today – much faster than usual.

  5. ……………………….(it/ever/snow) in India ?

  6. We usually …………………… (grow) vegetables in our garden but this year we…………………………….. (not/grow) any

  7. A: Can you drive?                          B: No, but I……………… (learn). My father……………(teach) me.

  8. You can borrow my umbrella. I………………..(not/need) it at the moment.

  9. I usually …………(enjoy) parties but I ……………(not/enjoy) this one very much.

  10. George says he’s 17 years old but I ……………….. (not/ believe) him.

 

Answer

Exercise I

  1. Right

  2. Wrong 👉 What are they talking about?

  3. Wrong 👉 Do you believe in God?

  4. Wrong 👉 That man is trying to open the door of your room.

  5. Right                                             

  6. Wrong 👉 I think it would be a good idea  to  leave early. 

  7. Right

  8. Wrong 👉 I usually go to work by car.

Exercise II

  1. I don’t belong to this organization.

  2. Hurry up! The train is coming. I don’t want to miss it.

  3. The River Nile flows into the Mediterranean sea.

  4. The river is flowing very fast today – much faster than usual.

  5. Does it ever snow in India ?

  6. We usually grow vegetables in our garden but this year we are not growing any.

  7. A: Can you drive?                          B: No, but I’m learning. My father is teaching me.

  8. You can borrow my umbrella. I don’t need it at the moment.

  9. I usually enjoy parties but I am not enjoying this one very much.

  10. George says he’s 17 years old but I don’t believe him.

 




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