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Present Simple and Present Continuous Contrasted

Differences and similarities in the Present Simple and the Present Continuous?

1. Use

Present Simple Present Continuous
  • repeated actions
  • fixed arrangements, scheduled events (e.g. timetable)
  • sequence of actions in the present (first – then, after that)
  • instructions
  • things in general
  • after special verbs
  • actions happening at the moment of speaking or around the moment of speaking
  • fixed plan in the near future
  • temporary actions and trends
  • repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker (with always, constantly, forever)

2. Signal words

Present Simple Present Continuous
  • always
  • usually
  • every day
  • every week
  • every year
  • never
  • often
  • on Sundays
  • rarely
  • seldom
  • sometimes
  • at the moment
  • Listen!
  • Look!
  • now

3. Form

Present Simple Present Continuous
infinitive → 3rd person singular (he, she, it)infinitive + s to be (am, areis) + infinitive + ing

4. Examples

4.1. Affirmative sentences

Present Simple Present Continuous
like tennis. am playing tennis.
You like tennis. You are playing tennis.
He likes tennis. He is playing tennis.

4.2. Negative sentences

Present Simple Present Continuous
do not like tennis. am not playing tennis.
You do not like tennis. You are not playing tennis.
He does not like tennis. He is not playing tennis.

4.3. Questions

Present Simple Present Continuous
Do I like tennis? Am I playing tennis?
Do you like tennis? Are you playing tennis?
Does he like tennis? Is he playing tennis?

5. Spelling

Present Simple Present Continuous
  • searches (-es after sibilant)
  • does (-es after -o)
  • hurries (Change -y to -ie after consonant)
  • hitting (Double the consonant after a short vowel.)
  • making (Drop the -e.)
  • dying (Change -ie to -y.)