Today we are going to talk about the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous. So, when do we use these tenses? Let’s go through some examples.
I play tennis every day. She plays tennis every day.
I don’t play golf. He doesn’t play golf.
Do you drive to work? Does he drive to work?
I am playing tennis at the moment. She is playing tennis at the moment.
I’m not playing golf. He’s not playing golf.
Are you driving to work tomorrow? Is he driving to work tomorrow?
Difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous
We use the Present Simple:
To talk about states or things that are always true.
- I live in London.
- The sun rises in the East.
- What do babies eat?
To talk about habits and routines.
- I go to the cinema once a week.
- He gets up at 6.30 a.m. every day.
- Sarah works in a bank.
To talk about timetables and schedules.
- My plane takes off at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
- The train leaves from platform 7.
We use the Present Continuous:
To talk about things happening at this time or around this time. These are temporary situations.
- What are you doing? I am watching TV.
- My sister is living with me until she can find a new apartment of her own.
To talk about plans and arrangements. This will refer to the future events.
- I’m meeting Deborah tomorrow.
- She’s leaving at 6 p.m.
To describe changes.
- The UK economy is getting stronger.
- Oil prices are falling.
Non-continuous Verbs in English
Some verbs that express state not action are not used in the continuous form. These include:
Verbs of the senses:
Verbs of perception:
List of Non-continuous Verbs in English
Verbs which express likes and dislikes:
Some verbs have more than one meaning and are not usually used in the continuous form with one of those meanings.
to have = to possess
to think = to have an opinion
to see = to understand
Find out what typical signal words are used with Present Continuous
I hope this short post has helped you better understand English Grammar Rules and the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous.
I would also recommend to watch this short video where I explain the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous and provide examples: