Simple Present vs. Present Continuous – English Grammar Lesson

Michael Grammar Leave a Comment

What do you usually do on Tuesdays? What are you doing today? I always work on Tuesdays, and in fact, I am working right now. I’ve just given you two examples of sentences in English that use the simple present and present continuous grammar. For today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at the difference between both of these grammar patterns.

We use the simple present to talk about situations that happen regularly and generally true facts or situation:

  • When it snows, driving is dangerous. This is a generally true fact.
  • Bob lives in St Louis, but his parents live in Miami. Where Bob and his parents live is a generally true situation
  • I go to work by train. Going to work by train happens regularly.

We use the present continuous to talk about situations that are happening now, or around now. This “around now” has the meaning of “these days.”

  • Jack is working hard on his project now. I hope he can finish it soon. Jack’s situation is happening right now.
  • I’m having lunch now, I can’t help you. Having lunch is happening now.
  • Megumi’s baby is learning how to walk. These days, her baby is learning how to walk.

Note that verbs which describe states (like have, want, know, etc.) and verbs that describe emotions (like, love & hate) are not used in the present continuous form:

  • I have a new computer. Not, I am having a new computer.
  • I hate working overtime! Not, I am hating working overtime.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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