English Lessons Houston: Present Tense vs. Present Continuous
Hi Students! Here is a lesson from English Lessons Houston on when to use the Present Tense and the Present Continuous Tense.
Present Simple Tense
Use the present simple tense
To talk about routines
I usually read the paper in the morning.
I go to the gym every night.
To talk about states
The Yellow River runs through China.
Canada borders the United States.
To talk about things we think of as permanent
Brazil is part of South America.
A square has four sides.
- To talk about future time introduced by when, as soon as, after, if, etc.
When I speak with my boss tomorrow, I’ll tell him about the new project.
If I talk to my brother, I’ll invite him for dinner tonight.
To talk about “timetable” events
My train leaves at 4:00 p.m.
I travel to Paris on Friday.
Common phrases used with the present simple tense are: as a rule, generally speaking, on the whole, every day/week/month/year, once a week/day/year, most of the time, etc.
Use the present continuous tense
To talk about an action happening at the moment of speaking
Mr. Yu is giving his presentation to his colleagues.
I am eating dinner with my family right now.
To talk about things we think of as temporary
I am working in Houston for a few weeks.
I am living in an apartment until my house is finished.
To talk about a project that is “ongoing” and unfinished
I am writing a book about American politics.
We are waiting for the bus to arrive.
To talk about a gradual change or development
Because of global warming, sea levels are rising.
Due to the heavy rain, people are driving slowly on the streets.
To talk about an appointment or an arrangement in the future.
I am traveling to Belgium on Thursday.
She is having lunch with her boss later today.
Common phrases used with the present continuous are currently, for the moment, at the moment, for the time being, tomorrow, right now, etc.
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