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Present Simple versus Present Continuous

We use Present Simple for permanent We use Present Continuous for temporary

states, repeated or habitual actions. states or actions or for actions happening

at the moment of speaking.

Time expressions used with Pres. S. Time expressions used with Pres. Cont.

every day/ week /month /year, usually, now, at present, at the moment,

often, always, rarely, never, sometimes, today, tonight

in the morning/ evening/ afternoon etc.


He usually drives a car. Today he is driving a bike.

Some vebs are usually used only in the Simple tenses.

believe, belong, decide, forget, hate, hear, know, like, love,

need, remember, smell, see, think, understand, want etc.

The verb “have” is used only in the Simple tenses when it means “possess”.

Otherwise, it is used in the Continuous tenses as well.

I have two cars at present. BUT She is having a bath now.

Ex. 46. State which situations are permanent and which are temporary, then write

sentences as in the example.

1. Mary usually walks to school but today 2. Tom usually _______________tennis but

she is riding a bike to school. today he _________________basketball.

3. They usually ___________TV but today 4. He usually ______________ but today he

they _______________________a party. __________________________________

Ex. 47. Fill in the blanks with the Present Simple or Present Continuous.

Fred is a fireman. He 1) ___fights___ (fight) fires.

He 2) _______________(drive) a big red fire engine.

Can you see him? He 3) __________________(put)

water onto the fire. He 4) _________________ wear

a helmet.

Ex. 48. Fill in with Present Simple or Present Continuous.


Cinderella usually 1) wears__ (wear) old clothes. She 2) ______________(clean) the house every day and she 3) ____________(cook) for her sisters. At night she usually 4) ____________ (read) a book. At the moment Cinderella 5) _____________(wear) a beautiful dress. She 6)_____________(dance) with a prince. Cinderella’s sisters 7) ____________(stand) at the door. They 8) ______________(look) at her. They’re angry.

Ex. 49. Choose a time expression from the box for each sentence.

now on Fridays always at the moment every night

1. My sister is listening to the radio _______at the moment._____________________

2. I _______________________________________________________ have toast for breakfast.

3. We watch the 9 o’clock news ___________________________________________________.

4. My brother is doing his homework _______________________________________________.

5. My mother goes to the supermarket ______________________________________________.

6. I read a book or a magazine in bed _______________________________________________.

7. My grandfather _______________________________________ sends me a birthday present.

8. My brother is playing football __________________________________________________.

9. At school we have our history lessons ____________________________________________.

10. My father ____________________________buys newspapers from the shop near the office.

Ex. 50. Choose a time expression given below to complete the sentences.

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