Simple Present vs. Present Progressive

Ready for more grammar? Good.

This time we’re going to look at simple present tense and present progressive (also called present continuous) tense.

We use simple present tense when we talk about something we usually do or always do or never do or sometimes do. For example:

I live in Brooklyn.

She always does her homework.

They don’t drink alcohol.

We use present progressive tense to describe something we’re doing right now, at this very moment. For example:

I’m using the computer right now.

She’s talking on the phone.

He isn’t sleeping. He’s watching TV.

But be careful – there are some verbs that we rarely or never use in the present progressive tense. These verbs describe a feeling or a way of thinking. For example:

I understand the situation.   (Not “I’m understanding the situation.”)

They believe what you say.   (Not “They’re believing what you say.”)

He wants a new bike.   (Not “He’s wanting a new bike.”)

Now watch these two videos. The first one is a clear explanation of the grammar, and the second one is a rather strange demonstration of the grammar.

After you finish watching, take the quiz to test your knowledge – and then you can write some sentences in simple present tense or present progressive tense (or both) by leaving a comment!

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