The Present Simple and Continuous
'I surf / I am surfing.'
What's the difference between the Present Simple / Present Continuous and how to use them.
We use the present simple tense when we want to talk about fixed habits or routines – things that don’t change.
We use the present continuous to talk about actions which are happening at the present moment, but will soon finish.
Compare these two statements:
- (present simple) I play tennis.
- (present continuous/ progressive) I am playing tennis.
(present simple) ‘I play tennis’ tells us that playing tennis is something the speaker always does. It is part of a routine or habit. We can call this a permanent situation.
(present continuous/ progressive) ‘I am playing tennis’ tells us that the speaker is playing tennis right now. Soon the game will be over. We call this a temporary situation.