Tenses 1

Present Simple and Continuous

Present Simple

The present simple is used to describe habitual actions in the present.

Whenever I go to town, I spend too much money.

The present simple is also used for permanent situations.

My uncle lives in Bristol, but he works in London.

It is used to describe something permanent:

* The Characteristics (habits, choices)

* The way of life of a society.

* Facts about the world.

It is used to express natural and scientific laws, and simple fact:

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

It is used for planned future actions often associated with travel:

Mr. Brown’s plane leaves at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

Present Continuous

The present continuous is used to talk about actions happening at the moment of speaking:

I'm watching TV at the moment.

It is also used to refer to temporary actions:

Mary is taking medicines because she's feeling sick.

Finally, it is also used to refer to future actions or events which have already been arranged.

Are you doing anything interesting at the weekend?

We’re spending the summer with our friends in Greece.

Also, the present continuous can be used to express the following:


I’m feeling nervous.


We’re landing.


I’m staying in a hotel.

Simple vs. Continuous

Watch the following video for further explanation about these tenses.

Let's practice!