Present Simple Vs. Present Continuous

You will study the Present Simple Vs. the Present Continuous.


Present Simple Vs. Present Continuous


Imagen: Pyramid of Kukulcan. Creative Commons.

Instructions: Read the text. Look at the underlined verbs.

A Trekking Journal

September 8th, 2016.

Today is the fourth day of my trek around Chichen-Itza. I am exhausted and my legs are shaking. I just hope I am able to complete the trek. My feet are really killing me, but I still want to continue.

Chichen-Itza is a fascinating place, but I have a great deal to learn. Everything is so interesting, and I am trying to understand its history. I am learning a little bit about the place; unfortunately, I am not learning enough.

I am currently travelling with Michael, a student from UNAM. He is a really nice guy, but impatient. He always walks ahead of me and complains that I am too slow. I am doing my best to keep up with him, but he is stronger than I am. Maybe, I am just feeling sorry for myself because I am getting old. Right now, Michael is sitting near a pyramid.

Verb Tense Exercise 2. Retrieved and adapted October, 2016 from


Getting started: Living near Chichen Itza

Instructions: Read the text to do the activity suggested.

My best friend and his family live near Chichen Itza, Quintana Roo. They live in a small town. They have a big back garden with some trees. My best friend helps his parents with the garden. Today is Saturday, at the moment my friend is washing his father’s car. His sisters are preparing a typical breakfast in the kitchen. They have cheese, tortillas and chicken for breakfast every weekend.

His father is a tourist guide. He is working at the Chichen Itza pyramid right now. He is explaining some tourists everything about the ceremonial center. They are taking photographs and asking questions about the Maya civilization.

True of False?

Instructions: Choose true or false.

1. My best friend lives in Quintana, Roo.

2. He lives with his parents and sisters.

3. His sisters aren’t preparing breakfast.

4. His father doesn’t work in Chichen Itza.

5. Some tourists are taking photographs.


Let’s find out the difference between the Simple Present and the Present Continuous.

Instructions: Read the information about the Simple Present and the Present Continuous.

  1. Use the present simple to talk about activities or routines which take place on a regular basis.
    • He works in Chichen Itza.
    • They have chicken for breakfast.
  2. Use the present continuous tense to talk about activities happening now:
    • The Obama family is smiling very happily.
    • President Obama is holding hands with his daughters.
  3. Use the present continuous tense to talk about activities happening around now, and not necessarily this moment.
    • American people are planning a big party for Halloween.
    • They are preparing their costumes.

Remember some typical expressions for the simple present:

  1. always
  2. usually
  3. sometimes
  4. normally

Remember some typical expressions for the present continuous:

  1. now
  2. right now
  3. at the moment
  4. these days


Present Simple or Present Continuous?

Instructions: Drag the correct form of the verb to complete the following sentences:

doesn’t read
never listen
isn’t reading
is visiting
is doing
is making
are not listening

1. Angie her homework right now.

2. Angie her homework every evening.

3. Forget it! They to you right now.

4. Forget it! They to you.

5. Tina twice a month.

6. Tina her parents right now.

7. Frank dinner now.

8. Frank dinner on Saturdays.

9. Jane the newspaper every morning.

10. Jane the newspaper these days.


Making sentences

Instructions: Write sentences with the following prompts.

  1. David up at 6 o’clock.
  2. Mary her homework every day.
  3. Sue her dancing lessons every Saturday.
  4. Emily her homework right now.
  5. They video games at the moment.
  6. Alice the dog right now.
  7. We coffee now.
  8. doneCheck


Evaluation: An email

Instructions: Tony recently moved to Georgetown. He is writing to Alice, one of his best friends. Read Tony’s email and choose the correct form of the verbs to complete it.

Subject: Life in Georgetown

Hi Alice,
Well, here I am, living in Georgetown! You were right, my new job keeps me very busy. I have many things to do and I have/don’t have a lot of time. For example, right now I write/am writing to you and I have/am having breakfast at the same time. I get up/am getting up very early every day and I still don’t have enough time to do everything I have to do. I’m always very busy and my cell phone is ringing all the time. See? It rings/is ringing right now, but I’m not going to answer it. Like I said, my life is very busy. I have/am having many activities every week and I see/am seeing different clients two or three times a day. I have/am having meetings with my boss every evening. I get/am getting at home at 8 o’clock at night and I am always tired. Oh, no! the phone rings/is ringing again! Sorry, but I have to go now. Take care and say hello to everybody. I´ll give you a call this weekend.