Present Simple vs Present Continuous

So, we are starting our online course about the English tenses.

First and foremost, how many tenses are there in English? If you take an active voice, there are in total 12 of them, but actually the main idea is to get to know the present with all the four aspects and then it will be very easy to consider the remaining 8.

Ok, let’s get started. Tenses are connected with the verbs we use. Take any verb in English and you can say whether it shows an action or a state. If it’s a state it can’t be progressive as it only shows what you are, you think or feel; whereas an action can be something changing and continuous. Mind this while choosing between the Simple and Continuous.

This table will help you to understand and use the two tenses properly.

Present simple Present continuous
 Factual information

  • Our company employs over 1000 people.

Actions and situations that are generally true

  • High taxation discourages investment.

Verbs that are generally used in a simple tense

  1. Mental state: believe, doubt, forget, imagine, realize, suppose, regret, recognize, think, understand
  2. Likes and dislikes: admire, dislike, hate, like, love, want, wish
  3. Possession: belong to, contain, have, include, own, possess
  4. Appearance: seem, appear, look like, resemble
  5. Being: be, consist of, exist, depend
  6. Perception: hear, see, smell, taste
  • I think he knows me quite well.


  • He plays golf every Sunday morning.

Directions and instructions

  • How do I get to your office?


  • Russia doubles tea import duties.

Summary and historic events

  • In 1812 the French come to Russia.

Always, usually, often, generally, every day

Event in progress at the moment of speaking

  • What are you doing? – I’m trying to concentrate!

Current situations and ongoing projects

  • My boss is dealing with your enquiry but I’m not sure he will finish today.

Describing temporary situation

  • They are offering a discount for the period.

Changing and developing situations

  • The number of people using the Internet is growing.

Talking about repeated actions

  • His wife is always telling him not to work until late.

Criticism, complaint

  • Why are you always looking at me like that? I don’t like it!


Now, at the moment, today, always, this week


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