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Present simple or continuous
Present simple (they play) present progressive (continuous) (they are playing) :
- They play tennis very well ...it is a statement of fact
- They play tennis on Saturday afternoons...it is a habit
- What are they doing now? - they are playing tennis...that happens right now
Present progressive (present continuous):
It is used when the action is done while you are talking.
The present progressive is formed with 'to be' in the present tense+the present participle of the verb.
Here are some examples:
Look! he's sleeping.
Somebody is waiting for you.
What are you looking at?
What are you looking for?
What is she doing? - She must be working in the garden.
He is writing a new novel.
I am reading a good book.
Don't take this book, I'm reading it!
The present simple :
1) It is used for facts that are true now and later:
Spring begins on March 21st.
The Earth revolves round the Sun.
He plays the piano.
2) It may express a repetition or a habit:
We have tea at 4.
She goes to London twice a month.
Compare these two sentences:
He wears glasses because he is short-sighted. Why isn't he wearing them today?
He's learning his lessons. He always learns them at the last minute.
Exercise: complete the sentences with the present simple or the present continuous.
English exercise "Present simple or continuous" created by lucile83 with The test builder
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