Present simple AND present continuous – Diferencias y ejercicios

Curso gratuito en línea para aprender inglés desde casa – ¿Cual es la diferencia entre el PRESENT SIMPLE y el PRESENT CONTINUOUS? – LECCION 30 GRAMATICA


In this lesson we are going to compare the present simple and  present continuous tense. We are going to study the differences and do exercises together. It is a very common problem to confuse these to tenses. This post includes AUDIO and WRITTEN CLASS.

Esta lección incluye AUDIO y CLASE ESCRITA

Present Simple amd Present Continuous

Many students (especially from Latin America) have problems in choosing the correct form of the verb when we talk about the “present”. Such problems arise because they translate from Spanish to English directly without paying attention to the communicative uses.

  • Structure differences

Present Simple:

– Maria plays tennis at the weekends
– She doesn’t study French.
– How many children do they have?

– In positive we use two conjugations. One is the simple form and the other is the “s” form (play/plays)
– In negative sentences we use the auxiliaries don’t and doesn’t and the verb is ALWAYS in the simple form. (She doesn’t work)
– In the question form we use auxiliaries do and does and also the verb goes in the simple form. The subject goes in between the auxiliary and the verb. (Do you work here?)

Present continuous

– Maria is playing tennis.
– She isn’t studying.
– What are they doing?

– When we construct the present continuous we use the verb to be. Therefore we DO NOT USE auxiliaries do, does, don’t or doesn’t.
– Use the “ing” form after the verb to be.


Present Simple Present Continuous
Routines / Habits : Maria smokes Actions happening NOW: Maria is smoking
Permanent Actions: Pedro lives in Sevilla Temporary actions: Juan is staying at the Marriot hotel.
Current facts/truths: I have two brothers

Exercises: (The answers are in the AUDIO)

Fill in the blanks with am/is/are/do/don’t/does/doesn’t

1. Excuse me _____ you speak English?
2. Have a cigarette. No, thank you. I _____ smoke.
3. Why ____ you laughing at me?
4. What ____ she do? She’s a dentist.
5. I ____ want to go out. It ____ raining.
6. Where ____ you come from? From Canada.
7. How much ____ it cost to send a letter to Canada?
8.I can’t talk to you at the moment. I ____ working.
9. George is a good tennis player but he _____ play very often.

Put the verb in present continuous or present simple

1. Excuse me, ______________ (you/speak) English?
2. Tom _________________ (have/shower) at the moment.
3. They _____________ (not/watch) television very often.
4. Listen! Somebody _______________ (sing)
5. She’s tired. She ____________ (want) to go home.
6. How often ____________________ (you/read) a newspaper?
7. Excuse me, but you __________________ (sit) in my place. Oh I’m sorry.
8. I’m sorry. I ___________________ (not/understand). Please speak more slowly.
9.Where are you Roy? I am in the office. I ___________________ (read)
10. What time __________________ (she/finish) work every day?
11. You can turn off the radio. I _____________________ (not listen) to it.
12. He ____________________ (not/usually/drive) to work. He usually ________ (walk)


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