Present Simple and Present Continuous

Sometimes, it can be difficult for students to know when to use the Present Simple or Present Continuous. This page will help clarify any uncertainties and help shed some light on when to use each tense appropriately. Feel free to look around, learn, and practice.

present simple or present continuous
Present Simple

Use the Present Simple for things in general or things that happen repeatedly

Dan watches television every evening.

It doesn’t rain very much in the desert.

What do you unusually do on weekends?

Louis reads a lot of books.

Use the present simple for a permanent situation.

Eric lives in London.

Present Continuous

Use the Present Continuous for something that is happening at or around the time of speaking.

The action is not finished.

 Dan is watching television.

It isn’t raining right now so we can go for a walk.

What are you doing this weekend?

Louis is reading an interesting book at the moment.

Use the present continuous for a temporary situation.

Sonia is staying with some friends until she can find a flat.