3 pamoka: Present continuous and present simple (I am doing and I do)

3 pamoka: Present continuous and present simple (I am doing and I do)

Present continuous and present simple (I am doing and I do)

Study the explanations and compare the examples:

Present continuous (I am doing)
Use the continuous for something that is happening at or around the time of speaking.
The action is not finished.
I am doing (now)

  • The water is boiling. Can you turn it off?
  • Listen to those people. What language are they speaking?
  • Let’s go out. It isn’t raining now.
  • 'Don’t disturb me. I’m busy.’ 'Why? What are you doing?’
  • I’m going to bed now. Goodnight!
  • Maria is in Britain at the moment. She’s learning English.

Use the continuous for a temporary situation:

  • I’m living with some friends until I find a flat.
  • 'You’re working hard today.’ 'Yes, I’ve got a lot to do.’

Present simple (I do)
Use the simple for things in general or things that happen repeatedly.
I do (past/now/future)

  • Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Excuse me, do you speak English?
  • It doesn’t rain very much in summer.
  • What do you do? (= What’s your job?)
  • I always go to bed before midnight.
  • Most people learn to swim when they are children.

Use the simple for a permanent situation:

  • My parents live in Vilnius. They have lived there all their lives.
  • John isn’t lazy. He works very hard most of the time.

I always do and I’m always doing

Usually we say 'I always do something’ (= I do it every time):

  • I always go to work by car. (not 'I’m always going’)
    You can also say 'I’m always doing something’, but this has a different meaning. For example:
  • I’ve lost my key again. I’m always losing things.
    'I’m always losing things’ does not mean that I lose things every time. It means that I lose things too often, more often than normal.
    'You’re always –ing’ means that you do something very often, more often than the speaker thinks is normal or reasonable.
  • You’re always watching television. You should do something more active.
  • John is never satisfied. He’s always complaining.

We use continuous tenses only for actions and happenings (they are eating / it is raining etc.).
Some verbs (for example, know and like) are not action verbs. You cannot say 'I am knowing’ or ’they are liking’; you can only say 'I know’ , 'they like’.

The following verbs are not normally used in continuous tenses:

  • I’m hungry. I want something to eat. (not 'I’m wanting’)
  • Do you understand what I mean?
  • Ann doesn’t seem very happy at the moment.

When think means 'believe’, do not use the continuous:

  • What do you think (= believe) will happen? (not 'what are you thinking’)
    but * You look serious. What are you thinking about? (= What is going on in your mind?)
  • I’m thinking of giving up my job. (= I am considering)

When have means 'posses’ etc., do not use the continuous:

  • We’re enjoying our holiday. We have a nice room in the hotel. (not 'we’re having’)
    but * We’re enjoying our holiday. We’re having a great time.

See hear smell taste

We normally use the present simple (not continuous) with these verbs:

  • Do you see that man over there? (not 'are you seeing’)
  • This room smells. let’s open a window.

We often use can + see/hear smell taste:

  • Listen! Can you hear something?

But you can use the continuous with see (I’m seeing) when the meaning is 'having a meeting with’ (especially in the future):

  • I’m seeing the manager tomorrow morning.

He is selfish and He is being selfish

The present continuous of be is I am being / he is being / you are being etc.
I’m being = 'I’m behaving / I’m acting’. Compare:

  • I can’t understand why he’s being so selfish. He isn’t usually like that.
    (being selfish = behaving selfishly at the moment)
    but * He never thinks about other people. He is very selfish. (not 'he is being’)
    (= he is selfish generally, not only at the moment)

We use am/is/are being to say how somebody is behaving. It is not usually possible in other sentences:

  • It’s hot today. (not 'it is being hot’)
  • Sarah is very tired. (not 'is being tired’)

Look and feel

You can use present simple or continuous whan you say how somebody look or feels now:

  • You look well today. or You’re looking well today.
  • How do you feel now? or How are you feeling now?
    but * I usually feel tired in the morning. (not 'I’m usually feeling’)

Good lessons laurra Mirkt Taurė

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