Present Simple vs. Present Continuous

Present Simple vs. Present Continuous

Present Simple and Present Continuous are two present tenses in English and they are widely used on the daily basis. However, the question is how do they differ? Let’s start from analyzing 3 sets of sentences written below.

  1. I go to school every day. (Present Simple)

I am going to school at the moment. (Present Continuous)

  1. I always drink coffee for breakfast and tea for dinner. (Present Simple)

I am drinking coffee with my mum now. (Present Continuous)

  1. I never wear pink clothes. (Present Simple)

I am not wearing anything pink right now. (Present Continuous)

Can you notice the difference? Let’s focus on the structure itself first. How to make a sentence using those two tenses? You just have to follow one of the pattern depending on which tense you want to use.

Present Simple: Subject + verb (in case of third person singular –s is added to the verb)

Present Continuous: Subject + the verb to be+verb with – ing ending

Now you know how to make sentences in those two tenses, but in what situations can each tense be used? To cut it short, Present Simple is used in case of situations which are not happening the moment we talk about them and Present Continuous is used for describing situations which are taking place at the moment of mentioning them. However, it’s not that simple. There are other situations in which both tenses can be used. Take a look at the table.

Present Simple

Present Continuous

talking about facts

Talking about things happening at the moment

Talking about nature

Talking about planned events

Talking about repetitive events

Talking about things which annoy us

Talking about schedules


Talking about feelings


Giving pieces of advice



As you can see, both tenses can be used in many cases depending on the situation, but how does it look in practice? There 2 exercises below. Revise the theory you’ve just been introduced and complete the exercises. Good luck.

Ex. 1. Complete the sentences using proper forms of verbs.

  1. You ………. always ……… (leave) the kitchen in a mess!

  2. The sun ………. (to be) yellow.

  3. I really ………. (hate) when you do that to me.

  4. She ………. (plan) to leave in 5 minutes.

  5. I really ………. (not think) you should smoke.

  6. I can’t talk to you right now. I ………. (go) to the cinema.

Ex.2. Przetłumacz poniższe zdania.

  1. Zawsze zaczynam mój dzień od filiżanki kawy.

  2. Ty nigdy nie odbierasz ode mnie telefonów!

  3. Naprawdę nie podam mi się ten film.

  4. Ona jeździ do szkoły pociągiem.

  5. Jestem w drodze na zajęcia. Zadzwonię później.

  6. W ziemie zawsze pada śnieg,