An Online Catalogue of English Grammar Exercises

Contrasting the Present Simple and the Present Continuous
(see Present Time) in The A - Z of English Grammar & Usage.

What is different?
(a) I live in a small house.   (b) I'm living in a flat.
(a) I visit my aunt every 3 months.  (b) She's visiting her aunt now.
(a) He works in a bank.   (b) He's working in another bank today.

Answer: in the (a) examples the Present Simple tense is used to show permanence. In the (b) examples the Present Continuous tense is used to show a temporary activity.

Correct these sentences. Use the Present Simple or the Present Continuous.

1. I'm coming from Indonesia. I was born in Jakarta.
2. They are not eating meat on Friday.
3. The doctor has lunch at the moment.
4. The baby's not very well. It doesn't eat.
5. She doesn't go out because it rains.
6. They are waiting for laptops to come down in price.

1. I come fromů.(this is a permanent truth).
2. They don't eat meat on Friday. (same as 1).
3. He is having lunch at the moment (a temporary activity, happening now).
4. It isn't eating (same as 3).
5. She isn't going because it is raining (same as 3).
6. Correct.

See The A - Z of English Grammar & Usage for the rules.

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