Present simple or Present continuous?

12 November 2014 by Diane

Present simple  used to talk about things in general or routines

Ex. I speak English.

Tom plays tennis every Saturday.


Present continuous – used to talk about something happening AT THE MOMENT

Ex. The water is boiling.  Can you turn it off?

Listen to those people.  What language are they speaking?

What are you doing?


Stative Verbs - Some verbs are used only in simple tenses.   For example, we don’t say, “I am knowing…”  Instead, we say “I know…”  

Here is a list of stative verbs, or verbs that are not usually used in the continuous form:


want                    like                      belong                 know                   suppose                           remember

need                    love                     see                      realize                 mean                               forget

prefer                  hate                     hear                     believe                understand                      seem

smell                   taste                    see                      feel                      have (meaning “possess”)


Ex. Do you like Spain?

He doesn’t understand the problem.

That car belongs to him.

Do you have a car?

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