Grammar: Present Simple vs. Present Continuous

Present Simple or Present Continuous?


1. Present Simple

General truths 

  • It rarely rains in the desert.
  • You play chess with 32 pieces.

Present habits   

  • The birds return to the island every morning.
  • Marsha goes to dance club every Thursday.

Timetable events             

  • The plane to London takes off at 6:30 a.m.
  • The Drama club meets every other week at 7:30 p.m.

Permanent states            

  • He works at a hotel.
  • I like the new James Bond film.

Adverbs               

always, usually, often, sometimes, rarely, never

Phrases                

  • every week/Monday/month/year...
  • once/twice/three times a week…

...

2. Present Continuous

Actions happening now                

  • She is reading a newspaper upstairs.
  • I'm busy, I'm doing my homework.

Annoying habits (+ always)          

  • You're always forgetting to pay the bills.
  • He's always singing in the shower.

Future arrangements     

  • She's getting married on 3 November.
  • We're leaving at 3 this afternoon.

Temporary states            

  • She's working at the museum until the end of this month.

Time Phrases            

  • now, right now, at the moment, today, this week/month/year

...

                

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