Present Simple vs. Present Continuous | English Grammar

Learn the difference between Present Simple vs. Present Continuous tense with examples and useful grammar rules.

Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Tense

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.


always, usually, often, sometimes, rarely, never


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

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

Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Tense | Picture

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