Monday, 24 January 2011


Hello everyone. Today we shall continue discussing the differences between present continuous and present simple.

(A) We use continuous forms for actions and happenings that have started but not finished (they are eating / it is raining etc.) Some verbs (for example, know and like) are not normally used in this way. We don’t say ‘I am knowing’ or ‘they are liking’; we say ‘I know’, ‘they like’.
The following verbs are not normally used in the present continuous:

  • I’m hungry. I want something to eat. (not I’m wanting)
  • Do you understand what I mean?
  • Ann doesn’t seem very happy at the moment.


We think means ‘believe’ or ‘have an opinion’, we do not use the continuous:

  • I think Mary is Canadian, but I’m not sure. (not I’m thinking)
  • What do you think about my plan? (= What is your opinion?)

When think means ‘consider’, the continuous is possible:

  • I’m thinking about what happened. I often think about it.
  • Nicky is thinking of giving up her job. (= she is considering it)


He’s being = He’s behaving / He’s acting. Compare:

  • I can’t understand why he’s being so selfish. He isn’t usually like that.
          (being selfish = behaving selfishly at the moment)
  • He never thinks about other people. He is very selfish. (not He is being)
          (= He is selfish generally, not only at the moment)

We use am / is / are being to say how somebody is behaving. It is not usually possible in other sentences:

  • It’s hot today. (not It is being hot)
  • Sarah is very tired. (not is being tired)


We normally use the present simple (not continuous) with these verbs:

  • Do you see that man over there? (not Are you seeing)
  • This room smells. Let’s open a window.
We often use can + see / hear / smell / taste:

  • I can hear a strange noise. Can you hear it?

Saturday, 15 January 2011


I always do AND I’m always doing
(1) I always do (something) carries the meaning: I do it every time.
  • I always go to work by car. (not I’m always going)
(2) ‘I’m always doing something’ on the other hand has a different meaning. For example,
  • I’ve lost my pen again. I’m always losing things.
(I’m always losing things = I lose things very often, perhaps too often, or more often than normal)

Two more examples:
  • You’re always watching television. You should do something more active.
(= You watch television too often)

  • Tim is never satisfied. He’s always complaining. (= He complains too much)


In the next post, we shall discuss more on the comparison between present continuous and present simple tense. For the time being, get yourself to understand the differences mentioned above and if possible, look for other differences as well :)

Thursday, 13 January 2011


Hello everyone. Today we are going to take a look at the topic Present Continuous Tense. Are you ready? Let's begin the lesson now! :)

When we use present continuous, it means that we are doing something and that the action hasn’t finished yet. It indicates that we are in the middle of doing it. Check the examples below and study it.
  • Please don’t make so much noise. I’m trying to work. (not I try)
  • ”Where’s Mark?” “He’s having a shower.” (not He has a shower)
  • Let’s go out now. It isn’t raining any more. (not It doesn’t rain)
  • (at a party) Hello, Jane. Are you enjoying the party? (not Do you enjoy)
  • What’s all that noise? What’s going on? (= What’s happening?)

(B) However, the action is not necessarily happening at the time of speaking. For example:

Some more examples:

  • Katie wants to work in Italy, so she’s learning Italian. (but perhaps she isn’t learning Italian at the time of speaking)
  • Some friends of mine are building their own house. They hope to finish it next summer.

(C) Other than that, we can also use the present continuous with today / this week / this year etc. (periods around now)

  • Jamie: Youre working very hard today. (not You work hard today)
..........James: Yes, I have a lot to do.
  • The company I work for isn’t doing so well this year.

(D) We use the present continuous when we talk about changes happening around now, especially with these verbs:

  • Is your English getting better? (not Does your English get better)
  • The population of the world is increasing very fast. (not increases)
  • At first I didn’t like my job, but I’m beginning to enjoy it now. (not I begin)

Hence, the formula table for present continuous is:

In the next post we shall discuss and compare the two types of tenses that we have learned so far (present simple and present continuous) so make sure you fully understand them! :)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Hello fellow students! Today we are about to discuss on the present simple tense. I hope everyone is ready with their notes and pens. Ready? So, let's begin the lesson :)


(A) We use simple present to say that something happens all the time or repeatedly, or that something is true in general. Take a look at the examples below and study it.
  • Nurses look after patients in hospitals.
  • I usually go away at weekends.
  • The earth goes round the sun.
  • The cafe opens at 7.30 in the morning.

Remember, I work . . . but He works . . .

(B) Besides that, we also use the present simple to say how often we do things.

  • I get up at 8 o’clock every morning.
  • How often do you go to the dentist?
  • Julie doesn’t drink tea very often.
  • Robert usually goes away two or three times a year.

(C) We use do/does to make questions and negative sentences.
  • I come from Canada. Where do you come from?
  • I don’t go away very often.
  • What does this word mean? (not What means this word?)
  • Rice doesn’t grow in cold climates.

Hence in conclusion, the formula table for present simple tense are as below:


Simple isn't it? Try your hand on the exercises within the next link to check whether you have fully understand this or not :)