Simple Present – Present Progressive – contrasted

Differences and similarities in the Simple Present and the Present Progressive

1. Use

Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
  • repeated actions
  • fixed arrangements, scheduled events (e.g. timetable)
  • sequence of actions in the present (first - then, after that)
  • instructions
  • things in general
  • after special verbs
  • actions happening at the moment of speaking or around the moment of speaking
  • fixed plan in the near future
  • temporary actionstrends
  • repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker (with always, constantly, forever)

2. Signal words

Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
  • always
  • often
  • usually
  • sometimes
  • seldom
  • never
  • every day
  • every week
  • every year
  • on Mondays
  • now
  • at the moment
  • Look!
  • Listen!

3. Form

Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
infinitive → 3rd person singular (he, she, it): infinitive + -s

to be (am, are, is) + infinitive + -ing

4. Examples

4.1. Affirmative sentences

Simple Present Present Progressive
I play football. I am playing football.
You play football. You are playing football.
He plays football. He is playing football.

4.2. Negative sentences

Simple Present Present Progressive
I do not play football. I am not playing football.
You do not play football. You are not playing football.
He does not play football. He is not playing football.

4.3. Questions

Simple Present Present Progressive
Do I play football? Am I playing football?
Do you play football? Are you playing football?
Does he play football? Is he playing football?

5. Spelling

Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
  • watches (-es after sibilant)
  • goes (-es after -o)
  • hurries (Change -y to -ie after consonant)
  • sitting (Double the consonant after a short vowel.)
  • writing (Drop the -e.)
  • lying (Change -ie to -y.)