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Difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous
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Difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous

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In this podcast Mary tells us about the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous. 

 

Written and voiced by Mary Mironova

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The Difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous

Hi!
So today we are going to learn about the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous.
We use the Present Simple tense to talk about something we do every day, every week, regularly. 

For example, I wake up at 8 every day. And once every week, on Sundays, I wake up at 10.

This is my habit. So we use Present Simple for habits and routines.
Some other words can also show us that we should use Present Simple.

For example, often, usually, always, every Sunday, once every five years and so on.

So, what do you often do in the morning?
Where do you like to go on Saturdays?

If we want to talk about something we're doing right now, we should use the Present Continuous tense.

For example, right now I'm recording this. And you are listening to me or reading this information. And now you're smiling.

We can use some expressions with Present Continuous such as right now, at the moment and so on.

What are you thinking about right now?

So, we use Present Simple for habits and routines, and we use Present Continuous for things happening right now.

We also use Present Simple to talk about permanent events. Permanent means that the event never changes, that it lasts for a long time.

For example: I live in New York. I have lived here since I was born. And it isn't going to change.

But what if I'm living with my friends? What does that mean? It means that I'm looking for a new apartment, and I'm temporarily staying with my friends until I find it. I am not going to live with my friends for a long time. It is a temporary situation, so we use Present Continuous.
Some words can show us that it is a temporary situation, for example: this week, this month, temporarily, lately.

Therefore, we use Present Simple for permanent situations and Present Continuous for temporary situations.

The Sun rises in the East, right? It's a fact. So we use Present Simple. We use Present Simple for facts. What facts do you know about the Earth?

The weather is getting warmer every year. This is a changing situation. This year the weather is hotter than last year, and next year the weather will be hotter than this year. We use Present Continuous for developing and changing situations.

How is your life getting better?

So, we use the Present Simple tense for routines, habits, permanent events and facts.

We use the Present Continuous tense for things happening now, for temporary events, and for developing or changing situations.

Thanks for listening!
Good luck!