Guide to Simple Present and Present Continuous Tenses

 

Simple Present
Meaning:
  1. characteristic
  2. habit or repeated action
Form:
Simple form but add s to verb when subject is one person or thing (he, she, it, the desk, my hand - not I or you)
Time Words:
Used to show how often something happens

- always
- usually
- often
- frequently
- sometimes
- occasionally
- every now and then
- once in a while
- seldom
- rarely
- almost never
- never

Used to show routine/regular actions

- daily
- weekly
- monthly
- biennially
- on Mondays
- yearly/annually
- hourly
- nightly
- on weekends
- on weekdays
- each/every day
- each/every week
- each/every month
- each/every weekend
- each/every year
- each/every morning
- each/every afternoon
- each/every evening
- each/every second
- each/every minute
- each/every hour
- every few months
- every few years
- every few hours
- every few minutes, etc.
- once a year
- twice a year
- three times a week
- four times a month, etc.

Present Continuous
Meaning:
  1. action that is happening right now
  2. action happening in a present block of time (this semester, this week), but that will end at some future time
Form:
is/are + verb + ing
Time Words:
right now
at this moment
at this point
at this minute
today
this morning
this afternoon
this evening
all day
at present
presently
currently
temporarily
these days
for the time being
this week
this month
this semester
this year
all month

Note: Present Continuous can be used with always, forever, and constantly when meant as a complaint or when expressed with some emotion. Examples:

  1. She is always dropping things.
  2. She is forever getting inside my jewelry box.
  3. He is constantly whining for more attention.