Compare :

Present continuous (I am doing)
We use the continuous for things happening at or around the time of speaking.
The action is not complete.

I am doing
  • The water is boiling. Can you turn it off?
  • Listen to those people. What language are the speaking?
  • Ley's go out. It isn't raining now.
  • I'm busy. What are you doing?
  • I'm getting hungry. Let's go and eat.
  • Kate wants to work in Italy, so she's learning Italian.
  • The population of the world is increasing very fast.

We use the continuous for temporary situations:

  • I'm living with some friends until I find a place of my own.
  • A: You're working hard today.
    B: Yes, I have a lot to do.

Present simple (I am doing)
We use the simple for things in general or things that happen repeatedly.

I do
  • Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Excuse me, do you speak English?
  • It doesn't rain very much in summer.
  • What do you usually do at weekends?
  • I always get hungry in the afternoon.
  • Most people learn to swim when they are children.
  • Every day the population of the world increases by about 200,000 people.
    We use the simple for permanent situations:
  • My parents live in London. They have lived there all there lives.
  • John isn't lazy. He works hard most of the time.

I always do and I'm always doing

I always do (something) = I do it every time:

  • I always go to work by car. (not I'm always going)
    I'm always doing something has a different meaning.
    For example : I've lost my pen again. I'm always losing things.
    = I lose thins very often.
  • You're always watching TV. You should do something more active.
  • David is never satisfied. He's always complaining.( = He complains too much)


Are the underlined verbs right or wrong? Correct them where necessary.

  1. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
  2. The water boils. Can you turn if off?
  3. Look! That man tries to open the door of your car.
  4. Can you hear those people? What do they talk about?
  5. The moon goes round the earth in about 27 days.
  6. I must go now. It gets late.
  7. I usually go to work by car.
  8. Hurry up! It's time to leave. OK I come.
  9. I hear you've got a new job. How do you get on?
  10. Oscar is never late. He's always getting to work on time.
  11. They don't get on well. They're always arguing.

Put the verb into the correct form. present continuous or present simple.

  1. Let's go out. It __________ (not / rain) now.
  2. Olivia is very good at languages. She __________(speak) four languages very well.
  3. Hurry up! Everybody ____________________ (wait) for you.
  4. ____________________ (you / listen) to the radio? No, you can turn it off.
  5. ____________________ (you / listen) to the radio every day? No just occasionally.
  6. The River Nile ____________________ (flow) into the Mediterranean.
  7. The The river ____________________ (flow) vary fast today - much faster than usual.
  8. We usually ____________________ (grow) vegetables in our garden, but this year we ____________________ (not / grow) any.
  9. A: How's your English?
    B: Not bad. I think it ____________________ (improve) slowly.
  10. Olivia is in London at the moment. She ____________________ (stay) at the Park Hotel.
    She always ____________________ (stay) there when she's in London.
  11. Can we stop walking soon? I ____________________ (start) to feel tired.
  12. A: Can you drive?
    B: I __________ (learn). My father __________ (teach) me.
  13. Normally I __________ (finish) work at five, but this week I __________ (work) until six to earn a little more money.
  14. My parents __________ (live) in Manchester. They were born there and have never lived anywhere else. Where ____________________ (your parents / live)?
  15. Sonia __________ (look) for a place to live. She __________ (stay) with her sister until she finds somewhere.
  16. A: What ____________________ (your brother / do)?
    B: He's an architect, but he ____________________ (not / work) at the moment.
  17. (at a party) I usually __________ (enjoy) parties, but I __________ (not / enjoy) this one very much.

Finish B's sentences. Use always -ing.

  1. A: I've lost my pen again.
    B: Not again! _____________________________________________.
  2. A: The car has broken down again.
    B: That car is useless. It _____________________________________________.
  3. A: Look! You've made the same mistake again.
    B: Oh no, not again! I _____________________________________________.
  4. A:Oh. I've forgotten my glasses again.
    B: Typical! _____________________________________________.