A: We use continuous forms for actions and happenings that have started but not finished ( they are eating / it is raining )
ome verbs(for example,
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'.
When think means believe or have an opinion, we do not use the continuous:
- I think Mary is Canadian, but I'm not sure.
- What do you think about my plan?
When think means consider, the continuous is possible:
- I'm thinking about what happened. I often think about it.
- Jeehee is thinking of giving up her job.(she is considering it)
He is selfish and He is being selfish
He's being = He's behaving
- 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)
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)
- Jeehee is very tired. (not is being tired)
See hear smell taste
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?
You can use the present simple or continuous to say how somebody looks or feels now:
- You look well today. or You're looking well today.
- How do you feel now? or How are you feeling now?
- I usually feel tired in the morning. (not I'm usually feeling)
Are the underlined verbs right or wrong? Correct them where necessary.
- Nicky is thinking of giving up her job. __________
- Are you believing in God? __________
- I'm feeling hungry. Is there anything to eat? __________
- This sauce is great. It's tasting really good. __________
- I'm thinking this is your key. Am I right? __________
Use the words in brackets to make sentences. (You should also study Unit 3 before you do this exercise.)
- (you / not /seem / very happy today)
You don't seem very happy today.
- (what / you / do?) ________________________________________
- (who / this umbrella / belong to?) ________________________________________
- (the dinner / smell / good) ________________________________________
- Excuse me. (anybody / sit / there?) ________________________________________
- (these gloves / not / fit / me) ________________________________________
They're too small.
Put the verb into the correct form, present continuous or present simple.
- Are you hungry? _______________(you/want) something to eat?
- Don't put the dictionary away. I ____________________ (use) it.
- Don't put the dictionary away. I ____________________ (need) it.
- Who is that man? What ____________________ (he / want)?
- Who is that man? Why ____________________ (he/ look) at us?
- Alan says he's 80 years old, but nobody ____________________ (believe) him.
- She told me her name, but I ____________________ (not / remember) it now.
- I ____________________ (think) of selling my car. Would you be interested in buying it?
- I ____________________ (think) you should sell your car. You ____________________ (not / use) it very often.
- Air ____________________ (consist) mainly of nitrogen and oxygen.
Complete the sentences using the most suitable form of be. Sometimes you must use the simple (am/is/are) and sometimes the continuous is more suitable (am/is/are being).
- I can't understand why __________ so selfish. He isn't usually like that.
- Sarah ____________________ very nice to me at the moment. I wonder why.
- You'll like Debbie when you meet her. She ____________________ very nice.
- You're usually very patient, so why ____________________ so unreasonable about waiting ten more minutes?
- Why isn't Steve at work today ____________________ ill?