Grammar Time: Present Continuous Or Present Simple

Do you prepare for exams? Do these grammar exercises to revise what tense to use  Present Continuous or Present Simple

Level B1

Exercise 1. Use the present continuous in the sentences.

  1. Don’t rush me (I / work) _____________________as fast as I can.
  2. What (you / drink)______________________? It looks awful.
  3. ( She / still wait)_____________________ to see the boss.
  4. ( He / hurry)____________________ to catch his train.
  5. (You / constantly / panic)_________________________________, aren’t you? Calm down!
  6. (Young people / become) ____________________________more and more politically aware these days.
  7. What (John / do)__________________________ nowadays? – (He / ride)___________________ for the British cycling team.
  8. (We / enjoy) _________________________our holiday here very much.
  9. (She / forever / forget) ______________________________to lock the front door.
  10. What time (he / arrive)________________________tomorrow?
  11. (He / always / upset)__________________________ people by asking personal questions.
  12. You can’t believe a word he says. (He / always / lie)________________________________.
  13. (She / run) ________________________the 1,500 metres in the next Olympics.

Exercise 2. Present Progressive (Continuous) with always. Change sentences into Present Progressive, use adverbs always, constantly, forever.

Example: He messes up the kitchen. – He is always messing up the kitchen.

  1. He leaves his dirty dishes on the table.
  2. He borrows my clothes without asking me.
  3. He brags about himself.
  4. He tries to show that he is smarter than I.
  5. He cracks his knuckles while I’m trying to study.
  6. I like fresh air and like to have the windows open, but he closes the windows.

Exercise 3. Use Present Continuous or Present Simple of the verbs in brackets.

  1. I rarely (wear) _____________ a tie in summer, but I (wear)_____________________ one now.
  2. We (do) _____________ exercise 39. We (do) ___________________ two exercises every lesson.
  3. George (smoke) __________________ a cigarette. He (smoke)____________________ ten cigarettes a day.
  4. Come in, I (have) __________________ a cup of tea. I usually have one about this time.
  5. What you (do)__________________ this evening? – I generally (knit) ______________ or (sew) ____________________, but this time I (watch)_____________________ TV.
  6. The postman (walk)_____________________ up the path. He (come) _____________________ twice a day.
  7. The telephone (ring)_____________________. Someone (want) _________________ to talk to you.
  8. What (be) ________________ this dreadful smell? – Something (burn) ____________________ in the kitchen.
  9. How Peter (get) ______________________ on at school? – Very well. He (seem) _______________ to like his life.
  10. Why (Mum, look) ________________ so angry? – Father (smoke) ___________________ a cigarette and (drop)__________________the ash on the floor.
  11. Diane can’t come to the phone because she (wash) ______________________ her hair. Diane (wash) _________________ her hair every other day or so.
  12. Kathy (sit, usually) _______________________ in front row during class, but today she (sit) in the last row.
  13. Please be quiet. I (try) ___________________ to concentrate.
  14. (Lock, you, always)_____________________ the door to your apartment when you leave?
  15. I wrote to my friend last week. She hasn’t answered my letter yet. I (wait, still) __________________________ for a reply.
  16. After three days of rain, I’m glad that the sun (shine) __________________ again today.
  17. Every morning, the sun (shine) ____________________ in my bedroom window and (wake) ____________ me up.
  18. Look! It (snow)________________. – It’s beautiful! This is the first time I’ve ever seen snow. It (snow, not) _____________________ in my country.
  19. Mike is a student. but he (go, not) __________________to school right now because it’s summer. He (attend)_______________ college from September to May every year, but in  the summers he (have, usually) __________________ a job at the post office. In fact, he (work) there this summer.
  20. I can’t afford that ring. It (cost)______________too much.
  21. Look. It (begin) _______________to rain. Unfortunately I (have, not) ___________________ my umbrella with me. Tom is lucky. He (wear) ____________________ a raincoat.
  22. I (own, not) _______________umbrella. I (wear) _____________________ a waterproof hat on rainy days.
  23. Right now I (look)____________________ around the classroom. Sue (write) _________________ in her book. Carlos (bite) _____________________his pencil. John (scratch) ____________________his head. Martin (stare) ___________________out the window. He (seem) ___________________to be daydreaming, but perhaps he (think) ___________________ hard about verb tenses. What (think, you) ____________________Martin (do)____________________?
  24. There’s a book on my desk, but it (belong, not) ______________________ to me.
  25. Dennis (fix)_________________ the roof of the house today, and he (need) ________________ some help.
  26. Barbara (tutor, often) ____________________other students in her math class. This afternoon she (help) _______________ Steve with his math assignment because he (understand, not) ____________________ the material they (work) ___________________ on in their class this week.
  27. Right now I (look) ___________________ at Janet She (look) __________________ angry. I wonder what’s the matter. She (have) _________________ a frown on her face, she certainly (have, not)__________________ any fun right now.
  28. Who is that woman who (stand) ___________________ next to the window? – Which woman? (Talk, you) ___________________ about the woman who (wear) ______________________ the blue and gold dress? – No, I (talk, not)____________________ about her. I (mean) __________________ the woman who (wear)______________________ the blue suit. – Oh, I (know, not)_______________. I (recognize, not) ________________________ her.

Exercise 4. Change the following sentences from the Simple Present to the Present Continuous Tense. Add a word or phrase like  “now”, “today”, “at this moment”, “at present” to each sentence.

  1. I write a letter.
  2. Richard walks to school.
  3. We live in that house.
  4. My father works in his garden.
  5. The book lies on the table.
  6. The train stops at the station.
  7. We travel to London.
  8. The gardener cuts down a tree.
  9. John comes home.
  10. The shopkeeper ties up the parcel.

Exercise 5. Use the verbs in the brackets in Present Continuous or Present Simple Tense.

  1. Elizabeth (play) ______________ piano well. She (play)_____________________ it now.
  2. My father (drive) _________________ to his office every day. He (drive) _________________ there now.
  3. It (rain)__________________ today. It usually (rain) __________________ in winter.
  4. He generally (speak) ______________ Greek, but he (speak) ___________________ English today.
  5. Mother (make) _________________ toast in the kitchen just now. She usually (make) _______________ toast for breakfast.
  6. The sun (set) _____________ in the West. It (set) _____________________ now, and soon it will be dark.
  7. My sister always (sew) ________________ the dresses for her doll. She (sew) __________________ one now.
  8. The telephone bell (ring) _________________ again. It sometimes (ring) ____________________ twenty times a day.
  9. John (do)________________ his homework now. He usually (do) _________________ it in the evening.
  10. “What is your father doing?” “He (sit) _________________ in an arm-chair, (read) ______________ his paper and (smoke) ___________________ a cigarette”.
  11. Richard (go) _________________ to school every day.
  12. In our class today we (learn) ________________ about the tenses of verbs.
  13. Careless students never (do) _________________their work well.
  14. What is the teacher doing? He (write) __________________on the blackboard.
  15. That fat man (live) __________________ next door to us. He ( just, go) __________________ in at the front door.
  16. We (spend) __________________ a short holiday in Scotland. We (go) __________________ there almost every day.
  17. Listen, the clock (strike) ________________. Count the strokes.
  18. Whenever we (go) __________________ to my aunt’s house she always (give) ______________ us a good tea.
  19. Mr. Green (smoke) _________________ too much. Every time I (see) _________________ him he is (smoke)_______________________.

I hope now you won’t have any problems in using Present Continuous or Present Simple in your own sentences.