Present tenses in English
This page will help you if you can't remember the
difference between the
Which tense you use depends on how you see the state or action. If you
use the Present Simple ("I do"), you think something is permanent. This
means we often use the Present Simple to talk about general and
scientific facts, our routines or habits, to give definitions and to
doing") means the action is happening now (or around now), is
unfinished, or temporary. We use it to talk about trends and changes, or
about situations happening now that are different from normal.
"I in London." (This is my
"I with my parents." (A
temporary situation until I buy my own house.)
"Hot air ." (A scientific
"House prices are ." (A
trend happening now.)
"I to work every day." (My
routine or habit.)
"I to work this week."
(My car is being repaired.)
"At work I letters to
customers." (My job routine.)
"I a difficult letter."
(This is what I am doing right now and I haven't finished yet.)
So the most important rule is that you use the Present Simple ("I do")
for permanent states and the Present Continuous ("I am doing") for
changes and trends.
Some verbs cannot be used in the Present Continuous tense. This is
because they already suggest permanence.
- own, have,
belong. (Although you can say "I am having a party", it doesn't mean you
own the party, it means you are hosting a party.)
know, think, forget.
- love, hate,
- see, hear,
smell, taste. ("I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow" means I am going to
visit the doctor, but "I see the doctor" means "the doctor is standing
in front of me".)
lie. ("London lies on the River Thames".)
tense ("I am doing"), and the
tense ("I do").
Past tenses in English