Present continuous and present simple

دوره: گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / اپیزود 2

گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه

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Present continuous and present simple

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Its time for 6 Minute Grammar. This week Sophie and Neil explain the present simple and present continuous tenses. Dont forget that you can subscribe to the podcast version.

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Sophie Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Sophie.

Neil And me, Neil. Hello.

Sophie Today we’re talking about the present simple tense…

Neil …and the present continuous tense. Coming up in today’s programme:

Sophie We’ll take a look at positives, negatives, and question forms…

Neil We’ll find out when to use each tense…

Sophie We’ll hear some short forms…

Neil And we’ll have a quiz to test what we’ve learnt.

Sophie But first: the present simple tense. We use it to talk about things that happen regularly. Here’s Finn with an example:

Finn John checks his email every morning.

Sophie Thanks Finn. So the verb to check is in the present simple – John checks - because he checks his email regularly – every morning.

Neil We make the present simple with a subject plus a base verb – I check, you go, we live, they wear .

Sophie For he , she and it , add an s to the verb. Can you demonstrate please Finn?

Finn I always we­ar a coat in the winter. My brother wears a jacket.

Neil Now we also use the present simple to talk about facts and permanent situations. So we can say…

Finn I work in the fashion industry. My sister lives in China .

Sophie To make the present simple negative, use don’t or doesn’t . And there’s no s on the end of the verb. Finn?

Finn I don’t work in the modelling industry. My brother doesn’t like fashion.

Neil For questions, use do or does .

Finn Do your friends live in London? Does John check his email in the morning?


Neil So that’s present simple. Now: let’s look at the present continuous tense. [SFX: phone rings] Ooh just a minute, let me get that… [to caller] Hello? Sorry, I’m working at the moment. Can I call you back ? Sorry about that everyone…

Sophie [bemused] No problem…

Neil So: I just said I’m working at the moment.

Sophie Aha! A clever demonstration!

Neil That’s right – I said I’m working at the moment, because it’s an activity that’s happening now. I can say I work at the BBC in the present simple because my job is a permanent situation. But right now at this moment I’m doing the activity of working, so I use present continuous to say I’m working at the moment.

Sophie Right. As well as activities, we use the present continuous tense for temporary situations like this:

Finn My parents are staying with me this week. I’m sleeping on the sofa.

Sophie Ok. To make the present continuous, use am , is or are plus an i-n-g verb.

Finn I’m checking my email at the moment. Emily’s wearing a pink hat today. They’re eating dinner now.

Neil And did you hear those short forms? The words I am are shortened to I’m …

Sophie Emily is sounds like Emily’s .

Neil And they are sounds like they’re . We’ll have short forms in just a moment.

IDENT You’re listening to BBC Learning English.

Neil And today we’re talking about the present simple tense…

Sophie … and the present continuous.

Neil Let’s look at present continuous negatives. We make them with the little word not.

Finn I’m not wearing a raincoat because it isn’t raining.

Sophie And here are those short forms again:

Neil I am not becomes…

Sophie … I’m not.

Neil Is not …

Sophie … isn’t

Neil And for are not we get…

Sophie … aren’t .

Finn I’m not wearing shoes. He isn’t working today. You aren’t watching television.

[SFX: someone tapping keys on keyboard]

Sophie Umm Neil, are you sending an email?

Neil Errr - yes… [slightly bewildered] What are we doing? Are we talking about questions?

Sophie Yes, we are.

Neil Ooh, sorry – Back to the programme!

Sophie Aha! Another clever demonstration! I said: Are you sending an email?

Neil And I said: Are we talking about questions?

Sophie And of course, we both asked present continuous yes/no questions.

Neil And to make them, you just change the word order. Instead of You are sending an email , it’s Are you sending an email?

Sophie And change We are talking about questions to Are we talking about questions?

Neil It’s fine to put question words like why or what at the start of the question.

Finn What are we doing? Why are you sending an email?

Neil So that’s present continuous questions.

Sophie So that means: it’s time for a quiz. Join in if you like. I’m going to say a sentence and you need to make it negative. Neil will give the answer. Ready? Number 1. Paolo speaks Chinese.

Neil Paolo doesn’t speak Chinese.

Sophie Now make this sentence into a yes/no question: The children are playing a game.

Neil Are the children playing a game?

Sophie And one more: this time, make a present continuous question starting with why . Simon is learning Japanese.

Neil Why is Simon learning Japanese?

Sophie And that’s the end of the quiz – well done if you got them all right.

Neil And that’s also the end of the programme – but there’s more about these tenses on our website at

Sophie Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.

All Bye.

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