The present simple and present continuous tenses

The present simple and present continuous tenses

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학교 다닐 때부터 계속 배워왔던 내용이지만 실생활에 사용할 때 자주 헷갈리는 부분입니다. 언제 현재 단순형을 쓰고 언제 현재진행형을 사용해야 하는지 확실하게 알고 계시는가요? 다시 한번 확실하게 정리해봅시다.

Present simple 단순 현재

- used for habits 습관  ex) I always wake up at 6am

- permanent situations 영구적인 상황  ex) He lives in New York

truth 진실  ex) The sun rises in the east.

Habits, permanent situations and truth

+s in third person affirmative singular

Use do(n’t)/does(n’t) in questions and negatives

Present continuous 현재진행형

- used for actions happening now 현재 일어나는 행동 ex) I am talking to you! Listen to me!

- around now 지금 ex) I'm staying at my parents house this week and next.

- can be used for future arrangements미래의 준비로 사용 가능 – these are strong future plans

Actions happening now/around now

Be +(verb)ing

State verbs 상태동사

Some verbs cannot be used continuously. 어떤 동사는 진행형으로 사용할 수 없습니다. These are called state verbs. 이것을 상태동사라고 하죠. ex) need, know, want, have (possess). They are usually used in the simple form, even if we would normally use the continuous tense. 일반적으로 진행형으로 사용되더라도 단순형으로 씁니다.

I am really hungry. 

I want some food.

I have three children.

Present tenses used for future

Present continuous : future arrangement

Present simple: timetabled events


<Question 1>

With the exception of state verbs, which of these is the present simple tense NOT used for?

A. habits

B. actions happening now

C. permanent situations

D. truth

<Question 2>

Which present tense can be used to talk about the future?

A. the present simple

B. the present continuous

C. the present simple and the present continuous

<Question 3>

When do we use the present simple tense with a present continuous meaning?

A. never

B. if we are making a negative or a question

C. with state verbs


1. B-  That's not the present simple tense, but the present continuous tense. 

For example: You are reading this answer.

2. C- The present continuous can be used to talk about future arrangements, such as: We''re going to the movies on Friday. The present simple can be used to talk about timetabled future events, such as: My train departs tomorrow at 8pm.

3. C-  Certain verbs in English are not usually used in the continuous form. They are called state verbs

 e.g. need, know, want, love. They are used in the simple form even if the meaning is in the continuous

(Resource: BBC Learning English) 


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