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The Present Tense

The present tense is divided into two tenses:

The simple present expresses a habit in the present and is used with an adverb of frequency.

The present continuous indicates an action which is happening at the time of speaking: now,right now;or around the time of speaking: this morning/afternoon/evening, today, this week/month/year.

The simple present and present continuous


present chart



We use the simple present to talk about:

  1. Things we do habitually:

Example: I often read before I sleep.
He always drinks a cup of coffee after lunch.
Hamid usually watches Dr. Phil

  1. Things we do in general:  



Moroccans eat with their hands
The British people have a big breakfast.
Nomads live in tents.
Moroccans eat couscous every Friday.
Americans consume a lot of fast food.

  1. Frequent activities:

He trains karate three times a week.
I usually play the piano.
We watch TV every day.
They go jogging three times a week to keep fit.

  1. General truth:


The earth moves around the sun.
Cats eat mice.
Water boils at 100 degree C.

  1. To express a Future schedule or timetable:


The bus leaves at nine tomorrow.
The movie starts at eight tonight.
The plane arrives at six next Wednesday.
The football match begins at seven next Sunday.

We use the present continuous to talk about:

  1. An action which is happening now.


We are studying the present continuous now.
My mother is preparing the soup right now.

  1. An action which is happening around now. (today, this week/month/year)


I’m reading a story this week. (I’m in the middle of reading it)
My sister is preparing for the bac exam this year.
My father is travelling this month. (He’s still travelling. He hasn’t come back yet)

  1. To talk about a changing situation:


Aicha is losing weight after a year of dieting.
Morocco’s economy is developing gradually.
Hamid is recovering from his illness.

  1. To talk about a temporary action:


She is living with her sister until she finishes her training period.
My father is using a friend’s car because his car is broken down.


  1. Some verbs are nonprogressive and don’t take ing.

know, realize, understand, recognize, believe, feel, suppose, think, imagine, doubt, remember, forget, want, need, prefer, mean


love, like, appreciate, hate, dislike, fear, envy, mind, care



Have, own, possess, belong



Taste, smell, hear, feel, see



Seem, look, appear, cost, owe, weigh, be, exist, consist of, contain, include

  1. It is used for a future action:


I am travelling next week.
My uncle is visiting us tomorrow.

  1. Choose the suitable tense:
    1. I (never smoke/ am never smoking).
    2. The sun always shines /is always shining in Morocco
    3. She generally (speaks/is speaking) Arabic, but today she (speaks/is speaking) French.
    4. What (are you doing/do you do) now?
    5. I (watch/am watching) TV.
    6. What (does your father do/ is your father doing?
    7. How often (do you read/are you reading) the newspaper?
    8. Look! It (rains/is raining).
    9. She (practises/ is practising) aerobics in her free time.
    10. How (do you make/ are you making) tea?
    11. My father (never prays / is never praying) at home.
    12. The film (starts/is starting) at 8:00 tonight.
    13. We (do/are doing) a lot of grammar this year.
    14. Every year we (do/are doing) a lot of tests.
    15. They (travel/are travelling) every summer, but this summer they (don’t travel/are not travelling)
    16. I (see/am seeing) a bird on the tree now.
    17. He (sees/is seeing) the doctor tomorrow.
    18. It (smells/ is smelling) bad in this room.
    19. I (don’t understand/ am not understanding) what you are saying.
    20. What (does this word mean/is this word meaning)
    21. He (hears/is hearing) nothing because he (uses/is using) headphones.
    22. We (need/are needing) a rest now.
    23. (Do you like/Are you like) the film?
    24. In my free time, I (chat/am chatting) in the net.
    25. (Does he speak/Is he speaking) any foreign languages?
    26. This flower (smells/is smelling) good.
    27. The students (make/are making) a project this month. Their teacher often (gives/is giving) them projects.
    28. Every summer, we (go/are going) on holidays, but this summer we (stay/are staying) in our home town. My brother Yassine (doesn’t stay/isn’t staying) with us. He (travels/is travelling) abroad. He never (stays/is staying) with us in summer because he (doesn’t bear/isn’t bearing) the heat.
    29. Lazy students (cheat/are cheating) in exams.
    30. She (hates/is hating) dogs.
    31. The talk show (starts/is starting) at 8:00.
    32. My sister (celebrates/is celebrating) her birthday today.
    33. What time (do you leave/are you leaving tomorrow?
    34.  She (lives/is living) temporarily with her sister until she finds an apartment.
    35. A good student (never puts off/ is never putting off)  doing his homework.
    36.  They (explore/are exploring) the desert next week.
    37.  He (loves/is loving) football.
    38. My father (works/is working) in a bank and (earns/is earning) a lot.
    39. What (do you do/are you doing) in your free time?
    40. I (listen/am listening) to music frequently.


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