Present Simple Permanent situations or states She works as a nurse. Repeated/ habitual actions I usually get up at 7:30. Permanent truth or laws of nature Water freezes at 0° C. Reviews / sports commentaries / dramatic narrative Jennifer Biddall acts brilliantly in this film.
Present Continuous Temporary situations They are staying at the Park Hotel at present. Actions happening at or around the moment of speaking. She is looking for a better job. Repeated actions with “always” expressing annoyance or criticism. She is always interrupting me! Changing situations.
His English is getting better. Markers Every …, often, always, usually, rarely, seldom, never, sometimes, in the morning, at night, on Monday, etc.
Markers Now, at the moment, at present, nowadays, today, tonight, always, still, etc.
Exercise 1 Present Simple vs. Present Continuous 1. I usually … (go) to work by car. a) go b) am going 2. “Hurry up! It’s time to leave.” OK. I … (come). b) come b) Am coming 3. They don’t get on well. They …always (argue). a) are …arguing b)argue 4. Look! The man … (try) to open the door of your car. a) tries b) is trying 5. The moon … (go) round the earth in about 27 days. a) goes b) is going 6. The River Nile … (flow) into the Mediterrannean. a) is flowing b) flows 7. My parents … (live) in London. a) live b) are living 8. What … your brother …(do)? He is an architect. a) does … do b) is … doing 9. We must go now. It … (get) late. a) is getting b) gets 10. Air …. (consist) mainly of nitrogen and oxygen. a) is consisting b) sonsists
Stative Verbs ď‚ˇ Do not normally have continuous forms Verbs of the senses: see, hear, smell, taste, feel etc. Verbs of opinion: agree, believe, consider etc. Verbs of emotions: feel forgive, hate, like, love etc. Other verbs: appear, be belong, fit, have, know, look, need, prefer, require, want, weigh, wish etc.
***Some stative verbs have continuous forms but there is a difference in meaning.
State 1. I think she is rich. (=I believe) 2. The milk tastes awful. (=it has a bad flavor) 3. He has a pet dog. (= he owns) 4. This cloth feels like velvet. (=has the texture) 5. I see you are in trouble. (= I understand) 6. The kitchen smells of burnt meat. (=has the smell) 7. He comes from Spain. (= he was born in) 8. I love holidays. (= in general) 9. Your hair looks great. (= it appears) 10. The baby weighs 5 kilos. (= it is) 11. Ann is very tall.
Action 1. I’m thinking about your plan. (=I’m considering) 2. He is tasting the sauce. It might need some salt. (= is trying its flavor) 3. He is having dinner now. (= He is eating) 4. She is feeling her way in the dark. (= She is finding her way in the dark.) 5. I’m seeing my lawyer tonight. (= I’m visiting) 6. Why are you smelling your food?(= trying the smell of) 7. He is coming from Spain. (= he is travelling from) 8. I’m loving this holiday. (= I’m enjoying; specific) 9. She is looking at some old photographs. (=is examining) 10. I am weighing myself on my new scales. (=I’m finding out my weight) 11. Ann is being very kind to me these days. (= she is behaving)
Exercise 2 1. The sausages … (taste) delicious. a) are tasting b) taste 2. Why …you … ( smell) the milk? Do you think it has gone off? a) are … smelling b) do … smell 3. Anna is Italian. She … (come) from Italy. a) comes b) is coming 4. This dress … (look) nice on you. a) is looking b) looks 5. She … (have) a Siamese cat. a) has b) is having 6. These flowers … (smell) nice. a) smell b) are smelling 7. He …(have ) a shower at the moment. a) has b) is having 8. He … a rude person. a) is b) is being 9. I … (see) what you mean. a) am seeing b) see 10. I really … (enjoy) homemade food. a) enjoy b) am enjoying
Present Perfect Recently completed actions She has tidied her room. (You can see it is tidy now.) Actions which happened at an unstated past time and are connected with the present He has lost his keys. (He is still looking for them.) Personal experiences / changes which have happened I have lost 10 kilos. Emphasis on number She has written three letters since this morning.
Present Perfect Continuous Actions started in the past and continuing up to the present He has been writing a letter for two hours. Past actions of certain duration having visible results or effects in the present She has been crying. (Her eyes are red.) Actions expressing anger, irritation, annoyance, explanation or criticism Who has been using my toothbrush? Emphasis on duration (usually with for, since, how long) She has been calling on clients since this morning.
Just, ever, never, already, yet (negations & questions), always, how long, so far, recently, lately, since, for, today, this week, etc
For, since, how long
Note !!! Live, feel, and work can be used either in the Present Perfect or the Present Perfect Continuous with no difference in meaning. I have been living / have lived in Rome for a year.
7. “Is it still raining?” “No, it … (stop).”
a) has stopped b) has been stopping
Present Perfect vs. Present Perfect Continuous 1. Look! Somebody … (break) that window. a) has been breaking broken
2. You look tired. … (you work) hard? a) have you been working Have you worked
8. I … (lose) my address book. … (you / see) it anywhere? a) have lost b) have been losing a) Have you seen b) have you been seeing 9. I … (read) the book you lent me but I … (not / finish) it yet. a) have read b) have been reading
3. “… (you / ever / work) in a factory?” “No, never/”
a) haven’t finished b) haven’t been finishing
a) have you ever worked b) Have you ever been working
10. I … (read) the book you lent me, so you can have it back now.
4. “Jane is away on holiday.” “Oh, is she? Where … ( she / go)? a) has she been going b) has she gone 5. My brother is an actor. He … (appear) in several films. a) has appeared b) has been appearing 6. “Sorry, I’m late”. “That’s all right. I … (not / wait) long.” a) haven’t waited b) haven’t been waiting
a) have been reading b) have read
Past actions which happened one after the other
Action in the middle of happening at a stated past time
She sealed the letter, put a stamp on it and posted it.
He was playing tennis at 4:30 yesterday.
Past habit or state He used to go/went to school on foot. Complete action or event which happened at a stated past time She called an hour ago. Action which happened at a definite past time although the time is not mentioned. This action isn’t connected with the present Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays.
Past action in progress interrupted by another past action. The longer action is in the Past Continuous, the shorter action is in the Past Simple While I was getting dressed the ball rang. Two or more simultaneous past actions or background description to events in a story While I was sunbathing, Tim was swimming. She was flying to Paris.
Yesterday, last week etc, (How long ago … ?), … ago, then, just now, when, in 1967 etc.
While, when …, as etc.
Exercise 4 Past Simple vs. Past Continuous 1. Jane …(wait) for me when I … (arrive). a) waited; was arriving b) was waiting; arrived 2. “What … (you/do) this time yesterday?” “I was asleep.” a) were you doing b) did you do 3. “ … (you/go) out last night?” “No, I was too tired.” a) Were you going b) Did you go 4. “Was Carol at the party last night?” “Yes, she … (wear) a really nice dress.” a) wore b) was wearing c) weared 5. How fast …(you/drive) when the accident … (happen)? a) did you drive; happened b) were you driving; happened c) You drove; was happening
6. John … (take) a photo of me while I … (not look). a) took; was not looking b) was taking; was not looking 7. We were in a very difficult position. We … (not/know) what to do. a) not knew b) did not know c) was not knowing 8. I … (see) Sue in town yesterday but she … (not see) me. a) was seeing, did not see b) saw; did not see c) was seeing; was not seeing 9. While Ben … (work) in the garden his cousins … (play) football in the backyard. a) was working; played b) worked; played c) was working; were playing 10. When I was young, I … (want) to be a bus driver. a) was wanting b) wanted
Past Perfect Continuous Action Continuing over a period up to specific time in the past Past Perfect Past action which occurred before another or before a stated past time He had left by the time I got there. Complete past action which had visible results in the past She was sad because she had failed the test. The Past Perfect is the past equivalent of the Present Perfect.
She had been working as a clerk for 10 years before she resigned. Past action of certain duration which had visible results in the past They were wet because they had been walking in the rain. The Past Perfect Continuous is the past equivalent of the Present Perfect Continuous She went to the doctor. Her leg had been aching for two days.
He couldn’t find his watch. He had lost it.
Markers For, since.
Markers For, since, already, after, just, never, yet, before, by, by the time etc.
Exercise 5 Past Perfect vs. Past Perfect Continuous 1. We were good friends. We … (know) each other for a long time. a) had been knowing b) had known 2. Mary was sitting on the ground. She was out of breath. She … (run).
6. We … (play) tennis for half an hour when it started to rain. a) had been playing b) had played 7. It … (rain), so the ground was wet. a) had rained b) had been raining 8. I … (never see) him before. a) had never seen
a) had been running
b) had never been seeing
b) had run
9. The house was very quiet when I got home. Everybody … (go) to bed.
3. I was late and she … (wait) for a very long time. a) had waited b) had been waiting 4. I was sad when I sold my car. I … (have) it for a very long time. a) had been having b) had had 5. We were tired at the end of the journey. We … (travel) for more than 24 hours. a) had been travelling b) had travelled
a) had gone b) had been going 10. They … (build) a new block of flats by December. a) had been building b) had built
Constructions Used to / Would / Was going to Used to expresses past habits or states. It forms its negative and interrogative with “did”. She used to walk long distances. Would expresses past repeated actions and routine. Grandma would always make me porridge for breakfast. Was going to expresses unfulfilled arrangements or unfulfilled plans in the past, or actions one intended to do but did not or could not do. He was going to visit Pam but she wasn’t at home.
Decisions taken at the moment of speaking
Actions in progress at a stated future time
Since it’s getting dark, I will turn on the light.
He will be sunbathing in Hawaii this time next week.
Hopes, fears, threats, offers, promises, warnings, predictions, requests, comments, etc
Actions which are the result of a routine
I’m afraid I will be a little late. Actions or predictions which may (not) happen in the future She will probably buy the dress. Actions which we cannot control and will inevitably happen He will be ten next year. Things we are not sure about or haven’t decided to do yet She will probably be promoted.
Markers Tomorrow, tonight, next week/month, in two/three etc days, the day after tomorrow, soon, in a week/month etc.
I will be seeing John tomorrow. When we ask politely about people’s arrangements to see if they can do something for us or because we want to offer to do something for them Will you be going to the supermarket? Can you buy me some tea?
Exercise 6 Future Simple vs. Future Continuous 1. I ... (send) you a postcard from Spain. a) will send b) will be sending 2. She ... (stay) at Sunrise Hotel if you need her. a) will be staying b) will stay 3. Miss Richards ... (attend) a lecture from 2 till 5 p.m. today. a) will attend b) will be attending 4. We ... (wash) those dirty dishes when we come home from work. a) will wash b) will be washing 5. I know that Jerry ... (stand) on the platform and ... (wave) his hand when our train arrives. a) will be standing and waving b) will stand and wave 6. Your dress ... (be) ready in half an hour. a) will be being b) will be 7. The New Year ... (start) at midnight. a) will start b) will be starting 8. He ... (not return) to that island anymore. a) will not return b) wonâ€™t be returning
9. Sandra ... (enjoy) her vacation in a ski-resort at this time next year. a) will enjoy b) will be enjoying 10. I ... (not work) in the library tomorrow evening. a) will not work b) wonâ€™t be working
Future Perfect Actions which will be finished before a stated future time She will have come back by the end of July.
Markers Before, by, by then, by the time, until
Note* By or not … until/till are used with Future Perfect. Until/till are normally used with Future Perfect only in negative sentences.
She will have finished by 8 o’clock (Not: until/till) She won’t have finished until o’clock.
Future Perfect Continuous Duration of an action up to a certain time in the future By the end of this year she will have been working here for two years.
Exercise 7 Future Perfect vs. Future Perfect Continuous 1. They ... (build) the airport by April. a) will have built b) will have been building 2. The speaker ... (present) his project for 4 hours by 6 oâ€™clock. a) will have present b) will have been presenting 3. When I retire I ... (work) here for 30 years. a) will have been working b) will have worked 4. We ... (decorate) the Christmas tree before the children come back. a) will have decorated b) will have been decorating 5. By 2020 we ... (move) to a new house. a) will have moved b) will have been moving 6. By August the kids ... (stay) at the camp for a fortnight. a) will have stayed b) will have been staying 7. I think, we ... (launch) our new product by the end of December. a) will have been launching b) will have launched 8. Greg ... (plant) the trees for 8 hours by midnight. a) will have been planting b) will have planted
9. The workers ... (deliver) the sofa before we leave. a) will have delivered b) will have been delivering 10. She ... (drive) the car for more than 6 hours when we cross the border. a) will have been driving b) will have driven
Be going to Actions intended to be performed in the near future She’s going to visit her parents tomorrow. Planned actions or inventions Now that they’ve settled in their new house, they’re going to have a party. Evidence that something will definitely happen in the near future Ann is going to have a baby. Things we are sure about or we have already decided to do in the near future He’s
Present Simple (future meaning) Timetables / programmes The plane reaches London at 9:45.
Present Continuous (future meaning) Fixed arrangement in the near future Sally is seeing her dentist this week.
Exercise 8 Be going to / Present Simple / Present Continuous 1. My sister … (see) the dentist tomorrow morning.
b) opens c) is going to open 7. We … (get) married in June. a) are getting
a) is going to see
c) are going to get
c) is seeing 2. Our team … (win). (It is 4:0 and 1 minute left.) a) is going to win b) will win
8. Look! The vase … (fall). a) is falling b) falls c) is going to fall
c) is winning 3. The bus … (arrive) at 6:55. a) is arriving b) arrives
9. I can’t see you tomorrow. I … (play) football with my university friends. a) play
c) is going to arrive 4. I … (have) a dancing lesson tomorrow night. a) have b) am having c) am going to have 5. Susan … (have) a baby. (She is pregnant.) a) will have b) is going to have c) is having
6. The new shopping centre … (open) on 1 March. a) is opening
b) am playing c) am going to play 10. The sky is dark and full of clouds. It … (rain). a) is going to rain b) rains c) is raining