The Present Continuous and Present Simple Tenses

Permanent (usual) and Temporary (now, around now) actions.

* We use the Present Continuous tense to speak about things which are happening now or things which are temporary.

I am not working now. I am on holiday.
Sally is listening to a new CD.
Who are you phoning?

* The Present Simple tense describes usual, repeated and permanent things - for example, always, usually, often, sometimes, never.

I work as an accountant.
John doesn't know German.
How often do you play tennis?
Present Continuous and Present Simple to talk about the future.

* We use the Present Continuous Tense for plans and arrangements.

What are you doing tonight?
I'm seeing a very important customer in my office at 4 o'clock.
We are going to the see for our holiday.
Where are you staying in Vienna?
I'm not going anywhere. It is final.

* We use the Present Simple in the conditional clauses after if, when, as soon as, until etc, and when we talk about timetable, schedules, itineraries etc.

What will you do if you fail your exam?
We will wait, until she comes.

My plane takes off at 9.00.
The President arrives in Norway on 17 September.
What time does your train leave?



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