English Review of Present Simple & Present Progressive

    Beginner English - Level A1


    This unit is a review of both the simple present and present progressive (aka present continuous) tenses. Present simple has one verb, whereas the present progressive includes a helping verb and a main verb ending in "ing."



    Greenville, South Carolina at Falls Park in downtown at night.

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    English A1

    The Present Simple Tense

    and Present Progressive Tense

    The present simple tense consists of a subject followed by a main verb in the present tense and then a predicate. The majority of verbs in the simple present are action verbs, though some are not. Here are some examples:

    Jeremy plays the banjo.
    Rebecca walks to school.
    Sam and Bruce drink coffee at the cafe.

    In English, the present tense of most verbs is formed by adding an "s" to the end of the verb for third person singular (he, she, it) and no endings for all other forms (I, you, we, they). Some verbs are irregular and have different forms:

    He has a parrot.  (have)
    She is tall.  (be)
    They are noisy.  (be)
    He does his homework.  (do)
    The irregular verb "be" is conjugated in the simple present as follows:

    am               we are
    you are          you (plural) are
    he/she/it is     they are

    Note that modal verbs are found in the present simple tense, too.

    I can
    you should
    he may
    she might
    it could
    we would
    you all must
    they will

    The modal verbs in the present simple do not add anything when conjugated - they look exactly like their infinitive forms.
    The present progressive tense is also referred to as the present continuous, because it refers to an action that is occurring at the present moment. This tense has two verbs: an auxiliary (be) comes first, followed by the present participle of the main verb (the verb + "ing" ending).

    Present                                                  Present Progressive
    I throw the ball.                                      I am throwing the ball.
    We play cards.                                       We are playing cards.
    She watches TV.                                    She is watching TV.

    As can be seen in the examples, the present progressive adds the "ing" ending to the verb and the verb "be" is conjugated for the subject in the present tense. Note that the present participle of the main verb (with "ing" ending) never changes form.
    The present progressive is commonly used in everyday conversation. It can also be used to refer to something that is about to happen in the immediate or near future.

    The student is going to the library tomorrow.
    We are leaving for Montana in the morning.
    I am going to the grocery store soon.

    Unlike the simple present, which often refers to habitual or routine actions, the present progressive conveys this meaning only when using adverbs to support it. For example:

    My neighbors are always making lots of noise early in the morning.

    This example uses the adverb "always" to indicate repeated occurrences of the action (making lots of noise).

    Additional Activities

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