Present Simple vs Present Continuous
Tense is a category of grammar that marks a situation in a timeline such as past, present, or future. It is the tense in grammar that tells us when the event or situation took place in time. The form of a verb gives a clue to the tense of an event. In tenses, it is the present tense, especially the present simple and present continuous that confuse the students of English language very much. This article attempts to differentiate between present simple and present continuous tenses, to enable them to grasp the nuances of English grammar, especially the tenses.
Present simple, also called simple present, is a tense that is reflected by events that take place regularly. For example, sun rises every morning or the gentleman goes for a walk everyday indicate simple present tense.
I take a shower every morning.
This is a sentence with the verb indicating simple present tense.
Preset simple tense is also reflected by general events such as cows eat grass and birds fly in the sky.
Present continuous is the present tense that indicates that the event is continuing in the present. So, if there is an action continuing right now but will stop in the future, it is described using present continuous tense. Interestingly, present continuous is also used to describe future events for which there is a definite plan. Take a look at the following example.
The next Olympics will be taking place in Rio de Janeiro.
If you have definite plans to throw a party, you say that you will be having a party at your place the next week. In this sentence too, present continuous is used to indicate a future event.
What is the difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous?
• Present simple is a grammatical tense that indicates events that take place regularly such as Sun rises and I play.
• Present continuous is a tense that is indicated by verb form made by adding ing as a suffix.
• Routines that do not change or habits that are fixed necessitate use of simple present.
• For events that are taking place in the present, but will stop in the future, present continuous is used.
• For events that will take place in the future but are certain, present continuous is to be used too.
• If an action is repeated sometimes, use simple present. However, use present continuous if it is continuing at present but will stop later.
• If the time is now, use present continuous.