The Present Simple is used :
►To talk about regular activities, routine,
- John plays tennis once a week.
- We start work at 9 a.m. every day.
- Mary eats fish on Fridays.
►To talk about tastes:
- Peter likes Chinese food.
- Julie doesn't like fish.
- Their children love chocolate.
► To talk about facts:
- The sun rises in the east.
- In Europe, the weather is cold in winter.
- Authors write books.
The Present Continuous is used :
● To talk about continuous activities :
1) at the time of speaking :
I am reading this page now.
2) around now, in a more general sense :
I am learning English this year.
● To talk about planned future
- Next month I am spending my holidays in
I have already booked my flight.
- Our neighbours are coming to dinner
They have accepted our invitation.
The Present Perfect Continuous is used to
refer to an action started in the past
which continues today.
Example: I have been learning English since
(I started in September and I continue to take
The Present Perfect Simple is used to refer
to the finished part of a continuous action.
Example: So far in my English course I
have learnt new vocabulary.
I have revised some grammar rules.
(My English course is not finished, but I
have finished some of the lessons)
The Present Perfect is used to refer to actions
which take place in an unfinished time
period up to now.
Example :Today, it is now 2 p.m.
At 9 o'clock this morning you started
revising your English.
Today is not finished, so you can say "I
have been revising my English since 9
(You are still revising, so the continuous
form is used.)
You have done part of the revision
work, which is not finished, so at 2 p.m. you
can say: "So far today, I have revised tenses
and irregular verbs.
(You do not mention any specific time; you
refer to today which is not finished.)
N.B. If you refer now (2 pm) to the morning,
for example, which is finished, you must use
the Past Simple.
Example: This morning I revised tenses and
The Past Simple is used to talk about
finished actions in a finished period of
Example : Yesterday evening, I played tennis
with a friend.
In 2005, I started taking tennis lessons.
When I was at school, I hated history.
Five minutes ago, I finished the report for my
Last week I attended a meeting in Tokyo.
◊ The Past Continuous tense is used to talk
about a continuous action which took place
at a specific time in the past.
● Yesterday evening, at 9 o'clock, I was
◊ It is also used, in sentences with when or
while, to refer to an action which was taking
place when a shorter, brief action took place.
● Yesterday evening, while I was watching
television, the phone rang.
● When my husband arrived home yesterday
evening, I was cooking dinner.
3. A When ________ you last ______ (get) a
B Yesterday. In fact, I ___________
(lift)weights when you ________ (call) me
4. A What _________ you ________ (do) for
B Actually, I ______________ (not work )
right now. I _____________ (look) for a job
for six months, but I ____________ (not
find) anything yet.
5. A What ________ you _________ (do) for
B Not much. I ________ (work) really hard
for the past year.
In fact, I _______ (not take) a vacation in
over a year now.
6. I (book)__________ the tickets two
weeks ago for the concert in Vienna.
7. The teacher
(speak)____________ English since the
beginning of this lesson.
8. In your life, how many countries (you-
9. The Bank (open)__________ a branch
in new shopping centre last month.
have you visited
10. The bus is late and Julie is cold. She
(wait)__________ for 10 minutes.
11. Caroline (work)__________ here between 2003
12. Before boarding, John (buy)_______ a book to
read during the flight.
13. So far today, I (learn) ____________ several new
words in English.
has been waiting
Present Perfect Simple or Continuous?
Find the mistake - 3
Each of the sentences below has one or two
mistakes. Find them and correct them.
I am watching television since I came home
from school. →
I have been watching television since I came
1. How long are you learning English ?
have___ been learning
2. How many cigarettes have you been
smoking this afternoon ?
3. I am working here since 1995.
4. I’ve had my watch since a long time.
5. How many years are you living in
6. Mark is exhausted. He is playing tennis
since two hours.
7. Sophie is doing very well at school since
the beginning of the year.
8. I have worn this sweater since 9 o’clock
9. I know Laura for many years. have known
10. Peter is attending English classes since two years.
11. My best friend has always been hating fish.
12. How many chapters of the book did you read so
13. I am waiting for the bus since a long time.
14. I have listened carefully to the teacher since the
beginning of the lesson.
15. How long are you a member of the tennis club ?
have been listening
has been attending
Past Simple - Past Continuous
Complete the sentences below with the correct form of the tense
(ex : Past Simple : I played - Past Continuous : I was
1) When her husband ____________ (arrive) home, Anne
2) I _________________ (prepare) dinner when the
telephone _________________ (ring).
3) What ________________________ (you do) when the
4) Julie _______________ (learn) to drive when she
___________________ (work) in London.
5) Where ___________________ (you sit) when the
were you doing
6) I ________________ (visit) Athens while I
____________________ (tour) Greece.
7) It was when he ____________________ (cross) the
street that John_____________ (fall).
8) What ________________(you see) while you
______________________ (wait) for the bus?
9) Where _______________________ (you go) when
your car ________________(break) down?
10) Julie ________________ (meet) Peter when she
___________________ (walk) in the park.
did you see
waitingwere you going
Grammar Simple and
continuous verbs Unit1A
Simple verbs: for completed
actions or permanent
What kind of music do you
I love Latin music. I listen to
it a lot.
Have you ever lived in
No, I’ve never lived
Continuous verbs: for
ongoing actions or
What kind of music are you
listening to currently?
I’m listening to a lot of
Latin jazz right now.
How long have you been
I’ve been living here for
What did you do for your What were you doing at
this last birthday? this time yesterday?
I went home and had I was sitting on a bus.
a big party.
Complete the questions and answers. Use the simple or
continuous form of the verb in the present, past, or present
1. A Who do you admire (admire)the most?
B I _____(admire) my grandfather. He ________ (teach)
me a lot when I _____ (grow up).
2. A _____ you ever ____ ( meet) anyone famous?
B No, but last year, I _______ (see) a TV star on the street.
We ______ both _____ (wait) in line for ice cream.
Grammar Verb complements: verb+ -ing or to+verb
Unit 1 B
consider finish imagine
miss mind spend(time)
He finished reading his
I spent three years working in
Verb + particle/preposition +verb+-
ing: end up
keep on think about plan on
How did you end up living here?
I wasn’t planning on leaving
agree decide happen offer
seem intend expect
They agreed to pay for Korean
I didn’t expect to get the job.
Verb +- ing or to + verb with different
meaning: remember stop try
I stopped talking to him.
I stopped to talk to him.
Verb +- ing or to + verb with the
same meaning: begin bother
continue start like love hate
Should I bother applying?
Should I bother to apply?
Complete the conversations with the correct forms of the
1. A How did you end up studying here?
B My friend recommended this school, so I decided
________ (sign up) for this class. How about you?
A Well, I wasn’t planning on ________ (learn) English,
but my company offered _______ (pay) for my classes. I
agreed ________ (come), and here I am! I want to keep on
_______ (take) classes if I can.
2. A How did you get your current job?
B It’s a long story! I started ________ (work) there as an
assistant, and I spent months just ___________ (file)
papers. I didn’t mind _______ (do) that for a while, but
then I happened ________ (hear) about a new sales
position. I never intended _________ (be) a sales rep, but
now I can’t imagine _________ (do) anything else.
to sign up