Present simpe versus the present progressive
Check your understanding with this grammar quiz: (i) progressive vs simple, and (ii) fill in the gaps
Different meaning in questions
In questions the same verb can change the meaning depending on if it is in the present or the present progressive tense.
NOTE! How do you do is NOT a question but a fixed idiomatic phrase which simply means ... I greet you. Swedish speakers often misunderstand How do you do and reply by saying. I'm fine thanks. The correct response is How do you do
1. For facts
Sharks live in the ocean.
Kebnekaise is the highest mountain in Sweden.
The train from Umeå to Riksgränsen is 10 hours.
2. For repeated or regular actions
Flights to London leave every hour.
I eat breakfast at the hotel.
We run every day of the week.
3. For habits
I brush my teeth three times a day.
He only drinks Vodka.
We celebrate Ramadan every year.
4. For things that are generally true in the present time period:
Barcelona is the best team in Europe at the moment.
She is my partner.
We study English.
1. When somebody is doing something at this moment.
Sarah is changing her shoes just now.
His mother is waiting for him.
We are learning the progressive tense in English.
2. When something is happening at this moment. When the action has started but hasn't finished.
It is raining at the moment.
The crisis is growing at an alarming rate.
The baby is sleeping, so please be quiet.
3. To talk about something that is happening around the time of speaking but not necessarily at that exact moment.
Mikaela is studying a lot for her exam.
I'm reading a great book. (not necessary right at this moment)
We are planning a trip to Malta.