Other notes by jasontheteacher:


by jasontheteacher
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Basic contrasts:

present simple and present continuous

State verbs and event (action or dynamic) verbs




Present simple generally refers to:

  • Facts that are always true

Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.


  • Habits

British people drink a lot of tea.


  • States

/ don't like gangster films.


  • Present continuous (progressive) generally refers to actions which are in progress at the moment. These can be temporary:

I'm staying in a hotel until I find a fiat.


  • They can be actually in progress:

The dog is sleeping on our bed!


  • Or they can be generally in progress but not actually happening at the moment:

I'm learning to drive.


  • State verbs describe a continuing state, so do not usually have a continuous form. Typical examples are:

believe, belong, consist, contain, doubt, fit, have, know, like, love, matter, mean, need, own, prefer, seem, suppose, suspect, understand, want, wish


  • Some verbs have a stative meaning and a different active meaning. Typical examples are:

be, depend, feel, have, measure, see, taste, think, weigh



  • Jill's being noisy.
  • We're having an interesting conversation!
  • David's thinking about getting a new job.
  • I'm just tasting the soup.
  • I'm feeling terrible.
  • We're weighing the baby.
  • Bill, I'm depending on you to win this contract for us.