Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Grammar Basics: Unit 8 – “I am doing” vs. “I do”

As we have already seen, Present Continuous is generally used to indicate that something is happening at the time of speaking. On the other hand, Simple Present is used for things that are generally true, things that repeat, or for things that happen sometimes/all the time.

We can also look at the difference between Present Continuous and Simple Present by considering “I am doing” (Present Continuous) versus “I do” (Simple Present).

I’m doing the laundry. (right now)
I do the laundry every Monday. (repeating event)

Sam is washing the car. (right now)
Sam washes the car every week. (repeating event)

Mary is watching TV. (right now)
Mary watches TV whenever she’s bored. (generally true)

Certain words do not generally use a Present Continuous form:

Exercises: In the following sentences, determine whether you should use Present Continuous or Simple Present form. Remember that the Present Continuous needs the correct form of “be”. If the sentence is a question, remember to include the correct form of “do” for question formation.

_____ tomatoes? (you / like) ==> Do you like tomatoes?

Please be quiet – _____ now. (the baby / sleep) ==> Please be quiet – the baby is sleeping now.

1. _____ a sweater for her cousin’s birthday. (Susan / knit)

2. _____ broccoli for dinner, but _____ that vegetable. (Mother / cook), (Steve / hate)

3. _____ so hard I can’t see across the street. (it / snow)

4. _____ your first day of school as a child? (you / remember)

5. Tonight _____ about rattlesnakes. (the lecturer / speak)

6. _____ lectures about rattlesnakes all over the country. (he / give)

7. Where _____? (you / go)

8. _____ tea over coffee. (she / prefer)

9. _____ three languages. (Paul / speak)

10. _____ in ghosts? (you / believe)

11. _____ always _____ my cousin’s birthday, so _____ it down on my calendar. (I / forget), (I / write)

12. _____ fast whenever he’s mad. (Jim / drive)

13. _____ in a golf tournament this weekend. (Tim / play)

14. _____ in tournaments every chance he gets. (he / play)

15. _____ a book for her literature class. (Karen / read)

16. _____ so much that the city park by the river is now flooded. (it / rain)

17. Why didn’t Bill study for his test? _____ better than that! (he / know)

18. After school _____ to the library. (he / go)

19. _____ to the movies tonight after dinner. (we / go)

20. _____ a letter to my nephew. (I / write)

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