UNIT 3. Present continuous and present simple (1) (I am doing and I do)
A. Study the explanations and compare the examples:
Present continuous (I am doing)
Use the continuous for something that is happening at or around the time of speaking.
The action is not finished.
I am doing (now)
* The water is boiling. Can you turn it off?
* Listen to those people. What language are they speaking?
* Let’s go out. It isn’t raining now.
* ‘Don’t disturb me. I’m busy.’ ‘Why? What are you doing?’
* I’m going to bed now. Goodnight!
* Maria is in Britain at the moment. She’s learning English.
Use the continuous for a temporary situation:
* I’m living with some friends until I find a flat.
* ‘You’re working hard today.’ ‘Yes, I’ve got a lot to do.’
Present simple (I do)
Use the simple for things in general
or things that happen repeatedly.
* Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
* Excuse me, do you speak English?
* It doesn’t rain very much in summer.
* What do you usually do at weekends?
* What do you do? (= What’s your job?)
* I always go to bed before midnight.
* Most people learn to swim when they are children.
Use the simple for a permanent situation:
* My parents live in London. They have lived there all their lives.
* John isn’t lazy. He works very hard most of the time.
B. I always do and I’m always doing
Usually we say ‘I always do something’ (= I do it every time):
* I always go to work by car. (not ‘I’m always going’)
You can also say ‘I’m always doing something’, but this has a different meaning. For example:
I’ve lost my key again. I’m always losing things.
‘I’m always losing things’ does not mean that I lose things every time. It means that I lose things too often, more often than normal.
‘You’re always ~ing’ means that you do something very often, more often than the speaker thinks is normal or reasonable.
* You’re always watching television. You should do something more active.
* John is never satisfied. He’s always complaining.