You are on page 1of 0

__________________________________________________________________

WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2011


GRAMMAR: The Simple Present and the Present Progressive (1)

SIMPLE PRESENT
FORM: For the simple present of all verbs except BE and HAVE, the verb
WALK will serve as our model:
Singular Plural
I walk We walk
You walk You walk
He walks* They walk
She walks*
It walks*
* Note that the only change is in the third-person singular where it is necessary to
add an -s to the root infinitive.
1



USE: The simple present is used to describe what is always, sometimes, or
never the case. In other words, it is used to describe general facts that
are true independently of the present context.
2



EXAMPLE SENTENCES:
(1) He smokes cigarettes.
(MEANING: It is the case that he smokes cigarettes. This is a general fact
about him that is true, even if he is not smoking a cigarette right now.)
(2) It rains a great deal during the spring.
(MEANING: It is the case that it rains a great deal during the spring. This is a
general fact that is true, even if it is the spring right now and it is not raining.)
(3) Catherine teaches German.
(MEANING: It is the case that Catherine teaches German. This is a general
fact about her that is true, even if she is not in a classroom teaching German
right now.)
(4) John drives a blue Chevrolet.
(MEANING: It is the case that J ohn drives a blue Chevrolet. This is a general fact
about him that is true, even if he is not in his blue Chevrolet driving right now.)
(5) He studies at the University of Toronto.
(MEANING: It is the case the he studies at the University of Toronto. This is a
general fact about him that is true even if he is not at the University of Toronto
right now this very minute studying.)

1
For all verbs that end in -ch, -sh, -s, -x, or -z, you must add -es in the third person singular. For example: "I
watch"/"He watches," "I wish"/"She wishes," "I pass"/"He passes," "I mix"/She mixes," "I buzz"/"It buzzes," The
verbs GO and DO also take -es in the third person singular: "I go"/"He goes," "I do"/"He does." All verbs ending in
a consonant and a -y drop the -y and take -ies in the third person singular: "I fly"/"He flies," "I study"/"She
studies," "I try"/"She tries."
2
This is the most common use of the simple present. However, the simple present is also used with non-
progressive verbs to describe stative events in immediately present contexts: "I have a cold right now." See THE
SIMPLE PRESENT AND THE PRESENT PROGRESSIVE (9). In addition, the simple present is sometimes
used to describe future and past events and activities.

__________________________________________________________________
WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2011
GRAMMAR: The Simple Present and the Present Progressive (2)

PRESENT PROGRESSIVE

FORM: The present progressive is formed by adding the present participle
1

of
the main verb to the simple present of the verb BE. Once again, the verb
WALK will serve as our model:
Singular Plural
I am walking We are walking
You are walking You are walking
She is walking They are walking
He is walking
It is walking


USE: The present progressive is used to describe what is happening right
now. In other words, it is used to describe temporary ongoing actions and
events in the present.
2



EXAMPLE SENTENCES:

(1) He is smoking a cigarette.
(MEANING: He is smoking a cigarette right now. His smoking a cigarette is a
temporary action that is going on at the present instant.)

(2) Look outside. It is raining.
(MEANING: It is raining outside right now. The raining is a temporary event
that is going on outside at the present instant.)

(3) This year he is teaching German in Montreal.
(MEANING: He is teaching German in Montreal right now.* His teaching in
Montreal is an action that is going on this year, a temporary period of present
time.)

(4) John is studying at the University of Toronto this semester.
(MEANING: J ohn is studying at the University of Toronto right now.* J ohns
studying at the University of Toronto is an action that is going on this
semester, a temporary period of present time.)

(5) Susan Jennings is smiling at Peter Dashwood.
(MEANING: Susan J ennings is smiling at Peter Dashwood right now. Susans
smiling is a temporary action that is going on at the present instant.)

* Note that in examples (3) and (4) right now is a period of present time that
extends well beyond the present instant. Nevertheless, the actions described in
examples (3) and (4) are still considered as temporary.


1
The present participle is the ing form of a verb used as an adjective or as part of a progressive verb tense.
2
This is the most common use of the present progressive. However, the present progressive is sometimes used to
describe future and past actions and events.

__________________________________________________________________
WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2011
GRAMMAR: The Simple Present and the Present Progressive (3)
Complete the sentences by using either the simple present or the present
progressive form of the verbs in parentheses.

(a) It _________________________ (rain) outside right now.
(b) George and Susan ______________________ (love) to go camping.
(c) She ______________________ (wear) a beautiful blue dress today.
(d) Peters house __________________ (have) a big roof.
(e) It ______________________ (take) three hours to get there.
(f) My best friends dog __________________ (bite) people all the time.
(g) The dog ____________________ (go) to the vet every week.
(h) Right now my friend and his dog ___________________ (eat) breakfast together.
(i) Every morning I _______________________ (drink) two cups of coffee.
(j) I __________________ (read) a very good book.
(k) Susan ___________________ (live) on Smith Street right now.
(l) She ______________________ (send) a letter to her mother once a week.
(m)Look! The big cat ____________________ (hide) from the little dog.
(n) During the winter in Montreal, the wind _________________ (blow) every day.
(o) Edward __________________ (ride) his bike to work on Tuesdays.
(p) Right now the little girl ____________________ (ride) her bike.
(q) That huge frog ____________________ (sit) on a piece of wood right now.
(r) I __________________ (like) to go swimming.
(s) She ___________________ (begin) to feel better this morning.
(t) The CBC ____________________ (broadcast) the news every day at six oclock.
(u) Where is Kate? She _____________________ (smoke) a cigarette outside.
(v) She ________________________ (smoke) two packs of cigarettes a day.
(w) Every Saturday night, Allan ______________________ (rent) a couple of movies.
(x) After work, he usually _________________ (have) a beer.
__________________________________________________________________
WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2011
GRAMMAR: The Simple Present and the Present Progressive (4)
Complete the sentences by using either the simple present or the present
progressive form of the verbs in parentheses.

(a) David Smith _______________________ (drive) down the street right now.
(b) He and his wife both ____________________ (smoke) two packs a day.
(c) They _______________________ (love) to smoke.
(d) Their daughter Mary ____________________ (take) swimming lessons right now.
(e) You ________________________ (do) a grammar exercise right now.
(f) My cat and dog ______________________ (like) each other.
(g) They ____________________ (eat) together out of the same bowl every morning.
(h) It is springtime and the flowers ___________________________ (bloom).
(i) In the wintertime, it always ________________________ (snow) in Montreal.
(j) Look, theres Kurt! He ______________________ (come) around the corner.
(k) The Websters Dictionary _____________________ (contain) a lot of words.
(l) Oh my God! That man ______________________ (hold) a gun.
(m)I finished the laundry and now my clothes ________________________ (hang)
outside on the clothesline.
(n) Right now she ___________________________ (build) a new house.
(o) My mother and father _______________________________ (vacation) in Florida
right now.
(p) Every morning the sun _______________________ (shine) through my window.
(q) He often _____________________________ (use) his cellular phone.
(r) The big man always ______________________ (tell) the little man to calm down, but
the little man never ____________________________ (listen).
(s) I ___________________________ (do) grammar exercises everyday.
(t) We ______________________________ (study) German right now.
(u) Peter ___________________________ (walk) to school on Fridays.
(v) Elizabeth Lawrence always ______________________ (smile) at J ohn when
she ________________________ (see) him.
__________________________________________________________________
WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2011
GRAMMAR: The Simple Present and the Present Progressive (5)
Complete the sentences by using either the simple present or the present
progressive form of the verbs in parentheses.

(a) I will be at the table in a minute Mom. I ______________________ (wash) my
hands.
(b) J ohn and Pierre _______________________ (look) for a new apartment right now.
(c) Steven rarely ____________________ (watch) TV on the weekend.
(d) Serge _________________________ (study) to become a doctor. He will probably
finish medical school at the end of next year.
(e) Sue Mires from the French department always ______________________ (wear)
something purple. Purple ______________________ (be) her favourite colour.
Have you seen her yet today? She _________________________ (wear) little
purple earrings.
(f) Look outside Cindy. It _______________________ (rain) again. What a dreary day!
I _________________________ (hate) rain.
(g) At the present time, a lot of people _______________________ (lose) their jobs.
The unemployment rate ___________________________ (increase) rapidly.
(h) The two men on the corner over there _________________________ (shake)
hands.
(i) J ulie Clinton _______________________ (take) a philosophy course right now.
She ________________________ (love) to read philosophy books.
(j) The wind __________________________ (blow) from the north, and big black
clouds __________________________ (form) on the horizon. The storm will arrive
soon.
(k) Listen to J ohn and Linda! They __________________________ (yell) at each other
again. They _________________________ (have) another argument.
(l) My neighbour J oseph Lancia __________________________ (have) an excellent
job. He ____________________ (work) for the City Planning Department. One of the
other neighbours told me that J oseph _______________________ (make) over
$100,000 a year.
(m)Fred usually ___________________ (do) the dishes right after supper, but tonight
he ____________________ (watch) TV instead of doing the dishes. His favourite
movie, The Terminator, _______________________ (play) on Channel Three.
(n) Margaret _____________________ (sit) in the chair in the corner. You should go
over and talk to her. She ______________________ (be) a really interesting woman.
__________________________________________________________________
WILLIAM L. MILNES Enseignement de langlais 2011
GRAMMAR: The Simple Present and the Present Progressive (6)
Complete the sentences by using either the simple present or the present
progressive form of the verbs in parentheses.

(a) The two doctors in the corner over there ________________________ (discuss) my
case. The one who ___________________________ (hold) the yellow folder in his
hand _______________________ (be) my doctor.

(b) My friend Pierre Michaud never _________________________ (take) a vacation.
He ___________________________ (work) all the time.

(c) Most of the students in the class __________________________ (speak) English
with a French accent.

(d) The students ______________________________ (study) the verb tenses and the
prepositions right now. English grammar ______________________ (be) more
difficult than some of them think.

(e) In our office, we ________________________ (waste) a lot of paper. Every week
we ___________________________ (throw) away at least a thousand pages.

(f) Several students in our class __________________________ (be) from Chicoutimi.

(g) Look at that man over there! He ___________________________ (wear) the
strangest hat that I have ever seen in my life.

(h) Pete always __________________________ (arrive) for class on time.

(i) The English teacher ___________________________ (come) from Toronto, but
he ___________________________ (like) Quebec better than Ontario.

(j) The left-winger from Scarborough ______________________ (be) the best player in
the league. He __________________________ (score) at least one goal every
game.

(k) The wind ____________________________ (howl) outside my window. A big
storm _______________________________ (come). It will help the farmers. They
need some rain for their crops.

(l) Cindy ____________________________ (read) a book at the library right now.
She _____________________________ (spend) almost every afternoon at the
library. She _____________________________ (love) to read.

(m) Frank Meyers and his wife usually _________________________ (have) a cup of
coffee together every morning before they ____________________________ (leave) for
the office.