What's the difference?
Present Simple and Present Continuous

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Present Simple Present Continuous
Things which are always true:
  • Water boils at 100 degrees.
Things which are happening at the moment of speaking:
  • The water is boiling now, so you can put in the pasta.
Permanent situations (or nearly permanent; true for a few years at least):
  • Julie lives in London.
Temporary situations:
  • Julie is living in Paris for a few months (usually she lives in London).
Situations which are slowly changing:
  • I'm getting better and better at speaking English.
Habits or things we do regularly:
  • I drink coffee every morning.
Temporary or new habits:
  • I'm drinking too much coffee these days because I'm so busy at work.
Annoying habits (usually with 'always'):
  • My flatmate is always leaving the kitchen in a mess!
Future events which are part of a timetable:
  • My plane leaves at eight tonight.
To talk about the future after certain words ('when' 'until' 'after' 'before' 'as soon as'):
  • I'll call you when I get home.
Definite future plans:
  • I'm meeting John after class today.
To talk about what happens in books, plays and films:
  • At the end of the book, the detective catches the killer.
To talk about people in pictures and photos:
  • In this photo, my mother is walking beside a lake.


Click here for more information about the present simple tense
Click here for more information about the present continuous tense