Present simple v present continuous

In English we can use two aspects of the present tense: the simple form and the continuous. The German language does not have a continuous form and therefore the difference between the simple and continuous is sometimes difficult to learn.

Present Simple

We use the present simple to describe permanent states, facts and regular activities, e.g. where we live and what a company produces, e.g. I work in Bielefeld.

I work at Quick Logistics.
He lives in Stuttgart.




Present Continuous

The present continuous is used to describe temporary actions or events which are either happening at the time of speaking (I’m writing an email at the moment) or events of a longer term but still temporary nature, which are happening around now, e.g. I’m working on a sales project this week.

I am working in Stuttgart this week.
She is giving a presentation at the moment.
They are driving to Berlin.



I normally work for Quick Logistics (present simple – permanent)
I am working for Mustermann this week. (Present continuous – temporary)

We learn English every Wednesday. (Present simple – regular activity)
We are learning English at the moment. (Present continuous – now)

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