Tag: Present continuous tense

Present tenses – teach the difference between the present simple and continuous
Present tenses – teach the difference between the present simple and continuous

In my previous post I offered several resources to teach the difference between the present simple and present continuous tenses. There are several exercises and games including an infographic. But, as my students complained that the infographic was not that helpful I created a new one.

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[showmyads] In this post there is an infographic explaining the usage of the two present tenses using the key words and then there is a quiz where the students can practise their knowledge of the grammar.
I hope you like it.

Teach the present tenses – infographic

Display or print the following infographic.
Present tenses infographic
Elicit the usage of the present tenses. Students should understand that the present continuous tense is used when there are the words “now, at the moment, right now and today“.
If the words like “always, sometimes, on Tuesdays” etc. are used the present simple tense is often used.
Of course, this explanation is not 100% grammatically correct but for some students (and many textbook exercises) it works very well.
Emphasize that the students do not have to learn both of the lists. It is enough if they learn the words connected with the present continuous tense and use the present simple in all the other cases.

Present tenses – online quiz

Once your students understand the grammar, they should practise it. They can do so either at school on an IWB or they can do so at home or on their mobile phones. Their task is to complete the sentences either with the present simple or present continuous tense.
Present tenses – online quiz

Present tenses – Darts

I know I have already used this game in my previous post, but as I think the game is really great. You can buy the template and build your own game here.

Type the correct answer and then score as many points possible.

Darts game – full screen
Present continuous tense speaking
Present continuous tense speaking

Speaking activities are one of the most popular teaching activities. Students usually like them and they are very useful. However, there are not many speaking activities around. That is the reason why I created several dealing with present continuous tense.


In this post, you can find a worksheet with three different speaking activities to practise the present continuous tense. I have tried all the activities in my classes, and they worked very well.

Present continuous tense – speaking

Print the following worksheet and hand out the pages to your students. Make sure that students work in pairs and one of them has got the first page and the other the second one.
Present continuous speaking – worksheet
I usually start my lessons with the second activity – miming. I perform one of the actions and my students have to say what I am doing. Then I perform another and students have to choose from the list on the worksheet the correct sentence. Check that the students understand all the sentences in the section Miming.

Then students work in pairs. One of them performs one of the actions and the other tries to guess it. Once he/she guesses correctly, they swap roles. They go on like this till they perform all the actions or you stop them.

In the first activity, students first complete the questions using IS/ARE/AM. Check their questions and then they try to form the short answers. They form both the YES and NO answers. Again, check their answers.

Students read the questions and circle the answers that are true for them. Then they work in pairs and ask and answer the questions. When they finish this, they change partners. They should change partners at least twice.

The last activity is called War Ships. First, students work in pairs and dictate the underlined sentences to their partner. Demonstrate that they should read the question first and then dictate the sentence. The one who listens has to write the sentence on the line where the question is. Once they dictate all the questions and complete the free squares they cover their worksheet in such a way that their partner cannot see their grid.


In the grid, they colour 5 squares. They must colour only the answers – not the questions. Now, their task is to discover the squares their partner has coloured. They do so by reading the question and answer they think their partner has coloured. Their partner listens and if they hit the coloured square they admit it by saying HIT. If they miss, they say MISS. Students take turns. The winner is the one who finds the five squares before their partner does.

Present continuous test

As a bonus, I would like to offer a simple grammar test on the present continuous tense. It is simple and it tests the basic things about the present continuous tense.
Present continuous tense – test
Present continuous tense
Present continuous tense

Today I experienced the great teaching moment when one of my not so proficient students said that she can understand the grammar perfectly and that it is really easy. I was exalted.
I was teaching present continuous tense and the students really liked it and at the end of the lesson they were able to form the affirmative sentences correctly. In this post I would like to share all the activities I used to achieve this. There are an infographic explaining the grammar, a worksheet and an interactive quiz. I hope you will like it.
[showmyads] Please, if you spot a mistake leave a comment and I will try to correct it as soon as possible. Thank you.

Present continuous tense – worksheet and infographics

When I start teaching present continuous tense I do not present the following infographic till we finish the first exercise from the following worksheet.

Once we check the exercise 1, I hand out the following infographic and ask the students to go through it and then I explain it.

present continuous_eng_mindmap

When I finish my short explanation I ask the students to complete the exercise 2 in the Present continuous affirmative_worksheet. We check the answers and then I explain the addition of the -ing ending. And then the students have to do the exercise 3. Here they add the -ing ending to the verbs.

In exercise 4 the students are asked to write what the people and animals are doing in the pictures. Remind them not to forget the correct form of the verb TO BE in each sentence. In exercise 5, the pupils finish the sentences in a logical way using the present continuous tense.

At the end of the lesson I asked my students to work in pairs and describe the picture we used at the beginning of the lesson.

It worked for my class. Will it work for yours?

Present continuous tense – interactive quiz

You can start the practice session with the video guessing game. The man will start drawing a picture and he will stop at one moment. A question will appear and you should answer it. The correct answer will appear a few seconds later.

[showmyadsa] Once we finish the exercises at school you can ask your students to practise the grammar at home. They can try to do the following interactive quiz. If they pass it they will be given a chance to play a game. The quiz is in HTML5 so it will work on all mobile devices.

Present continuous tense quiz – full screen

You can expand your knowledge about present continuous tense at British Council pages.

Present continuous tense – share

If you like the two games above and you would like to share them on your blog or use them in a classroom without an internet connection, you can do this. You can download all the files here:

Present continuous quiz (Web)

Five tenses for learners of English
Five tenses for learners of English

We usually present just one tense to students. However, ever since I was a student I have always wanted to see a more complex picture and get more tenses at the same time. And as we have just finished the whole textbook with one of my elementary students an opportunity presented itself to sum up all the five tenses covered in the textbook. As a result, I created a special timeline which in combination with my explanation helped my student clarify the usage of all the tenses. I hope it will work for you too.

Five tenses – timeline

Have a look at the timeline below and read the explanation carefully.
[showmyads] Five tenses a mind map and timeline

Five tenses – explanation

At the top of the mind map there is the blue Present simple tense. It is high above the timeline as the tense is used for things that are time neutral. We use this tense for facts and actions that get repeated regularly.
The pink shape belongs to past simple tense. There are three arrows pointing to different points in the past as the tense is used when we speak about finished events in the past.
The light blue is reserved for BE going to which is used for plans in the future (for elementary students I do not mind saying that it is the future tense 🙂 ).
The orange colour is for present continuous and the arrow points at NOW as the tense is used for speaking about the events happening at the moment of speaking (again, it is very simplified but for elementary students fine).
The yellow colour shows the usage of present perfect. It is used for past actions which are somehow connected with the present moment. Most frequently we use it to speak about experience (you say what you have experienced up to now).

Five tenses – Form

If you need to practise the form of the tenses there are great posts at our site which show all the details:

You can find a nice explanation of present simple and continuous on BBC pages.

Five tenses – Quizzes

The following quiz is in HTML5. It contains 30 items and you can attempt it anywhere on your mobile phone or desktop. Your task is to put the verbs in the brackets into the correct tense (choose one of the tenses presented here). If you get over 70% of the answers correct, you can play the game Math pop. Enjoy!

If you want to try the quiz on the full screen click the button below:
Five tenses quiz

You can find more exercises to practise these five tenses at https://engames.eu/five-tenses-exercises/

Present continuous tense
Present continuous tense

When I was preparing the lesson on Clothes I knew that at the same time the elementary students will have to learn the present continuous tense. And as I had a little time to spare I prepared the following activities for them to learn this grammar point.

Present continuous tense Mind map

Once again I present the tense using the following mind map where I try to explain the form and basic usage of the tense.


Present continuous tense mind map

Present continuous tense games

Now that you know the theory it is time to use it in the games. The first two games – Penalty and Hoopshot – test your knowledge of the form and of the usage of the present continuous tense. The third game test your ability to form the verbs with -ing ending in the correct way.
So good luck and you can play:

Present continuous tense – penalty game.
Present continuous tense – hoop shoot game.
Verbs with -ing ending – teacher invaders game.

More games

If you are an elementary student trying to learn English the following games and mind maps might be useful for you.
As I mentioned above our previous post deals with CLOTHES and can find there a video, mind map and four games to practise this vocabulary set.
Then you should certainly try our post dealing with past simple tense. There is a mind map explaining the usage and form of the past simple tense. Moreover, there are several games where you can learn the past forms of irregular verbs. So, do not hesitate and try our Past simple post.
If you think that you need to learn or practise more vocabulary, there is a post dealing with food. There is a mind map with the pictures of different kinds of food and then there are games where you can practise what you have learnt.

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