Tag: present continuous

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 simple or present continuous?
Present simple or present continuous?

Sometimes it is very difficult for students to decide whether they should use the present simple or the present continuous tense. To help them decide correctly, I will share several activities with you. These activities make it clear which tense the students should use and how to form it.

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In this post there are two comic stories and an accompanying worksheet. Then there is an infographic focusing on the keywords which are often connected with the tenses. And the last activity is an interactive game to practise the usage of the two tenses.

Present simple or present continuous – Comics

Print the following comics for your students. First, read the comic with the present simple tense:
Present simple tense comics full

Now, print the following worksheet and your students should complete the first exercise.

Present simple worksheet

Check the answers and then ask the students to write sentences into the table in exercise 2. It is a good idea to elicit the first line before they start.

In the exercise 3, students write about their normal day.

As an additional activity, you can ask the students to use the comic story and retell the AmericanĀ“s day. Thus they can practise the third person singular.

Now, it is time to hand out the second comic.

Present continuous comic1

Present continuous comic1

You can print the comic here:

Present continuous comic

Students should read the comic and answer the questions in exercise 4 in the worksheet above.

Present simple or present continuous – explanation

Elicit the difference between the two tenses. For some students the comics make it clear because they can literally see the usage.

Others might profit from the following infographic which focuses on the key words.

Present tenses infographics web

Present simple or present continuous – games

The first game is called noughts and crosses. Hand out the following grid and the key:

Present tenses grid

Students work in pairs. They choose a square where they would like to enter their cross or nought. However, they can do so only if they form a correct sentence using all the words of the coordinates for the given square. If they make a mistake they cannot draw anything. If they are not sure, they can check the sentence in the key grid.

The winner is the student who manages to draw four symbols next to each other.

The following game is called Quiz Darts. Your task is to put the verb in the correct tense and if you answer correctly, you can throw the dart. Your task is to score as many points as possible.

You can play the game on the full screen here:
Present tenses – darts game

Present simple or present continuous – more

You can find several more activities here:

The difference between present simple and continuous

Present simple or present continuous – improved

Present simple and continuous tenses

Which activity did you like best?

Present continuous questions
Present continuous questions

Present continuous tense is one of the most popular tenses among students. It is easy to form and its usage is crystal clear (at least at the beginning). However, when it comes to forming questions, students often fail. To avoid this, I have come up with a number of activities to help my learners and I would like to share them with you now.

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[showmyads] In this post, there is a video to teach the question word, an infographic, several interactive exercises and logical worksheets.

Present continuous YES/NO questions

In the first part, it is important to teach the formation of the YES/NO questions in the present continuous tense. Print the following worksheet:
Present continuous questions – worksheet In the first part, there is a column of sentences which students should transform into questions. Tell them to use the colours to guide them. Help those struggling. Check the questions. Then tell students to transform the sentences in the second column.
Now your students should be able to form questions in the present continuous tense. And as they discovered the rules themselves, they are sure to remember them well.

Present continuous tense – short answers

Display the following infographic.
Present continuous questions
Demonstrate how the infographic works. Write one of the questions on the board. Ask the students with which word the question starts. Point to the word in the infographic. Elicit the colour. Now, point to the question on the board and elicit what follows the first word. Find the continuation in the rectangles and explain that the correct answers are the two possibilities behind it.
It took just two examples for my students to understand the formation of the short answers.
Return to the worksheet and ask the students to write both of the short answers below the questions they formed previously. Check their answers.

Question words – video and infographic

Before you start teaching questions with the question words, teach the question words first. Here is a video teaching the question words:

You can use the following infographic too:
Question words web
Once the students know the basic question words, it is time to practise them. In the following video students see the answer and their task is to supply the correct question word.

Present continuous questions

Now teach students how to form questions starting with WH… words in the present continuous tense.
Print the following worksheet.
[showmyadsa] Present continuous WH questions – worksheet

Ask the students to form questions in the first column asking about the information in colour. Point to the colourful question words at the bottom of the worksheet which will help your students.
Check the answers and tell them to complete the second column.

Finish the worksheet above in one lesson and then bring the following worksheet. This worksheet contains three exercises. In the first exercise students see the answer and their task is to write the question words. In the second task, students see the answer and they should ask about the underlined information. In the last exercise, students see the answer and they should write three questions for the given answer.
Present continuous questions – worksheet 2

Present continuous questions – more exercises

In the first quiz, you should form the YES/NO questions.
Present continuous questions – quiz 1
In the second quiz students have to write the short answers:
Present continuous questions – quiz 2
In the third quiz students know the answers and they have to write the questions.
Present continuous questions – quiz 3
In the fourth quiz, students have some cues and they have to write the questions using the cues.
Present continuous questions – quiz 4
If you cannot use a computer in your classroom, you can use the following worksheet with all the exercises.
Present continuous questions worksheet
Present continuous for future arrangements
Present continuous for future arrangements

There are some grammar points which I have been struggling with for years. Not that I would not understand them or use them incorrectly, but I always fail when I try to pass my knowledge to my students. And the usage of present continuous for future arrangements was one of the grammar points that I could not explain clearly no matter how tallented my students were.

Till this day!!

Today I feel that I broke the curse and I created a set of materials that help me explain the grammar clearly and correctly. And here I would like to share them with you.
[showmyads] You can find here an infographic, a game and an interactive quiz.

Present continuous for future arrangements – infographic

In my opinion this infographic has it all. It explains the difference between an arrangement and a plan and states which tense should be used. At the same time it acknowledges that native speakers often do not feel any difference between the two tenses.

future arrangements english

Present continuous for future arrangements – a game

In the lesson my students were really excited about the game below. It is called On Target, and your task is to choose the correct option and then shoot all the bad frogs and ducks. You can shoot one of the bottles on the wall to get a bonus. The only problem with this game is the fact it is in Flash and will play only on desktop computers. Enjoy.

Future arrangements – On target game

Present continuous for future arrangements – an online quiz

The following quiz can help your students practise the difference between present continuous and BE GOING TO. In the quiz, students should complete the text using either present continuous tense or BE GOING TO form. The students will be rewarded with a game if they pass the quiz. The quiz is in HTML5, so it will play on all desktops and mobile devices.

Future arrangements – quiz

Present continuous for future arrangements – Your opinion

Have a look at the following poll and tell us how you feel about this grammar.


Which one is better

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)