Exercise – Present Continuous Vs. Present Simple — Temporary Or Not Temporary

Present Continuous Vs. Present Simple — Temporary Or Not Temporary

  1. He often ____________________ (travel) by plane.
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] travels [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] There’s unlikely to be any good reason to think about the activity of the verb as temporary in any relevant context – the length of his career (if he travels for work, for example) or his life are too long to be considered relevant contexts.  [/show_more]
  2. Where ____________________ (he/work)?
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] does he OR is he working [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] If there is any reason to think about or talk about his work as something that might be temporary then we CAN (but don’t have to) use the continuous. If we don’t, then we should use the simple. [/show_more]
  3. Mom isn’t here. She ____________________ (take) the dog for a walk.
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] is taking [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] This is a particular instance – one case, one example – of an activity, and these are always temporary. [/show_more]
  4. The bathroom is free. No one ____________________ (to use) it.
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] is using [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] This is a negative case of a particular instance/case/example happening. Particular instances of verbs are always temporary. [/show_more]
  5. Karl ____________________ (to play) for a rugby team in the UK. His team ____________________ (to win) most of their matches.
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] plays / wins [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] In the context, there is no good reason to think of the activity of either of these verbs as temporary. If there were such a context both verbs could be put in the continuous – as long as that was really meaning meant. [/show_more]
  6. She usually ____________________ (to go out) on the weekend, but this weekend she ____________________ (to stay) in because it’s so cold.
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] goes out / is staying [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] There’s no reason in the context to think of how she normally spends her weekend in a temporary way. If there were, we could use the continuous. And her staying in this weekend is a particular instance/case/example of her staying in, which logically, by definition is temporary and therefore needs the continuous. [/show_more]
  7. Alex is a programmer – he ____________________ (to write) code for a game developer in Minsk. Right now, he ____________________ (to debug) the code from a scene in a game.
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] writes / is debugging [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] There’s no reason in the context to think of the work Alex does in a temporary way. If there were, we could use the continuous. And him coding right now is a particular instance/case/example of him doing this, which logically, by definition is temporary and therefore needs the continuous. [/show_more]
  8. Caroline ____________________ (to eat) right now. She ____________________(not/usually/ to take) her lunch at work, but she’s hungry and has an important deadline at the end of the day.
    [show_more more=”show answer” less=hide size=90] is eating / doesn’t usually take [/show_more][show_more more=”commentary” less=hide size=90] Caroline eating right now is a particular instance/case/example of her doing this, which logically, by definition is temporary and therefore needs the continuous. There’s no reason in the context, on the other hand, to think of the way that she takes her lunch as being temporary and we should therefore, put this verb in the simple. [/show_more]