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Some of these verbs can be used in the Present continuous but with a change in meaning. In the Continuous the verb expresses an activity not a state



USE 8 Actions characterizing a given person

USE 7 Future meaning after some conjuctions.

Simple Present is used in sport commentaries and various reviews.

USE 6 Reviews, sports commentaries and dramatic narrative.


  • Maryl Streep acts brilliantly in this film.
  • Ronaldo scores a goal.
  • Viera passes to Henry… and Henry scores.
  • Spencers opens the door and sees the murderer.

Simple Present is used in adverbial clauses of time and condition after the conjunctions: when, if, till, until, as soon as, as long as, before, after, while, unless, in case, on condition that, provided.


  • When she comes, tell her I’m waiting for her.
  • After we finish doing the homework we’ll go for a walk.
  • Do it as soon as you are through with the task.

Simple Present is used to denote actions characterizing a given person.

  • She sings beautifully.
  • I like coffee.

Time expressions used with the Present Simple:

usually, often, always, frequently, sometimes, occasionally, rarely, seldom, hardly ever, never, every day/week/month/year, in the morning/afternoon/evening, at night, at the weekend, on Mondays, every Thursday, etc.


[am/is/are + present participle]


  • You are watching TV.
  • I am reading a book.

In the interrogative form the auxiliary verb is placed before the subject. In the negative form the negative particle not is placed after the auxiliary verb.

  • Are you watching TV?
  • Ishereadinga book?
  • You are not watching TV.
  • He is not reading a book.

Spelling notes

  1. when the verb ends in a single -e, this e is dropped before -ing:

argue- arguing

love – loving

live - living

BUT: age – ageing , dye – dyeing, single – singleing


  1. when the verb ends in a double –ee, the final e is not dropped before –ing:

see - seeing

agree - agreeing

free - freeing

  1. when the verb ends in –ie, we change –ie into –y and add –ing:

die - dying

lie - lying

  1. when the verb of one syllable has one vowel and ends in a single consonant, this consonant is doubled before – ing:

hit – hitting

run – running

stop – stopping

  1. the verb of two or more syllables whose last syllable contains only one vowel and ends in a single consonant doubles this consonant if the stress falls on the last syllable:

admit- admitting

begin – beginning

prefer – preferring

BUT : budget – budgeting, enter – entering, offer – offering, open – opening

  1. the verbs ending in –l always double it before adding - ing.

travel – travelling

signal – signalling

control - controlling

  1. the verbs ending in –y keep the y and add –ing.

carry – carrying

enjoy – enjoying

hurry – hurrying

8. several verbs ending in –c change their spelling adding a letter ‘k’ before –ing

panic – panicking

traffic – trafficking

frolic - frolicking


Whereas all verbs can be used in the common aspect, there are some verbs that do not have the forms of the continuous aspect. They are referred to as statal verbs. The most common of them are the following:

1) Verbs expressing mental activity:

to admit to agree to appreciate (= to understand) to assume to believe to consider to doubt to expect (= to think) to feel (= to think) to feel sure to find to forget to imagine to know to mean to mind to notice to perceive to realize to recall to remember to recognize to recollect to see (= to understand) to see through smb to suggest to suppose to think (= to have an opinion) to trust (= to believe) to understand

e.g. Do you believe in God?


2) Verbs expressing emotional state:

to admire to adore to appreciate (= value) to care for to desire to dislike to despise to detest to envy to fear to hate to hope to like to love to mind (= to care) to prefer to respect to value to want to wish


e.g. I like black coffee


3) Verbs expressing sense perception:

to feel, to smell, to see, to hear, to taste


e.g. The soup tastes delicious.

4) Verbs expressing possession:

to belong to, to have, to own, to possess


e.g. His father owns a chain of hotels.


5) Verbs of other existing states:

to appear to apply to to be to come from to compare to concern to consist of to contain to cost to depend on to deserve to differ from to exist to hold include to interest to look like to matter to measure to resemble to seem to sound to stand for to weigh

e.g. How much does it cost?

Continuous and non – continuous uses

Many of the verbs included in the list above have the continuous form when they are used in other meanings.

List of verbs that can be used in the continuous form with examples and definitions:

to appear:

· Donna appears confused. Statal Verb. (Donna seems confused)

· My favorite singer is appearing at the jazz club tonight. Actional Verb (My favourite singer is giving a performance at the jazz club)

to have:

· I have a dollar now. Statal Verb (I possess a dollar).

· I am having fun now. Actional Verb(I am experiencing fun now)

to look:

· Nancy looks tired. Statal Verb (She seems tired).

· Farah is looking at the pictures. Actional verb (She is looking with her eyes).


to miss:

· John misses Sally. Statal Verb (He is sad because she is not there)

· Debbie is missing her favorite TV program. Actional verb (She is not there to see her favourite program)

to see:

· I see her. Statal Verb (I see her with my eyes).

· I am seeing the doctor. Actional verb (I am visiting or consulting a doctor. It is also used with “dentist” and “lawyer”)

· I am seeing her. Actional verb (I am having a relationship with her).

· He is seeing ghosts at night. Actional verb (He sees something others cannot see, e.g. ghosts, aura, a vision of the future, etc.)

to smell:

· The coffee smells good. Statal Verb (The coffee has a good smell).

· I am smelling the flowers. Actional verb (I am sniffing the flowers to see what their smell is like).

to taste:

· The coffee tastes good. Statal Verb (The coffee has a good taste).

· I am tasting the cake. Actional verb (I am trying the cake to see what its taste like).

to think:

· He thinks the test is easy. Statal Verb (He considers the test to be easy).

· She is thinking about the question. Actional verb (She is pondering the question, going over it in her mind).

to weigh:

· The table weighs a lot. Statal Verb (The table is heavy).

· She is weighing herself. Actional verb (She is determining her weight)

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