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Compare these sentences and state the functions of the present simple and present continuous tenses
Some verbs are used only in simple tenses. For example, you cannot say ' I am knowing'. You can only say 'I know'. Here is the list of verbs which are not normally used in continuous tenses (but there are exceptions).
have(when the meaning is 'possess')
think (when the meaning is 'believe')
- Do you like London? (not 'are you liking')
- He doesn't understand. (not 'he isn't understanding')
- These shoes belong to me (not 'are belonging')
- What do you think Tom will do? ( = What do you believe he will do?)
Some stative verbs (see, smell, taste, feel, think, have etc) have continuous forms but there is a difference in meaning.
1. Do you agree with these statements?
a Housework isn't really work.
b One parent should stay at home with the children.
c Women are better than men at looking after children.
d Parents should spend some time with their children every day.
e Women can have children and a career.
2. Read the text. Which of the statements above would Mike and Tina agree with?
It's early evening and Mike Beaver, 41, is sitting in the living room of his suburban house near London. He's reading to his daughter Louise, six, and his baby son Eddie is playing with his toys. Aha, you think, Mike has come home from work and he's enjoying quality time with his children.
But you'd be wrong. Mike is a house-husband. He looks after the children full-time, and he does the same things any housewife does. He wakes the children up and gives them their breakfast, takes Louise to school, and one day a week takes Eddie to the nursery. Then he cleans the house, does the shopping, and picks the children up from school. He makes dinner for his wife Tina. Then he puts the children to bed - all while she's at work.
Tina is the director of a PR firm in London so she earns a good salary, but she works long hours. She goes to work at 7.00 in the morning and she often doesn't get home until 8 p.m., when the children are usually asleep, so she hardly ever sees them during the week. But at the weekend they spend time together. They go shopping, go for a family walk, the children sometimes invite friends over, and in the evening they all sit in front of the television. For these two days, Tina forgets her career, and she enjoys being with the children. 'Many people, especially men, don't believe me, but I'm enjoying life. I'm doing what I want to do,' says Mike. And what does Tina think? 'It means that I can have a career, which I love. And I admire Mike for being so good at what he does - he does a better job than I ever could!' she says with a smile.
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