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Compare these sentences and state the functions of the present simple and present continuous tenses

1. The kettleis boiling. Can you turn it off please? 2. Listen to those people. What language are theyspeaking? 3. Where's Tom? He's playing tennis. 4. (you find a stranger in your room) What are you doinghere? 5. Sylvia is in Britain for three months. She's learningEnglish. 6. I'm livingwith some friends until I can find a flat. 7. That machine isn't working. It broke down this morning. 1. Water boilsat 100 degrees Celsius. 2. Excuse me, do you speakEnglish? 3.Tom plays tennis every Saturday. 4. What do you usually do at weekends? 5. Most peoplelearnto swim when they are children. 6. My parents live in London. They have been there for 20 years. 7.That machine doesn't work. It hasn't worked for years.


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).

want like belong know suppose remember
need love see Realize mean forget
prefer hate hear believe seem understand

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.

State Action
I think she's rich. (= I believe) I'm thinking about your plan. (= I'm considering)
The milk tastes awful. (= it has bad flavour) He's tasting the sauce; it might need some salt. (he's trying its flavour)
He has a pet dog. (=he owns) He's havinga dinner now. (= he's eating)
This cloth feels like velvet. (=has the texture) She's feeling her way in the dark. (= she's finding her way)
Isee you're in trouble. (= I understand) I'm seeing my lawyer tonight. (= I'm visiting)
The kitchen smells of burnt meat. ( = has the smell) Why are you smelling your food? (= trying the smell of?)
Hecomes from Spain. (= he was born in) He's coming from Spain. (= he's travelling from)
I love holidays. (in general) I'm loving this holiday. (= I'm enjoying;specific)
Your hair looks great.(= it appears) She's looking at some old photographs.
The babyweighs 5 kilos. (= it is) I'm weighing myself on my new scales. (= I'm finding out my weight)
Ann is very tall. Annis being very kind to me these days. (= she's behaving)



Part 3

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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