Present simple- present continuous. Exercises


Simple present and present continuous

Exercise 1 The simple present and the present continuous. Put the verbs in brackets into the correct present tense.

Ann sees Paul putting-on his coat and says: Where you (go), Paul?

Paul: I (go) to buy some cigarettes. You (want) an evening paper?

2 Ann: No, thanks. You are always buying cigarettes, Paul. How many you (smoke) a day?

Paul: I (not smoke) very many—perhaps 20. Jack (smoke) far more than I (do). He (spend) £10 a week on cigarettes.

3 Mary (see) Peter standing at the bus stop.   


Mary: Hello, Peter. What bus you (wait) for?

Peter: Hello, Mary. I (wait) for a 9 or a 14.

4 Mary: You usually (go) to work by car, don’t you?

Peter: Yes, but the car (belong) to my mother and she sometimes (want) it. She (use) it today to take Tom to the dentist.

5 Mary: I usually (go) by car too. Jack (take) me because he (pass) my office on his way to the factory. But this week he (work) in a factory in the opposite direction: so I (queue) like you.

6 Peter: Here’s a 9 now. You (come) on it or you (wait) for a 14?

Mary: I (think) I’ll take the 9. If I (wait) for a 14 I may be late, and if you (be) late at my office everyone (look) at you.

7 Mary and Ann (wait) outside a telephone box. Inside the box a boy (dial) a number.

Mary: You (know) that boy?

Ann: Yes, he’s a friend of my brother’s. He (phone) his girl friend - every day from this box.

8 Mary: Where he (come) from?

Ann: He (come) from Japan. He’s a very clever boy; he (speak) four languages.

9 Mary: I (wonder) what he (speak) now.

Ann: Well, his girl friend (come) from Japan too; so I (suppose) he (speak) Japanese.

10 It is 8.30. Tom and Ann (have) breakfast. They both (open) their letters.

Tom: No one ever (write) to me. All I (get) is bills! You (have) anything interesting?

11 Ann: I’ve got a letter from Hugh. He (say) he (come) to London next week and (want) us to meet him for lunch.

12 Peter: You (have) traffic wardens in your country?

Pedro: No, I (not think) so. You (not see) them in my town anyway. What exactly a traffic warden (do)?

13 Peter: He (walk) up and down the street and if a car (stay) too long at a parking place or (park) in a no-parking area he (stick) a parking ticket to the windscreen.

14 Look! He (put) a ticket on Tom’s car. Tom will be furious when he (see) it. He (hate) getting parking tickets.

15 Customer: I (want) to buy a fur coat. Have you any nice coats for about £500?

Assistant: I’m afraid we just (close), madam. It’s 4.55, and we always (close) at 5.00 sharp on Fridays as Mr Jones the manager (not want) to miss his favourite television programme.

16 It is Friday evening and the Brown family are at home. Mrs Brown (listen) to a concert on the radio; Mr Brown (read) a paper, George Brown (do) his homework and Ann Brown (write) a letter.

17 Mr Brown always (read) his newspapers in the evenings. Mrs Brown sometimes (knit) but she (not knit) tonight.

18 Mr Black often (go) to the theatre but his wife (not go) very often. He (like) all sorts of plays. She (prefer) comedies.

19 Tonight they (watch) a very modern comedy. They (enjoy) it, but they (not understand) some of the jokes.

20 What (happen) in your class? The teacher (give) lectures every day?~

No. He (give) one lecture a week, and on the other days he (show) films or (discuss) books with us.

21 A bus conductor (get) more exercise than a bus driver. The driver just (sit) in his cab but the conductor (stand) and (walk) about and (run) up and down the stairs.

22 Why that man (stand) in the middle of the road?

He (try) to get across. He (wait) for a gap in the traffic.

- Why he (not use) the subway?

Lots of people (not bother) to use the subway. They (prefer) to risk their lives crossing here.

23 You (wear) a new coat, aren’t you?

Yes. You (like) it?

The colour (suit) you but it (not fit) you very well. It’s much too big.

24 All the guides here (speak) at least three foreign languages, because a lot of foreign visitors (come) every summer.

25 Paul (take) a party of French tourists round now and tomorrow an American party (come).

26 Englishmen very seldom (talk) on the Underground. They (prefer) to read their newspapers.

Those two men in the corner (talk).

- But they (not talk) English.

27 Jones and Co. (have) a sale at the moment. Shall we look in on our way home?

Fd love to but I’m afraid I won’t have time. I (meet) Tom at 5.30.

28 You (go) out with Tom often?

-I usually (go) by train, but this weekend I (go) by bus. It (take) longer but it (cost) less.

29 Ann (on telephone): You (do) anything at the moment, Sally?

Sally: Yes. I (pack); I (catch) a plane to New York in three hours’ time.

Ann: Lucky girl! How long you (stay) in New York?

30 Peter: You (go) out tonight, Paul?

Paul: No, I (stay) at home. The neighbours (come) in to watch TV.

Peter: You (invite) the neighbours often?

Paul: No, but they (invite) themselves whenever there is a good programme.

31 Jack: I just (go) out to get an evening paper.

Ann: But it (pour)! Why you (not wait) till the rain (stop)? (7 advise you to wait.)

32 Lucy: Tom (get) up very early but he (wash) and (shave) and (get) his breakfast so quietly that I (not hear) a thing. But I (hear) him driving away from the house because his car (make) a lot of noise.

33 Alice: My brother (get) up very early too. But he (make) such a lot of noise that he (wake) everybody up. He (sing) in his bath and (bang) doors and (drop) things in the kitchen and (play) the radio very loudly.

34 Lucy: Why you (not ask) him to be a bit quieter?

Alice: I (mention) it every night but it (not do) any good. He (say) that he (not make) a sound, and I (think) he really (believe) it.

35 Tom: You (see) that man at the comer? He (keep) stopping people and asking them questions. You (think) he (ask) for directions?

Jack: No, I (expect) he (make) a survey.

Tom: How you (make) a survey?

Jack: You (stop) people and (ask) them questions and (write) the answers on a report sheet.

36 In most countries a child (start) school at six and (stay) for about five years in a primary school. Then he (move) to a secondary school. At 17 or 18 he (take) an exam; if he (do) well in this exam he can go on to a university if he (wish).


Exercise 2 The simple present and the present continuous. Put the verbs in brackets into the correct present tense.

1 Mrs Jones: My daughter never (write) to me so I never (know) what she (do). Your son (write) to you, Mrs Smith?

Mrs Smith: Yes, I (hear) from him every week. He (seem) to like writing letters.

2 These apples (cost) 40p a bag. You (think) that is expensive?

It (depend) on the size of the bag.

3 I (see) my solicitor tomorrow (I have arranged this)', I (change) my will.

You always (change) your will. Why you (not leave) it alone?

4 You (look) very thoughtful. What you (think) about?

I (think) about my retirement.

But you’re only 25. You only just (start) your career.

I (know); but I (read) an article which (say) that a sensible man (start) thinking about retirement at 25.

5 My next door neighbour always (knock) on my door and (ask) me to lend her lOp pieces.

- What she (do) with them?

She (put) them in her gas meter. I really (not mind) lending her a few lOp pieces but what (annoy) me is that she (know) how many she (need) each week but never (take) the trouble to bring the right number home.

6 What she (do) if she (run out) of them when you are away?

Oh, she (borrow) from her other neighbour, Mr White; but this (take) longer because he always (want) her to stay and chat and she (find) it quite hard to get away from him.

7 How much she (owe) you now?

I (not know); I (not keep) an account. Anyway she (leave) next week; she (get) married. I (try) to think of a suitable wedding present.

8 Why you (not offer) to cancel her debt?

That (sound) rather a mean sort of present. Anyway she probably (not realize) that she (owe) me money.

9 My brother (say) that people who (owe) him money always (seem) to forget about it, but people he (owe) money to always (remember) exactly.

10 I (not think) your brother (enjoy) the party. He (keep) looking at his watch.

Oh, I’m sure he (enjoy) it. He always (enjoy) your parties. But I (know) he (want) to be home early tonight because he (expect) an important telephone call.

11 Jack: How much longer you (stay) in England?

Paul: Only one more day. I (leave) tomorrow night. I (go) to Holland for two weeks.

12 Jack: And you (come) back to England after that or you (go) home?

Paul: It (depend) on my father. But if he (agree) to let me go on studying here I’ll certainly come back. And I (expect) he will agree.

13 Paul: By the way, Jack, Ann (see) me off at Victoria tomorrow. Why you (not come) too? You could have coffee with her afterwards. (Paul is advising/inviting Jack to come and see him off.)

14 You (see) that man at the corner of the street? He is a private detective. He (watch) No. 24.

How you (know) he (watch) No. 24?

Because whenever anyone (come) out of, or (go) into, the house he (make) a note in his little book.

15 What all those people (do) in the middle of the street? And why they (wear) such extraordinary clothes?

They (make) a film. Most of the crowd are local people who (work) as extras.

16 It (sound) great fun. You (think) I could get a job as a film extra?

I (not know) but I (see) Ann over there; when they (finish) this scene I’ll ask her if they still (take) on extras.

17 Ann (act) in the film?

She has a small part. She (not act) very well. I (imagine) she got the part because she (know) the director.

18 My brother (live) next door and his two children (come) and (see) me every day. The boy (not bother) to knock at the door; he just (climb) in through the window; but the girl always (knock).

19 Tom: We (move) into our new house tomorrow.

Bill: But why you (leave) your present house? It (suit) you all.

Tom: Yes, I (know) it (do); but the Council (pull down) all the houses on this side. They (widen) the road. They (say) it’s a bottleneck.

20 If you (ask) a friend if she (like) your new dress she usually (say) ‘Yes’; so you (not know) whether she really (think) it (suit) you or whether she merely (be) polite.

21 If you (want) a candid opinion you’d better ask my sister. She never (tell) white lies; she always (say) exactly what she (think).

22 Your sister’s frankness (annoy) people?

Yes, it (do). The average person (not want) a truthful answer; he (want) you to say something agreeable.

23 I (hear) that you have bought a new house.

Yes, but I (not live) in it yet. They still (work) on it, and the work (take) longer than I expected.

24 I (think) repair jobs always (take) longer than one (expect). What they (do) now? - They (put) in new electric points. They (seem) competent electricians but they (smoke) at their work and this (slow) them down.

25 They always (hammer) next door.

Yes, that house (keep) changing hands and the new owner always (begin) by putting in a new fireplace, and their fireplace is just on the other side of this wall so we (hear) everything. The wall (shake), too.

26 Ann (stir) something in a saucepan and Mary (stand) beside her holding a cookery book.

Mary: It (say) ‘simmer’, and you (boil) it, Ann.

Ann: I (not think) it (matter) if you (cook) it quickly; but I (not know) why it (not get) thick. It usually (thicken) at once.

27 The hall (be) painted at the moment, so it (not look) its best.

But where are the painters? They (stop) work at 3.00?

No, they are in the kitchen. They (have) a tea break.

28 What the word ‘Establishment’ (mean)? My dictionary (not give) an explanation. - It roughly (mean) the government and people who (have) power and authority.

29 If we (say) that Mr Brown (belong) to the Establishment we also (imply) that he (accept) the existing system. He (not try) to overthrow it.

30 All rich men (belong) to the Establishment?

Middle-aged rich men probably (do) but rich young men like pop singers always (jeer) at the Establishment. The word (be used) chiefly in a pejorative sense.

31 The house opposite the college (be pulled) down. That’s why we (use) the back entrance at present. If you (go) out by the front door you (get) covered with dust.

32 Tom: I (smell) something burning!

Jack: So (do) 1.1 (think) it (come) from the kitchen. Ann probably (iron). She usually (iron) and (watch) TV at the same time and if she (get) very interested in a programme she (forget) that she (press) a hot iron on to somebody’s shirt. Mother (think) of selling the TV set.

33 Mrs Jones: What you (look) for, Tom?

Mr Jones: I (look) for the garage key. I always (look) for the garage key, because nobody ever (put) it back on its hook.

Mrs Jones: I always (put) it back on its hook. Why you (not try) your pockets? {I advise you to try your pockets).

34 Imagine that you (travel) by train, in a crowded compartment. One of the passengers (read) a newspaper; another (do) a crossword puzzle; another (look out) of the window. Suddenly the train (stop) with a jerk and your suitcase (fall) off the rack on to somebody’s toes.

35 This is a story about an invalid who (spend) most of the day in bed. He has a powerful telescope and he (amuse) himself by watching the activities of the people in the opposite houses. One day when he (watch) No. 24 he (see) a murder being committed.

36 The cashier used to do the accounts and I used to check his figures; now the computer (do) it all.

And who (check) the computer?

No one. The computer (not need) a second opinion.

And what (happen) if the computer (make) a mistake?

The computer never (make) a mistake.











Exercise 1 (Negatives are given in their contracted form, affirmatives are not given in their contracted form, but in speech present continuous tenses are normally contracted in the affirmative.)

1 are you going; am going, do you want 2 do you smoke; I don’t smoke, smokes, I do; spends 3 sees; are you waiting; am waiting 4 you usually go; belongs, wants; is using 5 go; takes, passes; is working, am queueing 6 Are you coming, are you waiting; think, wait, are, looks 7 are waiting; is dialling; Do you know; phones 8 does he come; comes; speaks 9 wonder, is speaking; comes, suppose, is speaking 10 are having; are opening; writes; get; have you (got) 11 says, is coming, wants 12 Do you have/Have you got; don’t think; don’t see; does a traffic warden do 13 walks, stays, parks, sticks 14 is putting; sees; hates 15 want; are just closing; we always close, doesn’t want 16 is listening, is reading, is doing, is writing 17 reads; knits, isn’t knitting 18 goes, doesn’t go; likes; prefers 19 are watching; are enjoying, don’t understand 20 happens; Does the teacher give; gives, shows, discusses 21 gets; sits, stands, walks, runs 22 is that man standing; is trying, is waiting; doesn’t he use/isn’t he using; don’t bother; prefer 23 are wearing; Do you like; suits, doesn’t fit 24 speak, come 25 is taking, is coming 26 talk; prefer; are talking; aren’t talking 27 are having; am meeting; Do you go 28 go, am going; takes, costs 29 Are you doing; am packing, am catching; are you staying 30 Are you going; I am staying; are coming; Do you invite; invite 31 am just going; is pouring; don’t you wait; stops 32 gets, washes, shaves, gets, don’t hear; hear, makes 33 gets; makes, wakes; sings, bangs, drops, plays 34 don’t you ask; mention, doesn’t do; says, doesn’t make, think, believes 35 Do you see; keeps; Do you think, is asking; expect, is making; do you make; stop, ask, write 36 starts, stays; moves; takes, does, wishes

Exercise 2 1 writes, know, is doing; Does your son write; hear; seems 2 cost; Do you think; depends 3 am seeing; am changing; are always changing; don’t you leave 4 look/are looking, are you thinking, am thinking; are only just starting; know, am reading, says, starts 5 is always knocking on my door and asking; does she do; puts; don’t mind, annoys, knows, needs, takes 6 does she do, runs out; borrows, takes, wants, finds 7 does she owe; don’t know, don’t keep; is leaving, is getting; am trying 8 don’t you offer; sounds; doesn’t realize, owes 9 says, owe, seem, owes, remember 10 don’t think, is enjoying; keeps, is enjoying; enjoys; know, wants, is expecting/expects 11 are you staying; am leaving; am going 12 are you coming, are you going; depends; agrees; expect 13 is seeing; don’t you come 14 Do you see; is watching; do you know, is watching; comes, goes, makes 15 are all these people doing, are they wearing; they are making; are working 16 sounds; Do you think; don’t know, see, finish, are still taking on 17 Is Ann acting; doesn’t act; imagine, knows 18 lives, come, see; doesn’t bother, climbs, knocks 19 are moving; are you leaving; suits; know, does, is/are pulling down; are widening; say 20 ask, likes, says, don’t know, thinks, suits, is merely being 21 want; tells, says, thinks 22 Does your sister’s frankness annoy; does; doesn’t want; wants 23 hear; am not living; are still working, is taking 24 think, take, expects; are they doing; are putting; seem, smoke, slows 25 are always hammering; keeps, begins, hear; shakes 26 is stirring, is standing; says, are boiling; don’t think, matters, cook, don’t know, isn’t getting; thickens 27 is being painted, isn’t looking; Do they stop; are having 28 does the word ‘Establishment’ mean; doesn’t give; means, have 29 say, belongs, imply, accepts; isn’t trying/doesn’t try 30 Do all rich men belong; do, are always jeering/always jeer; is used 31 is being pulled; are using; go, get 32 smell; do; think, is coming; is probably ironing; irons, watches, gets, forgets, is pressing; is thinking 33 are you looking; am looking; am always looking, puts; put; don’t you try 34 are travelling; is reading, is doing, is looking out; stops, falls 35 spends; amuses; is watching, sees 36 does; checks; doesn’t need; happens, makes; makes



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