Unit 4. Present Continuous and Present Simple (2)
(I am doing and I do)
We use Continuous tenses only for actions and happenings (they are eating / it is raining etc.). Some verbs (for example, know and like) are not action verbs. You cannot say "I am knowing" or "they are liking"; you can only say "I know", "they like".
(настоящее продолженное и простое настоящее времена II)
The following verbs are not normally used in continuous tenses:
- I'm hungry. I want something to eat. (not I'm wanting)
- Do you understand what I mean?
- Ann doesn't seem very happy at the moment.
- What do you think (= believe) will happen? (not what are you thinking) but
- You look serious. What are you thinking about? (= What is going on in your mind?)
- I'm thinking of giving up my job. (= I am considering)
- We're enjoying our holiday. We have a nice room in the hotel. (not we're having) but
- We're enjoying our holiday. We're having a great time.
We normally use the Present Simple (not Continuous) with these verbs:
- Do you see that man over there? (not are you seeing)
- This room smells. Let's open a window.
- Listen! Can you hear something?
- I'm seeing the manager tomorrow morning.
The Present Continuous of be is I am being / he is being / you are being etc.
I'm being = "I'm behaving / I'm acting". Compare:
- I can't understand why he's being so selfish. He isn't usually like that.
- He never thinks about other people. He is very selfish. (not he is being)
(being selfish = behaving selfishly at the moment) but
(= he is selfish generally, not only at the moment)
- It's hot today. (not it is being hot)
- Sarah is very tired. (not is being tired)
You can use the Present Simple or Continuous when you say how somebody looks or feels now:
- You look well today. or You're looking well today.
- How do you feel now? or How are you feeling now? but
- I usually feel tired in the morning. (not I'm usually feeling)
See Unit 17. Have and have got
See Unit 19. Present tenses (I am doing/ I do) for the future