I work I don’t work
You work You don’t work
He / she / it works He / she / it doesn’t work
We work We don’t work
They work They don’t work
Don’t is short for do not, doesn’t is short for does not.
Do I work?
Do you work?
Does he / she / it work?
Do we work?
Do they work?
Talking about general facts and opinions
- Where do you live? I live in London.
- What do you think about our boss? I think she’s excellent
- What do you do? I’m a production manager.
Talking about routines and repeated actions
- How often do you travel abroad? I travel abroad most months.
- When do you get up? I usually get up at 6:00 am.
- When do you finish work? I finish at 5:00 pm
Talking about timetables / schedules
- What time does your train leave? It leaves at 6:52 pm.
- When does the meeting start? It starts at 9:00 am.
Talking about likes, wants and needs
- Do you want an invoice? Yes, my boss always wants to see one.
- Do you need more time? Yes, I need another 20 minutes.
- Do you like coffee? Yes, I like coffee, but I don’t want one at the moment.
The following are signal words for the simple present, because they indicate routine:
always, usually, normally, often, sometimes, hardly ever, never
Verbs only used the simple form
Some verbs are only used in the simple form and not continuous. These verbs express a state and not an action. They include the following:
be, seem, believe, cost, own, belong, know, mean, prefer, understand, love, like, hate, hear, mean, realize, want, like, need
Present Continuous (or Present Progressive)
I am working (I’m working) I am not working (I’m not working)
You are working (You’re …) You are not working (You’re not…)
He / she / it is working (He’s…) He / she / it is not working (He isn’t…)
We are working (We’re…) We are not working (We’re not…)
They are working (They’re…) They are not working (They aren’t…)
Am I working?
Are you working?
Is he / she / it working?
Are we working?
Are they working?
Talking about now (at the moment of speaking)
- What are you doing? I’m waiting for Carl.
- What are you drinking? I’m drinking an espresso.
- What are you thinking about? I’m thinking about how we can solve the problem.
Talking about temporary things around the time of speaking
- Where are you living at the moment? I’m living with my friend until my apartment is ready.
- What are you working on? We are working on a cost cutting project.
- Why is Sarah so demotivated? She is having problems with her boss.
Talking about trends and developments
- More and more people are working from home.
- Our business is growing rapidly.
- I’m learning lots of new skills.
Future plans (see also future tenses)
- Where are you going on holiday? We are going to Italy in August.
- What are you doing in Munich? We are visiting the exhibition.
- Who are you meeting at 10:00 am? I’m meeting a new customer.
I work for ABC. = You are an employee of ABC.
I’m working for ABC. = It’s a temporary situation (Maybe you are a freelancer).
I live in Ulm. = Ulm is your home.
I’m living in Ulm = It’s a temporary situation (Maybe you are thinking of moving).
Signal words for the present continuous
The following are signal words for the present continuous as they indicate an action at the time of speaking:
At the moment, now, currently etc.