Geneva Tesh
Language Education (ESL and TESOL)
Material Type:
Homework/Assignment, Unit of Study
Academic Lower Division
  • ESL
  • Grammar
  • Not Reviewed
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    High Beginning/Low Intermediate Grammar: Present Tense Review


    This lesson is designed for adult English language learners at the high beginning or low intermediate profiency level. The charts contain a brief explanation of the grammar point. Each chart is followed by five short exercises.

    Present Progressive vs. Simple Present

    This lesson is designed for adult English language learners at the high beginning or low intermediate profiency level. The charts contain a brief explanation of the grammar point. Each chart is followed by five short exercises.


    PRESENT PROGRESSIVE                                            

    Use the present progressive to describe present time happenings.

    FORM:     be  (am/is/are) + verb-ing

        I           am watching a movie.                               Action happening right now

       Emma   is living with her parents for a while.        Action happening in the current time period

    The girls  are wearing new clothes.                          Condition or state happening now


    now, right now, at this moment, at the present time, today, this morning/week/month/year/term/semester,  Look!  Listen!  Shhh!              



    Is Kevin working today?         What are they doing today? 



    I am not working.                                          

    You are not working.                                    

    He is not working.                                         



                I’m not watching TV.

    You’re not listening. / You aren’t listening.

    He’s not working. / He isn’t working.


    Exercise 1.  Add the correct form of be and –ing to the verb. Circle the expression that shows the current time

    1.  Patrick and Laura  are  working_in the garden right now. 

    2.  Look!  The baby _____play_____ in the dirt!  He _____ get_____ really dirty.

    3.  What ____ Michael and Jenna do_____ now?  They ______ not help_____ us.

    4.  Shhh!  Please be quiet.  Grandpa   ____ sleep_____. 

    5.  How cute!  The cat  _____ play_____ with her toys.  She ____ chase_____ her ball.

    6.  Right now Sam _____practice _____the piano.  He _____ take _____ lessons this year.

    7.  It’s hot today.  I _____wear_____shorts and a T-shirt.

    8.  Look at all of those cars.  The neighbors _____have _____a party.

    9.  It’s 4:00.  We _____leave _____ now.

    10. Ben is in his garage.  He _____ work _____ on his old car this weekend.


    Exercise 2.   Write the present progressive form of the verb.

    1.  The kids     are playing       (play) soccer in a tournament this week.

    2.  Kenji                                               (study) a lot this term.

    3.  My friends and I                                                     (try) to start a book club.

    4.  Carolina                                          (not, work) today because she is sick.

    Exercise 3.  What’s Happening?   Make untrue yes/no questions.  Give two true answers.


    Karen – skiing                        Sarah –  waterskiing               Leah and Gina – rollerblading

    James – snowboarding            Lisa –  windsurfing                 John and Liam – skateboarding


    1.  Is Karen snowboarding?                    No, she isn’t.      She’s skiing.         _





    6. ____________________________            ______________________________



    Exercise 4.   Correct five more errors in the conversations.

    1.  (On the phone)

    A:        Hi.  Are you busy now?

                            am waiting

    B:        No.  I wait in line at the checkout                                         


    2.  (In an airplane) 

    A:        Excuse me, but I think you sitting in my seat.

    B:        Oh, excuse me. I am sit in your seat. 


    3.  (At home)  

    A:        What the kids are doing?

    B:        Jon is sleeping.  Nick and Lori are watch TV.


    4.  (At a movie theater) 

    A:        You making too much noise. I’m try to listen!

    B:        Okay. I’m sorry.


    Exercise 5.  Write a paragraph. Use the present progressive.

    1. Describe a shopping mall, city park, or other busy place. What are people doing?  What are they wearing? Where are they going? What are they saying? 
    2. Talk about you and your friends. What are you doing this year? Tell about your activities, sports, lessons, and classes.  


     SIMPLE PRESENT                                               

    Use the simple present tense for facts and habits.


                                SUBJECT   VERB                                     MEANING / TIME

                                     I  have two children.                              fact (general truth or information)

        My sister and I sleep late on weekends.                habit, repeated action

                   Beth and Dan are doctors.                                       fact


                  SUBJECT  VERB + -S*

                        Jim works on weekends.                                    habit, repeated action

                        It   never snows in July.                          fact (general truth or information)

                        It is usually hot in July.                          fact



    on Mondays, on weekend, in the afternoon, in the morning

    always, usually, frequently, often, sometimes, rarely, never

    everyday/week/month/year     once/twice/two times a day/week



    Is that man your brother?                  Are Juan and Riley at school?                       

    Who is that man?                              Where are Juan and Riley?               



                        (They live in Mexico.)                (He works at night.)

                              Do they live in Mexico?                    Does he work at night?

                            Where do they live?                           When does he work?


    NEGATIVE WITH BE                                      NEGATIVE WITH OTHER VERBS

    I’m not tired.    They’re not angry.                   They don’t eat meat.      He doesn’t eat meat.


    Exercise 1.   Circle the simple present tense form of the verb. 

    1. Sweden (is / be) a country in northern Europe.
    2. About nine million people (living / live) in Sweden.        
    3. Swedish people usually (work / are working) forty hours every week.
    4. Swedes (get / got) five weeks of paid vacation every year.
    5. Sweden (having / has) a king, but he doesn’t (rule / ruling) the country.
    6. It (gets / got) dark early in winter and (stays / stayed) light until midnight in summer.
    7. Most Swedes (are drinking / drink) coffee every morning. 
    8. Swedes often (eaten / eat) sandwiches with only one slice of bread.
    9. My Swedish friend (lived / lives) in Stockholm
    10. She (working / works) at an art gallery.
    11. She often (visits / visiting) her parents. at their summer house in July.



    Exercise 2.   Complete the sentences. Use the correct simple present form of the verb. 

    Q:        Hello, Dr. Ha.  Are you     (you, be) a medical doctor?

    Dr. H: No, I __________ (be) a child psychologist.  I __________ (study) the effect of television on children.

    Q:        Interesting! __________ (children, watch) a lot of TV?

    Dr. H:  Yes, they __________.  Many children  __________(watch) four hours every day. They __________ (get, not) much exercise. They __________ (play, not) play much outdoors.

    Q:        What problems __________(these children, have)?

    Dr. H:  They often __________(get) tired and __________(concentrate, not) well at school.  They __________(be) sometimes overweight, too.

    Q::       __________(television, be) always bad?

    Dr. H:  No, not really.  Some programs __________ (be) very educational.  But parents                 (need) to set limits.  My daughter             _______(watch) only 30 minutes of TV per day, and I __________(help) choose the program.



    Exercise 3.   Read the statements. Complete the questions. Use the correct form of do or be.   

    1.  They take care of sick people.                               ______ they nurses?                                             

    2.  A mechanic works in a garage.                                         he or she fix cars?                  

    3.  This person works in a school.                                          he or she a teacher?               

    4.  They wear fashionable clothes for designers.                   they models?                          

    5.  These people are coaches.                                                 they help their teams win?     

    6.  This person is a carpenter.                                                 he or she build things out of wood?



    Exercise 4.  Correct eight more errors.  


    Amalia come from Venezuela.  She is 24 years old.  She live with her family.  She work as a legal assistant.  She help a lawyer with his research.  She really like her job.  In her free time, Amalia spend time with her friends.  She usually take care of her sister’s children on weekends.  She enjoy her life.  She feel lucky to have a good job, a great family, and nice friends.


    Exercise 5.  Write a paragraph. Use the present progressive.

    1. How do you celebrate a special holiday?  Describe your celebration.
    2. Imagine your perfect daily routine.  What do you do in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening?



    Present continuous

    for actions that are happening now

    Simple present

    for facts, habits, or repeated actions

    I am eating breakfast now.

    She is playing soccer today.

    They are working on a project this week.

    We’re not working today.

    Are you doing your homework now?

    I eat eggs everyday for breakfast.

    She usually practices soccer on Saturdays.

    They often work together in class.

    We don’t work on Sundays.

    Do you always do your homework on time?


    now, right now, at this moment

    at the present time


    this week/month/year

    Look!  Listen!   Shhh!

    It’s ____ (3:00, seven PM)



    once/twice/two times a day/week/month/etc.

    on Mondays, on weekends

    always, usually, frequently, often, sometimes, rarely, never

    Sometimes the time is understood.  You don’t need to use time words.


    Were resting.                                                    We work too much.

    He is working on a big project.                          He works at a software company.  

    It is raining.                                                        My jacket is wet.

    They are visiting their mother.                           They visit their mother.

    (We understand the time is now.)                        (We understand that these are facts or habits.)


    Exercise 1.  Underline the verbs.  Then write every week or right now.

    1.  Our teacher gives us a test __every week________.

    2.  Billy and Mi Son are going to a movie                                        

    3.  Nurses work hard                                       .

    4. Teachers teach new lessons                                                .

    5.  The student is looking out the window                                                     .

    6.  The kids are playing a game                                                          .

    7.  I memorize my shopping list                                                         .

    8.  Jesse forgets his writing homework                                              .

    9.  Alex is baking a cake for the party                                                 .

    10.  Kumiko goes to the gym                                     .


    Exercise 2   At the Beach   Write the simple present or present continuous form of the verb. 


    Every summer Daniel  works  (work) as a lifeguard at the beach.  He                      (watch) the children in the water.  He also                 (give) swimming lessons. The children          _____ (play) a game right now.  They                         (imagine) that they are sharks.  They                                    (chase) each other around the pool.  They                (play) this game everyday.  Daniel                  (laugh) right now.    



    Exercise 3.  Complete the sentences. Use the present continuous or simple present form of the verb.

    1. My sister    is studying   (study) in Denmark this year.  She says that most people in Denmark   work     (work) 36 hours every week.
    2. In the Middle East, people usually                        (not, work) on Thursdays and Fridays.
    3. In the United States, the average work week                   (be) 40 hours per week.
    4. My uncle and aunt                                                 (travel) in Latin America now.  They say that most workers                         (have) a siesta, a break in the middle of the day to rest.
    5. I                                          (work) hard this month.  I usually                              (work) part-time, but this month I                              (help) my boss. I’m working a lot of extra hours.
    6. In Japan, many business people                            (spend) 10 or more hours a day at work.


    Exercise 4.  Write C for correct or I for incorrect.  Then correct the errors.


    1.    I       I am studying English every day at my school.  

    2.           It is raining hard right now.

    3.           It often is raining in this city.

    4.           Shhh.  The baby sleeps.

    5.           Jacque is cold.  He is wearing a heavy shirt, sweater, and jacket.

    6.           Susan can’t answer the phone.  She is play the guitar. 

    7.           She is practicing several times a week.

    8.           She plays for her school once a month.


    Exercise 5.  Write a paragraph. Use the present progressive.

    1. Imagine that you are a celebrity. What do you do every day, every week, every year?
    2. Think about your family or friends. What are they doing right now?


    NONACTION VERBS                                            

    Some verbs are called nonaction verbs. They describe a feeling, an experience with your senses, or a fact. They do not state an action.  These verbs take the simple present tense, not  the present continuous.



    Feelings:         like      love     hate   prefer

    Senses:            see       hear    smell   taste    sound 

    Facts:              know   want    need    own  believe  mean  understand  belong


    I know the answer.                                         Incorrect:  I am knowing the answer.

    Do you see the bus now?                                Incorrect:  Are you seeing the bus? 

    She is thirsty.  She wants a cold drink.          Incorrect:  She is wanting a cold drink. 


    Some verbs have a different meaning in the present continuous and simple present.  Compare:


                CONTINUOUS (NOW)                                 SIMPLE PRESENT (NON-ACTION)


    I’m thinking about my family.                       I think my family is happy.  

                                                                            (= I believe my family is happy.)

    I’m having fun right now.                 I have a car.    (= I own a car.)

                The store is having a sale today.        They have good prices.   (a fact, not an action)



    Exercise 1.    Action or Nonaction?  Underline the nonaction verbs.

    1.  Do I hear raindrops on the roof?  Is it raining?

    2.  The phone is ringing.  Do you hear it?

    3.  The teacher likes my work.  I study hard in her class.  I’m working hard right now. 

    4.  We are listening to you.  We believe you.  We understand your situation.

    5.  Why is John eating a strawberry?  John hates strawberries.
    6.  I’m thinking about my grammar class.  I think my class is interesting.

    7.  The bus comes a little late every morning, but we don’t know why.

    8.  I need help.  I don’t understand the question.



    Exercise 2.   Complete the sentences. Use the words in parentheses. Use the  simple present or present continuous form of the verb.

    1.    Do you like             (you / like) vegetarian food?

    2. I ________________ (prefer) vegetarian food. 

    3.  Why _______________ (you / eat) a hamburger right now? 

    4.  I’m sorry.  I _______________ (not / understand) you. What _____________ ? (you / mean)

    5.  Today we ________________ (need) warm clothes.  It __________________ (snow) outside.

    6.  I see tears in your eyes.  Why _______________________?  (you / cry)

    7.  My mother has a headache.  She __________________ (need) an aspirin right now. 

    8.  Mmmm.  This soup __________________ (taste) delicious. 

    9.  Look!  The baby ________________. (smile)  He _____________ (see) his mother. 

    10.  The students ____________ (bake) bread right now.  It ______________ (smell) wonderful.

    11.  That coat _____________ (belong) to me. 

    12.  I _______________ (have) a good time today.  I _______________ (love) this soccer game.



    Exercise 3.   Complete the sentences.  Use the correct tense and form of the verb.   

    1.  Zac and Isabel          are playing  (play) basketball right now.  They   love    (love) sports.

    2.  Esther                       (enjoy) books.  She                                        (read) Jane Eyre

    3.  The kids                     (do) their homework.  They            (need) to study for a test. 

    4.  Keisha                     (listen) to the children’s ideas.  She                 (understand) children.

    5.  The girls                              (like) music.  They                                          (sing) a song.

    6.  Edwin                                  (wait) by the door.  He                                    (want) to go home.

    7.  Kari and James                (speak) Spanish.  They               (know) two languages.

    8.  Laura                                   (see) some birds.  She                                                 (sit) outside.



    Exercise 4.  Write C for correct or I for incorrect.  Then correct the errors.  


    1.    I   The flowers are smelling good.  Do you want some?

    2.         Do many people believe in ghosts?

    3.         This dessert has salt in it.   Are you tasting it?

    4.         Do you see a fire engine?  I am hearing a siren.

    5.         Tommy, you need to pick up your toys.  I mean it!

    6.         I am thinking about the future.  I am thinking life will get better.

    7.         Kim is having a party this evening.  I’m going there

                right now.  It sounds fun.

    8.          Carl is playing soccer now.  He loves sports.


    Exercise 5.  Write a paragraph. Use the present progressive.

    1. Some people believe there is life on other planets. What do you think?
    2. Do you have a pet – a  bird, a dog, a cat?  If not, do you want a pet?  What kind?
    3. What foods do you love? hate? What about music? 



    GRAMMAR REVIEW        Present Tenses



    Exercise 1.    Rewrite the following paragraph on another piece of paper. Change I to she, and my to her.  You will need to change the verbs.  

                Julia is                         She’s

                I am a pop singer.  I’m originally from Venezuela, but I’m living in Los Angeles now with my parents and my son.  I love all kinds of music, especially classic love songs.  I’m putting several traditional Venezuelan songs, in Spanish, on my new album.  Sometimes I get tired of reporters, but I always appreciate my fans.  I’m not planning any big changes in my career or my life.  I don’t want a romantic relationship right now. I need to focus on my son and my music.



    Exercise 2  An Interview with Julia    Complete the questions.


    Journalist:       What kind of   music do you listen to                                                           ?

    Julia:               Well, I listen to all types of music:  rock, rap, soul, and pop. 

    Journalist:       I see.  And what                                                                                              ?

    Julia:               Now?  I’m working on a new album with my band.  It’s called “Dreaming.”

    Journalist:       Where                                                                                                             ?

    Julia:               This month, I am performing here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Journalist:                                                                                                                               ?

    Julia:               Yes, I do.  I enjoy traveling because I get to meet so many fans.

    Journalist:                                                                                                                               ?

    Julia:               Yes, he does.  He loves music.

    Journalist:       What advice                                                                                                    ?

    Julia:               My advice to young musicians is to never give up.  And practice every day.



    Exercise 3.   Correct eight more present tense errors.                                                                                                                                                                              lives

                My neighbor, Lydia, loves animals and people. She live in a big, old house with five cats and six birds.  When a strange cat coming to the neighborhood, Lydia usually take care of it.  Lydia is a retired teacher.  On one wall of her house, she is have forty class pictures of her students.  I am always enjoying Lydia’s stories of her years as a teacher. Many of her former students writing Lydia letters and visit her.  Because Lydia have no family, her pets and her former students are her family now.







    Write a paragraph to describe a person: family member, friend, neighbor, or famous person.



    1.    Choose someone you know well or know a lot about. 

    2.    List what you know about the person:  job, talents, family, favorite things.

    3.   Choose which facts you want to include in your paragraph.

    4.   Practice writing a topic sentence that expresses the main idea of your paragraph.

    5.   Write the paragraph. Remember to indent and use paragraph form.



    After you finish writing, check your paragraph for present verb tenses.