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nominal; symbolic; perfunctory
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English audio course: Present simple, present continuous

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Listen to session 21 (English audio, MP3)

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In session 21 we are looking at two of the tenses of the English language: Present simple and present continuous. Do you remember when we use present simple? Yes, we use present simple when we talk about things we do on a regular basis such as daily routines. Here are some examples:

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Our new colleague comes to work by car.
We often work late.
We don't usually work on Saturday.

We also use the present simple when we want to express a skill. Listen to the following examples:

Our line manager speaks three languages.
She also plays the piano very well and even creates her own songs.

There are more cases in which we use present simple. Listen to the following examples and find out why we present simple is used here:

Our company provides a lot of different services.
It often rains in Leipzig in winter.
Water boils at 100 degrees.
The Earth goes round the Sun.

Now, let's have a look at the present continuous. As you know the present continuous is a tense which doesn't exist in the German language. Listen to the examples first:

I'm talking to you now.
It's raining again.
The music is playing in the background.
I can't work when someone is watching me.
Our students are waiting for their new English class.
I'm going to Leipzig tomorrow.

We use the present continuous tense when we talk about something that is happening right now or when we want to express a future plan.

How do we make the present continuous tense? Yes, it's the subject plus a form of the BE-verb plus the verb with ending -ING-. This form of the verb is also called a "gerund." It sounds complicated but it's not. You can practise the present continuous and the other tenses when you're in our English class.

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