Present Simple vs. Present Continuous ESL Activities, Worksheets and Games

Find Someone Who...

ESL Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Activity - Writing, Listening & Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 35 minutes

This free present simple and present continuous activity helps to illustrate to elementary students how the present simple and present continuous tense are different and how to ask and answer questions using each tense. Working together, students prepare the present simple and present continuous yes/no questions together with possible follow-up questions for the items on the worksheet. Students then go around the class and ask each other the present simple and present continuous yes/no questions from the worksheet. When a student finds someone who answers 'Yes, I do' or 'Yes, I am' to a question, the student writes down their name and asks a follow-up question to gain more information, noting down the answer in the last column. When everyone has finished, students give feedback to the rest of the class on what they found out by making present simple and present continuous statements.
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Which tense?

ESL Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Activity - Writing, Listening & Speaking - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

This present simple vs. present continuous activity helps elementary students practice forming and answering questions in the present simple and present continuous tense. In two groups, students complete questions on the worksheet in the present simple or present continuous tense using verbs in brackets. After that, the students pair up with someone from the other group. The students then take it in turns to ask and answer the questions with their partner, paying close attention to the tense of each question. Afterwards, the students share what they found out about their partner with the class.
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Interactive Version - In this present simple vs. present continuous breakout room activity, students complete present simple and present continuous questions and then practice asking and answering the questions with a partner.

 

An Unusual Monday

ESL Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Worksheet - Reading & Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

Here is a story-based worksheet to help students practice the present simple and present continuous. Students begin by reading the first part of the story and then answering questions about it using the present simple. Students then read the next part of the story and write present continuous questions for a set of answers. Next, students complete the following part of the story with the present simple or present continuous form of the verbs in brackets. In the last exercise, students put words in the correct order to complete the story.
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Interactive Version - In the present simple vs. present continuous interactive worksheet, students complete a range of exercises to practice the present simple and present continuous tense together.

 

Greetings from Italy!

ESL Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this present simple and present continuous information gap activity, students write and then ask present simple and present continuous questions in order to complete missing information in an email. In two groups, students read the email on their worksheet and write the present simple and present continuous questions they need to ask to complete the missing information. Next, students pair up with someone from the other group and take it in turns to ask and answer the questions they have prepared. The students write the answers in the spaces in the email. When the students have finished, they check their answers by comparing worksheets.
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Interactive Version - In this present simple and present continuous breakout room activity, pairs of students complete missing information in an email by writing and then asking present simple and present continuous questions.

 

Question Time

ESL Present Simple and Present Continuous Activity - Writing, Listening & Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this free present simple vs. present continuous activity, students write questions on various topics using both tenses. The students then ask and answer the questions with a partner. In pairs, students look at prompts on cards and write one question in the present simple and one in the present continuous for each one. The students then take it in turns to ask and answer the questions with their partner. Afterwards, the students share what they found out about their partner with the class.
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Time for a Review

ESL Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Worksheet - Reading & Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 30 minutes

In this grammar review worksheet, students revise the present simple and present continuous tense. Students start by using phrases to write grammar rules for the present simple and the present continuous. Next, students look at a set of time expressions and decide which ones are used with the present simple and which are used with the present continuous. Students then move on to answer questions in the present simple or present continuous, according to the time expression used in each question. After that, students rewrite sentences, correcting the mistakes. In the last exercise, students complete sentences with verbs in their present simple or present continuous form.
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Interactive Version - In this grammar review interactive worksheet, students revise the present simple and the present continuous.

 

An Interview with Elon Musk

ESL Present Simple and Present Continuous Activity - Writing, Listening & Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 20 minutes

In this present simple vs. present continuous speaking activity, students take part in a business interview to practice asking and answering questions in the present simple and present continuous. In pairs, one student takes on the role of a journalist and the other takes on the role of Elon Musk. The journalist's task is to interview Elon Musk to find out about his work routine, current projects, plans and goals, and make notes on his answers. The student who is Elon Musk uses the information on the worksheet to answer the journalist's questions. The students prepare what they are going to say, paying close attention to which parts of the interview will be in the present simple and which parts will be in the present continuous. The students then role-play the interview. Afterwards, students report back to the class on their interviews. As an extension, the pairs write a short news article in the present simple and present continuous based on the interview.
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Guess the Sentence

ESL Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Game - Listening & Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this entertaining present simple and present continuous game, students describe present simple or present continuous sentences for other students to guess. In groups, students take it in turns to pick up a card and describe the sentence on the card using present simple or present continuous phrases. Students can use the verb on the card but they are not allowed to say the sentence or clusters of words within the sentence. For example, if the card read 'I get up late on Sunday', the student might say 'Monday to Saturday, I get up at 6 a.m. The other day, I get up at 11 a.m. I like to sleep in on that day'. The other group members listen and then try to guess the sentence. The first group member to correctly guess the sentence wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
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Create a Company

ESL Present Simple vs. Present Continuous Activity - Writing, Listening & Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

In this present simple and present continuous activity, students create a company by completing and answering questions in the present simple and present continuous. First, students complete questions on the worksheet in the present simple or present continuous. Next, in groups, students create a company by inventing answers to the questions on the worksheet. In their groups, the students discuss each question in turn and write an answer in sentence form using the present simple or present continuous. When the groups have finished, they take it in turns to present their company using the information they created.
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Interactive Version - In this breakout room activity, groups of students create a company by completing and answering present simple and present continuous questions.

 
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