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7 Present Continuous Teaching Exercises and Worksheets

Updated September  12th, 2019

At a basic level the present continuous or progressive tense is fairly easy to teach. It lends itself to miming activities and  exercises using pictures. At a more advanced level it becomes more difficult and students have to understand that some verbs may be used  differently depending on the context (ie.stative vs progressive).

1 What are they doing ? for routines  (present continuous with answers  or present simple sentences)

  A worksheet for practicing the present continuous tense for routines. One of the easiest ways to teach the present continuous is with the aid of pictures. Students have to describe the action in the pictures with phrases or sentences. They should feel free to use their imaginations and be creative. Click on the worksheet image or the link  to download the PDF file.

Picture worksheet for teaching routines and present continuous tense

What are they doing? with answers (PDF)

2 What are they doing ? with answers (general situations)

 
  This is an elementary ESL speaking exercise  practicing the present continuous tense for general situations. Students make sentences about each picture in the present continuous. This can be done as a speaking or writing activity. 

Pictures of general situations for present continuous

What are they doing ?- general situations (PDF)

3 Present simple vs present continuous

 
  This is an elementary writing and  speaking exercise  to help students understand the differences between the present simple and present continuous tenses.

Present simple vs present continuous (PDF)

4 What is he doing ? with answers (present continuous tense)

 
  This is an elementary ESL speaking exercise  practicing the present continuous tense. Students make sentences about each picture in the present continuous. This can be done as a speaking or writing activity.

 

 

What is he doing grammar worksheet

What is he doing ? (PDF)

5 Stative/progressive verbs sorting worksheet (with answers)

 
  This is a sorting exercise that helps students learn  when to use verbs in the present simple or present continuous/progressive tenses.  

Stative-progessive-verbs-grammar sorting worksheet

Stative vs progressive (PDF with answers)

6 Have collocations worksheet (with answers)

 
  This is a sentence writing exercise to help students understand collocations with “have” and also the stative and progressive uses of “have”. Students are often confused about whether to use the verb “have” in the present simple or present continuous/progressive tense. This exercise aims to clarify that a little bit.

 

 

Grammar practice using the verb "have" correctly in the present tenses.

Have collocations (PDF)

7 What is happening ?  with answers (present continuous tense)

 
  This is a more advanced and challenging ESL exercise  practicing the present continuous tense   for actions and events  happening now. Students need to have a broader knowledge of nouns and verbs to be able to complete this exercise. Students have to describe what is happening in the events and situations depicted in the pictures.

What is happening picture worksheet for present continuous

What is happening ? (PDF with answers)

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