Tag Archives: présent simple

The Big Three (grammar drilling starts here)

Vous voulez faire de la grammaire? D’accord, je vous aide. Vous savez, d’ailleurs, que je ne suis pas fan d’exercices type ‘scolaires’, et qu’une approche ‘lexicale’ est plus efficace. Disons qu’il faut faire de la grammaire, mais d’une façon utile, c’est à dire, dans des phrases qu’on peut utiliser tous les jours, et pas dans des phrases articifielles, comme ‘My tailor is rich’. Je vous conseille d’apprendre les temps anglais, et commencant avec ceux que j’appelle ‘the big three’, les trois les plus importants, ainsi que des phrases et des expressions pertinantes à vous. C’est le mariage parfait entre des compétences de base et le langage ‘prêt à porter’.

Voici ‘the Big Three’:

1. The present simple (I have, I go, I see etc).

2. The past simple (I had, I went, I saw etc)

3. The future (simple) (I will have, I will go, I will see)

Le futur en anglais n’est pas un vrai, ‘pur’ temps, il n’y pas de conjugaison – le verb ne change pas, et on utilise le même auxiliaire pour chaque person.

Il faut apprendre beaucoup de verbes afin de bien vous exprimer, ça, c’est une evidence. Sur le site, donc, je vais vous faire apprendre des verbes dans ces trois temps. A suivre…

present simple or present progressive (continuous)

Watch the video, then try this exercise. You have to decide if there is a grammatical mistake in the sentences. I’ve added some comments in the answer section.

I don't like travelling with him, he is driving too fast.

Look at the children - they are playing nicely together for a change!

Are you going to the restaurant tonight? What do you eat?

I've got this DVD to watch in English, but I'm not understanding anything

Don't listen to him, he's just being silly.

I go to the cinema tomorrow. Do you want to come with me?

Where's John? He's in the kitchen making dinner.

Are you wanting more coffee? I'm going to make some more.

What does she do? - She is looking after customer relations.

Are you having a meeting with the board today? - Yes, it starts at 11:00

Present: simple or progressive?

It’s not easy to teach the difference between these two tenses, so try this: in the following pairs, which sentence would be more natural to an English speaker?

a. I he is never on time.
b. He’s never being on time.

a. He always tells lies. (lies: mensonges)
b. He’s always telling lies.

a. I’m dirty so I go for a shower.
b. I’m dirty so I’m going for a shower.

a. Slow down! You drive too fast!
b. Slow down! You’re driving too fast!

a. Slow down! I don’t understand!
b. slow down! I’m not understanding you!

a. Don’t listen to him, he’s stupid
b. Don’t listen to him, he’s being stupid

a. That’s the production manager. He supervises the workforce.
b. That’s the production manager. He is supervising the workforce.

a. Look at John – he does nothing!
b. Look at John – he’s doing nothing!


1. a (in this case, ‘be’ is a state verb, and doesn’t indicate a specific action in progress)
2. a or b (both are correct. Use (b) if you want to show that he is lying at this present time)
3. b (the progressive is used to indicate intention to do something soon)
4. b (the person speaking is scared at this present time!)
5. a (‘understand’ indicates a state, it isn’t really an action in progress)
6. a or b ((a) suggest that is stupid all the time, (b) that he is acting in a stupid when at this present time)
7. a (talking about his responsibilities, not his current activity)
8. b (the context ‘look at John’ shows that it’s the present time – in progress)