Present continuous and present simple 2

We use continuous forms for actions and happenings that have started but not finished
(Chúng ta sử dụng các biểu mẫu liên tục cho các hành động và diễn biến đã bắt đầu nhưng chưa kết thúc)

  • they are eating / it is raining …

Some verbs (for example, know and like) are not normally used in this way. We don’t say ‘I am knowing’ or ‘they are liking’; we say ‘I know’, ‘they like’.

The following verbs are not normally used in the present continuous:
(Các động từ sau đây thường không được sử dụng trong thì hiện tại tiếp diễn)

Like / want / need / prefer
know / realise / suppose / mean / understand / beliveve / remember
belong / fit / contain / consist / seem
=> Vì các động từ trên là hiển nhiên dành cho hiện tại
  • I’m hungry. I want something to eat. (not I’m wanting)
  • Do you understand what I mean?
  • Anna doesn’t seem very happy at the moment.


  • When think means ‘believe’ or ‘have an opinion’, we do not use the continuous: I think Mary is Canadian, but I’m not sure, (not I’m thinking)
  • What do you think of my plan? (=What isyour opinion?)

When think means ‘consider’, the continuous is possible:

  • I’m thinking about what happened. I often think about it.
  • Tina is thinking of giving up her job. (= she is considering it)

See hear smell taste

We normally use the present simple (not continuous) with these verbs:

  • Do you see that man over there? (not Are you seeing)
  • This rooms mells. Let’s open a window.

We often use can +see/hear/smell/taste:

  • I can hear a strange noise. Can you hear it?

Look feel

You can use the present simple or continuous to say how somebody looks or feels now:

  • You look well today, or You’re looking well today.
  • How do you feel now? or How are you feeling now?
  • I usually feel tired in the morning. (not I’m usually feeling)

He is selfish and He is being selfish

He’s being = He’s behaving / He’s acting. Compare:

  • I can’t understand why he’s being so selfish. He isn’t usually like that. (being selfish = behaving selfishly at the moment)
  • He never thinks about other people. He is very selfish, (not He is being) (= He is selfish generally, not only at the moment)

We use am/is/are being to say how somebody is behaving. It is not usually possible in other sentences:

  • It’s hot today, (not It is being hot) Sarah is very tired, (not is being tired)

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