Grammar OwlI have a new client staying with me on a two-week full immersion Business English course. She runs a very successful business in Italy. She needs English as she has started to forge strong relationships with some UK connections and doesn’t want to rely solely on interpreters.

During the first few days of the course, we reviewed some of her tenses and I noticed that she often uses the present simple and present continuous tenses in the wrong situations.
Whilst I don’t focus on grammar in my Business English courses (or my other courses for that matter), there are times when it is necessary to do so to avoid any misunderstandings.

For example, take a look at these two sentences:

  • We produce solar panels in China (present simple)
  • We are producing solar panels in China (present continuous)

Each sentence has a different meaning. In the first sentence, the present simple is used to show a permanent fact or a general situation. In this case, what we mean is that the company makes solar panels as a business – fact. In other words, it describes what the company does.

By contrast in the second sentence, the present continuous is used to describe a temporary or particular situation. In this case, the company is producing solar panels in China at the moment. There is a start and a finish to the event.

Here are more examples:

  • Where do you work? In London. (Permanent situation)
  • Where are you working? Paris this month, then Berlin next month. (Temporary situation)


  • We find that the price of turkeys increases substantially the nearer we get to Christmas (Habit)
  • The prices of Christmas lights are increasing. (A particular situation)

So, here’s the difference. Use the

Present Simple
Permanent situations, habits and routine and general situations

Present Continuous
Temporary situations, events in progress now and a particular situation

As I mentioned above, it’s worth using these two tenses in the correct way to avoid misunderstandings when doing business in English.

I hope you found this post helpful. If you did please share it and be sure to subscribe to my blog to receive future posts.

Ciao for now


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Free Guide: 10 Proven Ways To Improve Your Communication At Work In English

Get The FREE Guide Now & Boost Your Career!

Subscribe below using a valid email address. Your FREE ebook will be delivered there.

Success! Please check your email. If you don't see a message from me in your inbox, check your junk email or promotions folders and make sure you move my email to your Inbox. That way you won't miss out on a single lesson/post from me! Ciao for now Shanthi