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Using Le Présent for ongoing actions where English uses Present Continuous

Look at these sentences:

Je mange un gâteau délicieux.
I'm eating a delicious cake.

C'est toujours quand je prends une douche que le téléphone sonne!
It's always when I'm having a shower that the phone rings.

Notice that in French you use Le Présent to describe actions that are ongoing in the present, whereas in English we would use the Present Continuous tense for these actions (as opposed to the Present Tense). 

 

Note: There is no equivalent of the Present Continuous tense in French, so you cannot, for example, translate 'I am working'  as "Je suis travaillant". Use "je travaille"

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je mange un gâteau délicieux.
I'm eating a delicious cake.



Marie travaille à Paris maintenant
Marie is working in Paris now.


Je lis un livre
I read a book / I am reading a book


C'est toujours quand je prends une douche que le téléphone sonne!
It's always when I'm having a shower that the phone rings.


Q&A

Martin

Kwiziq community member

27 February 2018

1 reply

Using the present in French to express the future.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 February 2018

28/02/18

What's your question?
Clever stuff underway!