The following sentences look quite similar but have different meanings. How would you explain the differences in meaning (the concept) to a student who has limited knowledge of English?
a) He's always smoking.
He always smokes.
The former is 'present continuous' (a temporary situation), the latter is 'present simple' (a permanent situation). We use the first example if the man is smoking now. We use the second example if the man smokes all the time.
Simon wrote:c) The children were leaving when the bell rang.
The children had left when the bell rang.
The former is 'present perfect continuous', the latter is 'present perfect simple'. We use the first example to describe an action that has not yet been completed. We would use the second example to describe an action that has finished.
Simon wrote:With regards to the man that always smokes, could I say that the second example is a general truth?
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