L1.3 Grammar: Situations and Habits in the Present

These are the Millers.

They are the happiest family in the whole wide world. Read the sentences below, guess which member of the family they are talking about and write their names next to their faces.

  1. Sarah lives in a big house with her husband and children. She is always working because she is not only a mother, but also a very successful business woman.
  2. Luke and Matt are twins, but not identical. Luke is growing up faster than Matt, who is always complaining about being shorter than his twin brother.
  3. Sally is Sarah's young sister. She is lovely young woman who will sit and play with the boys all afternoon. They absolutely adore her.
  4. Javier is the father. He is an engineer but he is taking some time off work at the moment. He usually goes for a walk in the morning before breakfast.

I bet that was pretty easy. What about Sally, huh? I think she spends too much time with Javier in the house while Sarah's at work. Anyway, this is not why we are here. You have probably noticed that some of the verbs were highlighted in the sentences. What I would like you to do now is to pay attention to those verbs.


Look carefully at the context in which those verbs are used and match them to one of the situations below. There may be more than one verb for each situation. Use a notes app on your tablet / phone or your FCE notebook if you're studying on a computer.

  • a regular event
  • characteristic behaviour
  • a long-term situation
  • an annoying or surprising habit
  • a temporary situation
  • a changing situation (i.e is growing up)

Think you got the right answers? Well, do the exercise below and see it for yourself. You will have to write the meanings above in the correct group according to the verb tenses and examples. Piece of cake!

Well done!!!! Write one sentence for each of the different verbs uses mentioned above. There is a total of 7 so it'd be really nice if you could write 7 sentences as well, one for each meaning/tense.