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Simple Present | Ongoing Activity


Alex and Mary are at a party. They just met. They share information about themselves.

Alex: So Mary, do you live in the city?

Mary: No, I live in the suburbs. It's about an hour outside of the city. I commute to work every day.

Alex: Wow! That's a long drive. You must hate it.

Mary: Actually, I don't mind it. It allows me time to listen to podcasts and get some time to myself.

Alex: OK, so you live with your family?

Mary: Yeah, I live with my husband and two kids.

Alex: Oh, really two kids. So does your husband work in the city too?

Mary: No, he works from home. He runs his own web design company which allows him to work from anywhere. What about you?

Alex: Oh, me? Well actually I share a flat with a roommate. It's a really small place in the city. I also work in the city, and I take night classes at a community college.

Mary: Wow, you sound busy.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: We use the present simple to talk about the status of our work, housing, and daily life.
  1. My sister lives in the mountains.
  2. My mother runs her own company.
Point 2: We use the verb 'allow' to talk about how activities make other things possible. The activity is often in the gerund form i.e. working from home, driving to work, etc.)
  1. Working at night allows me to sleep in in the morning.
  2. Running my own company allows me to work when I want to.
Point 3: We use the verb 'run' to refer to managing or operating a business.
  1. My father runs a small accounting firm.
  2. I run my own web design company.
Point 4: So, ... ? A common way to start a conversation (or maintain it) is to make a statement question that will prompt others to give more details.
  1. So, you work for your family?
  2. So, you play tennis?
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
work • live • commute • allow • run
  1. My father in the city.
  2. My two sisters overseas.
  3. My mom to work by car.
  4. Working at home me to spend more time with family.
  5. My sister her own business.