Which Tense is Best for Describing Habits?

All tenses are useful in different ways but the present tenses are very useful for describing habits!


In fact, both present simple and continuous can be used in this way, but the result can have different meanings. In this blog, we’ll compare some examples for talking about habits, including adverbs of frequency like always and sometimes.

Let’s see how the meaning changes when we change the tense.



Habits are things we do regularly, and they can be good, bad or just routines. “I go to bed early most nights” shows that I have a good habit or routine of going to bed early. If it were the opposite - a bad habit - what would the sentence look like?

“I’m always going to bed late.”

Note that when we use the adverb always in this statement, it does not mean every time, it just means more frequently than normal. The interesting thing about using always with the present continuous is that it changes a general fact into a more negative habit.

For example, “I work out in the evenings.” (general fact) becomes “I’m always working out.” (maybe I work out too much.)

Look at the following examples and decide whether the statements in the present simple tense appear more positive than in the present continuous.



My mother borrows my clothes /My mother i