Question

What is the correct form: He is a student, but he (isn’t going, doesn’t go) to school right now because it’s the summer holiday?

Answer

Hi Alshoala, your question is really about the use of the Simple Present and the Present Continuous. I’d suggest that you have a look at the English4Today Grammar sections for these two tenses and also download the free English4Today Quick Verb Guide as there is a lot of material, explanations and examples in there to help you understand how these two tenses are used.

For your sentence, the first clause, ‘he is a student‘ is perfectly correct – you are using the Simple Present for a statement of fact. However, you then want to say what he is doing at the moment (right now) that is, during these summer holidays. For this part of your sentence you would use your first option in the Present Continuous – ‘ he isn’t going to school‘ as we use this tense to talk about an action that is happening ‘right now’.

  • He is a student, but he isn’t going to school right now because it’s the summer holiday.

If you were to use the Simple Present (your second option, ‘doesn’t go‘) it would have to be in a different context and not to talk about what he is doing right now. For example:

  • He is a student but he doesn’t go to school – he studies online.

This is a statement of fact rather than an indication of what is happening now.

Hope that has helped!

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