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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > �at the weekend � present simple or continuous?    

�at the weekend � present simple or continuous?


�at the weekend � present simple or continuous?
Hello fellow teachers. Could you please help me decide whether �at the weekend� should be used in the present simple or continuous?

29 Oct 2022      

United States

I think that the only time you would use "at the weekend" with either of these tenses would be when you are talking about the future (the coming weekend), so only the present continuous would be correct.
We are going to the beach at the weekend.
I�m finally cooking those steaks at the weekend.

31 Oct 2022     


Thanks, Bruce. But when I saw at the weekend used with the present simple here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/grammar/english-grammar-reference/present-simple I got very confused. Could you please check out this link?

1 Nov 2022     

United States

Yes, I can help with that.
The example sentence is "Who plays football at the weekend?" 
For activities that take place regularly, we can use a singular expression of time with the present simple. It�s as if there were an implied "always" before the verb:  Who always plays football at the weekend? 
My band rehearses on Tuesday.
My friend gets paid on Friday. 
You can also use the plural - weekends, Tuesdays, Fridays - but the singular is also correct 

3 Nov 2022     


Thanks a lot. So are both tenses (present simple and present continuous) correct if used with �at the weekend�according to the speaker�s intention (all weekends: present simple, this weekend: present continuous)?

4 Nov 2022     

United States

I answered this already, but I see now that my post disappeared.
No, only the singular works with the present continuous, because it is a one-time event.
There is an exception to this, though. The basic meaning of the present continuous is "now". So, for repeated activity over some unspecified period of time, "at the weekends" can be used with the present continuous.
    I am studying ballroom dancing at the weekends.
    I am fixing up my house at the weekends.

5 Nov 2022     


I agree with Bruce (as usual!).
at the weekend + present simple = habit
at the weekends + present simple = habit
at the weekend + present continuous = planned action in the future (usually implying "this coming weekend")
I don�t set an alarm at the weekend. (= every weekend)
Many people visit family and friends at the weekends. (= every weekend)
I�m going to a Halloween party at the weekend. (= this coming weekend) 

7 Nov 2022     


Many thanks, Bruce and FrauSue.

4 Dec 2022