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  Present Continuous (Progressive) Tense

Grammar >>> Present Continuous (Progressive) Tense





   1. How to form the Present Continuous Tense?

   The Present Continuous is made with the present form of the verb "to be" (I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you are, they are) + the '-ing' form of the main verb. The '-ing' form of the verb is called the Present Participle.

Present Continuous (Progressive) Tense

Affirmative (Positive) Form

Negative Form

Question Form

 I am  reading  I  am not  reading  Am  I  reading?
 You are  reading  You  are not  reading  Are  you  reading?
 He is  reading  He  is not  reading  Is  he  reading?
 She is  reading  She  is not  reading  Is  she  reading?
 It is  reading  It  is not  reading  Is  it  reading?
 We are  reading  We  are not  reading  Are  we  reading?
 You are  reading  You  are not  reading  Are  you  reading?
 They are  reading  They  are not  reading  Are  they  reading?

Contracted forms: I am = I'm                 he/she/it is = he's/she's/it's                     you are = you're
                     I am not  = I'm not       he/she/it is not = he isn't/she isn't/it isn't        you are not  = you aren't

                                 we are = we're                        they are   = they're                              
                            we are not  = we aren't             they are not = they aren't                     


Examples:  1. What are you doing?                                       3. He is reading a newspaper.
2. I'm having a bath.                                           4. Are they working?


   2. Using the Present Continuous Tense

   We most often use the Present Continuous when we talk about something which is happening at the time of speaking (now, at the moment):

Examples:  Pamela is sleeping in the bedroom.
1. The telephone is ringing!
2. They are doing their homework.
3. I'm waiting for my girlfriend in front of the cinema.

   Present Continuous is also used when we talk about something which is happening at present, but not necessarily at the moment of speaking:

Examples:  1. I'm reading an interesting book.
2. Tom is looking for a new job.
3. We are studying English and Spanish.

   We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about temporary actions taking place only for a period of time (today, this week, this semester, this year):

Examples:  1. My husband is working hard today.
2. They are spending this week in Paris.
3. She is teaching English this semester.
4. We are staying at the Bristol Hotel tonight.
5. I'm living with my parents at the moment but soon I'll buy my own house.

   Present Continuous is also used to express current trends:

Examples:  1. Fuel prices are rising constantly because of strong demand.
2. On-line shopping is growing rapidly nowdays.

   We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker (always, constantly):

Examples:  1. He is always complaining from his colleagues.
2. My son is always getting into trouble in school.

   Sometimes we use the Present Continuous to describe a planned action in the near future:

Examples:  1. I'm leaving for Vienna tomorrow morning.
2. We are having lunch at 12.30 o'clock.

See also: Present Participle /en/





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