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Present Continuous

When do we use the Present Continuous?

The Present Continuous is used when we talk about something which is happening now or around now. Some grammar books also call this tense the Present Progressive.

1. actions happening at the moment of speaking (now, at the moment)

I am waiting for you in the car, hurry up!

Shes talking to her friend.

2. fixed plans in the near future

What are you doing on Saturday?

I am flying to Italy on Sunday

3. temporary actions

My dad is working in Manchester at the moment.

I am staying in a really expensive hotel this week.

4. actions happening around the moment of speaking (longer actions)

My friend is learning to drive.

Jake is seeing a lot of Susan recently

5. trends

The baby is getting bigger every day.

The climate is getting warmer.

6. repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker (with always, constantly, forever)

She is always complaining . (I don’t like this. It annoys me)

Present Simple → She always complains. (This is neutral, just stated as a fact.)

7. Verbs not use in the Continuous.

Some verbs are normally not used with the Present Continuous.  Some of these verbs are connected to mental states ( know, think, believe) others are about the senses ( see, smell, hear) and others with emotions ( love, like, enjoy, hate). If they are used the meaning changes.

  • What do you think(What is your opinion.)
  • What are you thinking about? (What is in your mind at the moment.)

8. Signal words

  • now
  • at the moment
  • currently
  • recently
  • Look!
  • right now
  • Listen!

9. Form

to be (am, are, is) + Infinitive + ing

10. Examples

10.1. Affirmative sentences in the Present Continuous

Long formsContracted forms
I am working hard.Im working hard.
You are working hard.Youre working hard.
He is working hard.Hes working hard.

10.2. Negative sentences in the Present Continuous

Long formsContracted forms
I am not working hard.Im not working hard.
You are not working hard.Youre not working hard.
You aren’t working hard.
He is not working hard.Hes not working hard.
He isn’t working hard.

10.3. Questions in the Present Continuous

Long formsContracted forms
Am I working hard?not possible
Are you working hard?
Is he working hard?