The Present Continuous tense – also called Present Progressive – is usually used to talk about things that happen now, at the time of speaking. This tense implies that an activity or series of activities has already started, but is not yet completed. However, this tense can be used in a number of other ways too.
How to use the Present Continuous tense
1. Use it for activities that are happening now.
- I’m reading about the present continuous right now.
- You are not driving at the moment.
2. Use it for temporary activities that are not necessarily happening at the time of speaking. (Note! We use the Simple Present for permanent situations.)
- I’m reading a good book. (But not right now.)
- Tom is working in the London office this month. (He will probably leave London next month.)
3. Use it for Future plans and arrangements. Activities that will happen in the near future.
- We’re travelling to London tomorrow morning.
- He isn’t coming on Tuesday.
4. Use this tense if something or someone irritates you. Mostly used with ‘always’.
- You are always telling me lies!
- You are always losing your keys!
Present Continuous – Signal words
now, at the moment, always, right now, tomorrow, next week, today
Affirmative Sentence Structure:
|Subject||Be||Verb + ING||Rest of the sentence|
|He / She / It||is||eating||a hamburger.|
|We / You / They||are||eating||a hamburger.|
Negative Sentence Structure:
|Subject||Be + NOT||Verb + ING||Rest of the sentence|
|I||am not||eating||a hamburger.|
|You||are not||eating||a hamburger.|
|He / She / It||is not||eating||a hamburger.|
|We / You / They||are not||eating||a hamburger.|
Interrogative Sentence Structure:
|Be||Subject||Verb + ING||Rest of the sentence|
|Is||he / she / it||eating||a hamburger?|
|Are||we / you / they||eating||a hamburger?|
1. Verbs ending with a silent “e”
- come => coming
- argue => arguing
- hate => hating
- age => ageing
- dye => dyeing
2. If the verb ends with “ee”, the ending doesn’t change.
- agree => agreeing
- see => seeing
3. Verb ends with vowel + “l”, the “l” is doubled. (Except in American English)
- travel => travelling
- signal => signalling
4. A one syllable verb with one vowel ends with a consonant, the last consonant is doubled.
- hit => hitting
- run => running
5. If the verb ends with “ie”, change it to “y”
- lie => lying
- die => dying
6. If the vern ends with “y”, simply add ING at the end
- carry => carrying
- enjoy => enjoying