Interested in learning English? Click below and check our online courses!
English present continuous tense
over 3 years ago
Hi, I learn English. Can you explain present continuous please?
over 3 years ago
Hi! 😀 The present continuous is often mistaken with the present simple because they both generally work in the present but let me explain you when to use the present continuous.
It is a relatively easy tense that is often used to say that an activity is just taking place. However, there are a few exceptions, let's check exactly in which situations we use this English tense.
Present continuous tense usage
We use present continuous tense in following situations:
- to describe something that is happening at the time of speaking Tom is talking to a friend on the phone.
- to describe that some activity has already started (but not neccesary it's happening at the moment) Lucy wants to visit France, so she is learning French.
- to tell about plans and arrangements for the near future (especially after some preparations) She is going to London this Saturday (of instance, sha has already bought a ticket, etc)
- to describe something that happens temporarily: He usually plays drums, but he's playing bass guitar tonight.
- to inform about changes happening around now (often with these verbs: become, begin, change, fall, get, grow, improve, increase, rise, start) Is your Italian getting better?
- to describe current trends: More and more people are streaming music to their mobile phones.
Present continuous is not used with Stative verbs
These are verbs that do not express actions, but state of mind and relationships. Here are some of them:
- Attitudes and emotions: love, like, hate, dislike, fear, want, need, prefer, appreciate, doubt, wish, care, mind, promise, deny, concern
- Knowledge and beliefs: believe, know, think, hope, doubt, imagine, mean, understand, realize, suppose, guess, remember, forget, agree, disagree
- Possesion and relationships: be, have, own, possess, owe, belong, depend on, include, contain, consist of
So we say I understand you and not I'm understanding you or I want to go there rather than I'm wanting to go there.
There are some exceptions to this rule (McDonald's ad says I'm loving it!) but I think it is save to avoid using present continuous with Stative verbs.
Present continuous tense sentences
The present continuous tense is formed with  the subject,  the appropiate form of the verb to be: am, is, are and  the present particle form ing of the main verb.
A few examples
I am driving, I cannot talk now.
Tom is talking over the phone at the moment.
Ann is busy, she is cooking dinner.
The children are sleeping, be quiet!
Exceptions when creating verbs with the ending -ing
In most cases, we add the ending -ing to the infinitive to the basic form of the verb, but there are a few exceptions:
- Verbs ending with e. This vowel disappears: hope - hoping, ride - riding, make - making, write - writing
- Verbs ending with ie. Remove -ie and add -ying: die-dying, tie-tying, lie-lying
- Nonosyllabic verbs ending with a vowel and consonant (except w, x, and y). Before adding ing we double the consonant: jog - jogging, sit - sitting, run - running, stop - stopping
- Two-syllable verbs. If the accent falls on the second syllable, we must before adding the ing to double the last consonant: admit - admitting, prefer - preferring, begin - beginning
We create questions in present continuous in a very easy way, changing the order of the standard sentence. To create a question, we put a verb to be in a proper form in front of the subject of the sentence and add a question mark at the end:
Is your father
A few more examples
Why are you crying?
Who am I speaking with?
Why is your dad shouting so loud?
What time are we leaving?
Create negative sentences is very easy, you take a standard sentence and add not to the verb to be:
My father is not
I'm not driving, we can talk now.
Tom isn't talking over the phone at the moment.
Ann isn't going to the concert tonight.
The children aren't sleeping yet.
Log in to answer the question