Grammar. 10.10.2016
Grammar Teacher

Present Continuous

Автор: Grammar Teacher

When I talk on the phone, I am often asked "What are you doing now?" and I answer that "I am drinking coffee or cooking or reading a book". In all these answers I use Present Continuous or we also call it Present Progressive Tense. This tense helps me to describe an activity which is being done at the moment of speaking.You are reading this article now - one more example for you.It's our first rule for Present Continuous, but let's find out more!

So, we use Present Continuous to:

  • talk about events which are happening (or not happening) right now, at the moment of speaking - She's drinking some tea now. He's not playing computer games now because he's sleeping.

  • talk about temporary states (something that is happening "around now"). In this case 'now' means not only this second, but today, this week, this month or even a year! - I am reading the  new book (yesterday, today and probably next couple of weeks). She's teaching at the university this term.

  • talk about gradual change (something that is changing all the time) - Your English is getting better. Our country is developing.
  • talk about near future, arrangement (something which has been planned before the moment of speaking) - I am having a lesson tomorrow at 4.10 p.m. (I have already planned it and know all the details). We are going to the theatre next Monday. (We know the name of the performance, what theatre, time, we have tickets etc.).
  • talk about repetition and irritation (with adverbs of indefinite frequency - always, constantly, continually, forever) - They are always complaining. He's always biting his nails.

As you can see the form of Present Continuous is the following:

Affirmative: Subject + verb "to be" + V-ing
Interrogative: Verb "to be" + subject + V-ing ?
Negative: No + subject + verb "to be" + not + V-ing

Don't forget! Different subjects have different form of verb "to be" (I am, He/She/It is, You/We/They are): 

Here is an example with the verb 'work":

The main verb in Present Continuous has -ing ending. This ending has its own rules. We usually have to add -ing to the verb and that's all, but sometimes we have to change last letter(s) in a verb:

There are some verbs that we don't use in continuous (in the list below). These verbs are normally used in the simple form because they refer to states, rather than actions or processes.

  • Senses and perception: to feel, to hear, to see, to smell, to taste
  • Opinion: to assume, to believe, to consider, to doubt, to feel (= to think), to find (= to consider), to suppose, to think
  • Emotions and desires: to envy, to fear, to dislike, to hate, to hope, to like, to love, to mind, to prefer, to regret, to want, to wish
  • Mental states: to forget, to imagine, to know, to mean, to notice, to recognise, to remember, to understand
  • Measurement: to contain, to cost, to hold, to measure, to weigh
  • Others:    to look (=resemble), to seem, to be (inmostcases), to have( =to possess)

Even if the action is happening now, at the moment of speaking, we use simple tense, not continuous: 

More examples of Present Continuous Tense you can find here:

 

Practice and check yourself here:

And remember, guys, that
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