Grammar. 10.10.2016
Grammar Teacher

Використання 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!

Використання Present Continuous

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":

AFFIRMATIVE

NEGATIVE

QUESTION

I

am

 

 

 

 

working

I

am not

 

 

 

 

working

am

I

 

 

 

 

working?

you

are

you

are not

are

you

he

she

it

is

he

she

it

is not

is

he

she

it

we

you

they

are

we

you

they

are not

are

we

you

they

 

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:

Verb + ing

Cook - cooking Watch ~ watching

Play ~ playing

Verb-e + ing

Have ~ having Move ~ moving Dance ~ dancing But! see ~ seeing

Consonant + stressed vowel + consonant double the last consonant and +ing

Sit ~ sitting Swim ~ swimming

Clap ~ clapping But! open ~ opening

Verbs ending -I we double I and + ing

Travel ~ travelling

Verbs -ie add +y +ing

Lie ~lying Die ~ dying

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
  • Використання Present Continuous - 2Mental 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: 

STATIVE VERBS

Some verbs are not normally used in the progressive/continuous (-ing) form.

These verbs are called "stative" verbs.

SOME STATIVE VERBS:

agree

l agree with him.

I'm agreeing with him.

believe

She believed him.

She was believing him.

doubt

I doubt that's true!

I'm doubtng that's true!

want

I want a new car.

I am wapting a new car.

mind

I don't mind!

l am not minding!

promise

I promise I will stay.

I am promising I will stay.

suppose

We suppose it's true.

We are supposing it's true.

feel
(to have an opinion)

You felt it was a good idea.

You were feeling it was a good idea.

More examples of Present Continuous Tense you can find here:

 

Practice and check yourself here:

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