Present Continuous Tense

Grammar explanations Present Continuous uses
Present Continuous passive
Present Continuous spelling rules
Present Continuous for future
Exercises Present Continuous

Diagram

We use The Present Continuous Tense when we are talking about something happening at this moment or around the time of speaking. The picture below shows the way this tense can be demonstrated.


present continuous

Forms

Present Continuous Tense is also called: Present Progressive and it is built in the way shown below. The most important thing to remember is the correct way of using the verb "BE" with the subjects of the sentences.

  Affirmative sentences Short forms
I I am writing a letter now. I'm
you You are writing a letter now. You're
he / she / it He / She is writing a letter now. He's
we / you / they We / You / They are writing a letter now. We're

When you want to build a negative sentence in this tense you should use NOT after the form of the verb "BE". In speech we use contracted forms.

  Negative sentences Short forms
I I am not writing a letter now. I'm not
you You are not writing a letter now. You aren't
he / she / it He / She is not writing a letter now. He / She isn't.
we / you / they We / You / They are not writing a letter now. We / You / They aren't.

When you want to build a negative sentence in Present Continuous Tense you should change the order of words (use the inversion) and put the form of verb "BE" in front of the subject of the sentence.

  Questions
I Am I writing a letter now?
you Are you writing a letter now?
he / she / it Is he / she writing a letter now?
we / you / they Are we / you / they writing a letter now?

Special verbs

There is a group of verbs which basically are not used in Present Continuous. These verbs can be classified into following categories:

Verbs of senses feel, hear, see, smell, notice, observe (=notice),
Verbs expressing feelings and emotions admire, adore, appreciate, care for, desire, detest, dislike, fear, hate, like, loathe, love, mind, respect, value, want, with
Verbs referring to mental activities agree, appreciate, assume, believe, expect, feel, forget, know, mean, perceive, realize, recall, recognize, recollect, remember, see, see through, suppose, think ( = have an opinion), trust, understand

HAVE

Affirmative sentences Negative sentences Questions
I am having a shower. I am not having a shower. Am I having a shower?
You are having a shower. You are not having a shower. Are you having a shower?
He / She is having a shower. He / Shedoes not have a car. Is he / she having a shower?
We / You / They are having a shower. We / You / They are not having a shower. Are we / you / they having a shower?

DO

Affirmative sentences Negative sentences Questions
I am doing an exercise. I am not doing an exercise. Am I doing an exercise?
You are doing an exercise. You are not doing an exercise. Are you doing an exercise?
He / She is doing an exercise. He / She is not doing an exercise. Is he / she doing an exercise?
We / You / They are doing an exercise. We / You / They are not doing an exercise. Are we / you / they doing an exercise?

Modal verbs: can, may, must, need etc. ARE NOT used in Present Progressive

Signal words

Present Progressive is often used with the words listed in boxes below. Though it is not always necessary to use these words if it obvious from the situation which tense should be used.

situations now now, right now, at the moment, just
temporary situations these days
situations in the future next week, next month, tomorrow, next winter, tomorrow morning etc.
situations which happen repeatedly always, constantly, continually, forever, perpetually, repeatedly
the words denoting using
Present Progressive
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