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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Present Continuous Tense - Examples, Rules and Exercise


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Present Continuous Tense narrates an action which is being continued or going to be continued in the near future. 

It uses am/is/are and “ing” is added with the verb.


The present continuous, also called the present progressive or present imperfect, is a verb form used in modern English that combines the present tense with the continuous aspect.


The present continuous tense is formed with the subject plus the present particle form (-ing) of the main verb and the present continuous tense of the verb to be: am, is, are.


 Some examples are:

 I am singing at church today.

 The boys are playing ball after school.


How do we make the Present Continuous tense?

The structure of the Present Continuous tense is:

subject+auxiliary be+main verb
conjugated in Present Simple
am, are, ispresent participle (-ing)

The auxiliary verb (be) is conjugated in the Present Simple: am, are, is

The main verb is invariable in present participle form: -ing

For negative sentences we insert not between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.

For question sentences, we exchange the subject and the auxiliary verb.

Look at these example sentences with the Present Continuous tense:

subjectauxiliary verbmain verb
+Iamspeakingto you.
Sheisnotstayingin London.
?Aretheywaitingfor John?

How do we use the Present Continuous tense?

We use the Present Continuous to talk about:

  • action happening now
  • action in the future

Present Continuous for action happening now

a) for action happening exactly now

am eating my lunch.
The action is happening now. 

Look at these images. Right now you are looking at this screen and at the same time...

the pages are turningthe candle is burningthe numbers are spinning

b) for action happening around now

The action may not be happening exactly now, but it is happening just before and just after now, and it is not permanent or habitual.

John is looking for a new job.
 The action is happening "around" now. 

Look at these examples:

  • Muriel is learning to drive.
  • am living with my sister until I find an apartment.

Present Continuous for the future

We can also use the Present Continuous tense to talk about the future - if we add a future word!! We must add (or understand from the context) a future word. "Future words" include, for example, tomorrownext yearin Juneat Christmas etc. We only use the Present Continuous tense to talk about the future when we have planned to do something before we speak. We have already made a decision and a plan before speaking.

am taking my exam next month.
 A firm plan or programme exists now.The action is in the future.

Look at these examples:

  • We're eating at Joe's Cafe tonight. We've already booked the table..
  • They can play tennis with you tomorrow. They're not working.
  • When are you starting your new job?

In these examples, a firm plan or programme exists before speaking. The decision and plan were made before speaking.

Present Continuous Tense Structure

The present continuous (also the present progressive) is one of the present tenses used in modern English.

Basically, the Present progressive tense is formed by adding -ing to the base verb.

The structure of the Present Continuous Tense is:

S + am/is/are (not) + V-ing +….


  • He is playing.
  • She isn’t cooking.

Am/is/are + S + V-ing +…?


  • Am I annoying you? (which is to ask whether I am annoying you.)

Examples of the Present Continuous Tense

  1. My daughter’s class is currently attending a lecture on the solar system at the planetarium.
  2. The driver is stopping at the gas station for a moment to fill up the tank and then will proceed to the next town for lunch.
  3. You need to prepare an agenda before your next class because you are keeping the students two minutes late every time lately.
  4. My company is holding face to face meetings a lot less than they used to in favor of video calls.
  5. When my vacation starts, my family and I are flying to Hawaii to relax on the beach.
  6. The movie is starting in the next thirty minutes so we have to leave very shortly.
  7. Whenever the cat is playing with a ribbon, she starts jumping back and forth like her hunter forbears.
  8. am going to fly back and forth between Detroit and Atlanta twice a month from now on as part of my promotion.
  9. I hate to say it, but my kids are giving me the worst migraine right now with all their screaming!
  10. The fog is slowly lifting which will make my drive to work much less dangerous.

Other Examples of Present Continuous Tense:

  • I am writing articles on different topics.
  • He is reading various kinds of books.
  • They are playing football now.
  • She is drinking coffee.
  • He is going to the library.
  • We are coming for shopping in this market.
  • We are watching a movie in this Cineplex.
  • You are shopping in that market.
  • I am singing different kinds of songs, especially modern.
  • I am listening to melodious songs.
  • He is traveling around the world.
  • They are playing cricket in that field.
  • The poet is writing romantic poems.
  • The lyricist is writing realistic songs.
  • Are you listening to realistic songs?
  • I am not quarreling with you.
  • Are you coming to our home?
  • I am helping him to do the task.
  • My mom is cooking beef with cabbage.
  • Are you watching cricket on television?



Watch the following Videos:






QUIZ Present Continuous Tense 

You can do this grammar quiz. It tests what you learned on the Present Continuous page.

1. _____ they coming over for dinner?


2. Maxwell _____ not sleeping on our sofa.


3. My mother-in-law is _____ at our house this week.

 be staying

4. I _____ my dinner right now.

 am eating

5. My sister _____ Spanish.

 is learning

6. I _____ at the hair salon until September.

 be working
 am working

7. We _____ at a fancy restaurant tonight. Jason decided this yesterday.

 are eating

8. Why ________ playing football tomorrow?

 he not is
 he isn’t
 isn’t he

9. They are _____ a new shopping mall downtown.


10. Melissa is _____ down on her bed.