Present Continuous usage in English Grammar

Form

I am eatingI’m not eatingAm I eating?
You are eatingYou’re not/aren’t eatingAre you eating?
She is eatingIt isn’t/is not eating.Is he eating?
We are eatingWe’re not/aren’t eatingAre we eating?
They are eatingThey’re not/aren’t eatingAre they eating?

The Present Progressive

The present continuous is used to talk about present situations which we see as short-term or temporary. We use the present simple to talk about present situations which we see as long-term or permanent. 

At the time of speaking

In these examples, the action is taking place at the time of speaking. 

  • It’s raining. 
  • Who is Kate talking to on the phone? 
  • Look, somebody is trying to steal that man’s wallet. 
  • I’m not looking. My eyes are closed tightly. 

At the present time

In these examples, the action is true at the present time but we don’t think it will be true in the long term. 

  • I’m looking for a new apartment. 
  • He’s thinking about leaving his job. /
  • They’re considering making an appeal against the judgment. 
  • Are you getting enough sleep? 

A definite point in the future

In these examples, the action is at a definite point in the future and it has already been arranged. 

  • I’m meeting her at 6.30. 
  • They aren’t arriving until Tuesday. –
  • We are having a special dinner at a top restaurant for all the senior managers. 
  • Isn’t he coming to the dinner?

Time for a quiz ?

Exercise

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What is present continuous tense with examples?

We use the verb ‘to be’ plus the present participle.

I am talking
You are talking
She is talking
We are talking
They aretalking.

What words are often used with the Present Continuous?

Words like  “now”, “at the moment”, “this week” and “for the time being”.

Which stative verbs are not normally used in the present continuous?

hate, like, love, prefer, want, wish. senses: appear, feel, hear, see, seem, smell, sound, taste. communication: agree, deny, disagree, mean, promise, satisfy, surprise.

Can we use ‘always’ with the Present Continuous?

Yes but it has a special meaning. It means that the action is irritating.

He’s always talking in class.
I’m always forgetting my money.
We’re always arguing.

What is Present Continuous for future?

When the future is arranged we use the Present Continuous.

I bought the tickets. We’re going to the theatre.
He phoned me. We’re meeting at 6.

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