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The present continuous
The present continuous 

The present continuous 

is made up of the present tense of the verb be and the –ing form of a verb:

We use the present continuous to talk about:

  • activities when talking:

she's leaving work. she'll be home in an hour. 

 Please be quiet. grandparents are sleeping. 

we are having a party tonight.  

they are playing the match now.



  • future plans or arrangements:

Mary going to a new school next term.
What will you do next week?


Present progressive questions

We ask questions by putting am, is, or are in front of the subject:

  Are they listening?
 Are they coming to your birthday?
 When is she going home?
 What are you doing here? 


present continuous negatives

We form negatives by placing not (or n't) after am, is, or are:

I am not doing that.
they are't coming. (or they are not coming).


 They they don't come to the wedding. (or they won't come to the wedding).
 She is not going home until Tuesday. (or she won't go home until Tuesday). 


Stative verbs

We don't normally use the continuum with stative verbs. Stative verbs include:

  • others:
  • these bags belong to me

I understand you.(I am not understanding you.)
We usually use the simple instead:

This cake tastes wonderful.(NO This cake tastes wonderful).

Intermediate level

We also use the present continuous to talk about:

  • something that is happening before and after a specific time:

At eight o'clock they are usually having breakfast.
When I get home, the children are doing their homework.

  • something we think is temporary:

Michael is in college. Heis studying history.
I will be working in London for the next two weeks.

  • something that is new and is different from its previous condition

These days most people use email instead of writing letters.
What kinds of clothes are teenagers wearing today?
What kind of music are they listening to?

  • something that is changing, growing or developing:

Children they are growing quickly
The internet is spreading vastly
Your english is improving.

  • something that happens over and over again:

It is always raining in Moscow
They are always fighting
Mark is great. He is always Smiling.

Please note that we normally use always use in the case of describing something we experience daily we enjoy or we are annoyed of

Advanced level

We can use the present progressive to talk about the past when we are:

  • Telling a story in the past:

The other day I was walking down the alley when suddenly this woman comes up to me and asks me to lend her some money. Well she's carrying a big rod and it looks a bit dangerous so I thought what to do ...

  • summarizing a book, a movie or a play:

sheakspaear was a great writer of all times he was the most famous poet - drama writer in England

  • verbs of thinking and feeling and possession.
  • I think he is a good man.
  • she believes in the equality of all people
    verbs of the senses:

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Ahmad Elhendawy
Ahmad Elhendawy
احمد الهنداوي مدرس لغة انجليزية ومحاضر كورسات اللغة الانجليزية. اعمل في مجال التدريس منذ 16 عاما واعمل مدون وكاتب في مواقع تدريس اللغة الانجليزية