The present continuous verb tense indicates that an action is happening now, and may continue into the future.
To form the present continuous, follow this formula:
2. Forming the present continuous
To Be [Am, Is, Are] + Verb [Present Participle]
(The form of the present participle is: base+ing, e.g. talking, playing, moving, smiling)
- If subject of the sentence is “I“, then the auxiliary verb “am” will be used in sentence
- If subject of the sentence is “He, She, It or Singular noun“, then the auxiliary verb “is” will be used in sentence
- If subject of the sentence is “they, You or Plural noun“, then the auxiliary verb “are” will be used in sentence
- You are learning English now.
- You are not swimming now.
- Are you sleeping?
2.2. Affirmative and Negative Forms
Affirmative form : As its name indicates, the affirmative sentence states a reality, expressing existence.
- She has invited us. (Affirmative)
- It was raining. (Affirmative)
- She can knit. (Affirmative
The negative verb forms are made by putting not after an auxiliary verb.
- he has not invited us. (Negative)
- It was not raining. (Negative)
- She cannot knit. (Negative)
2.3. Interrogative Form
The interrogative is normal for many questions. It contains a verb phrase that is followed by a subject.
- He does not work.
- I do not like swimming.
3. Functions of the present continuous
As with all tenses in English, the speaker’s attitude is as important as the time of the action or event. When someone uses the present continuous, they are thinking about something that is unfinished or incomplete
The present continuous is used:
- First, we use the present continuous for things that are happening at the moment of speaking. I’m working at the moment.
- to describe an action that is going on during this period of time or a trend: Are you still working for the same company? More and more people are becoming vegetarian.
- to describe an action or event in the future, which has already been planned or prepared: We are going on holiday tomorrow.
- to describe a temporary event or situation: The weather forecast was good, but it’s raining at the moment.