Present Continuous Tense | English Grammar

Present Continuous Tense | English Grammar

Present continuous tense

PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE

Introduction to Present Continuous Tense

As the name suggests, the present continuous tense is used to describe an action that is happening at the moment and is progressive in nature.

For example,

John is showing Mary the book he wrote. Mary is going through the pages, swiftly turning one by one. She is probably thinking how boring the book is.

 All the actions in the passage above, that is, showing, going, turning, thinking, are happening at the moment and the readers do not see them ending.

 

Note: Present participles of verbs are formed by adding – with the base form of verb. For example,

·         Walk becomes walking

·         Talk becomes talking

·         Go becomes going

·         Dance become dancing

·         Sing becomes singing

·         Cook becomes cooking

 

To be verbs:

Verb “to be” describes the condition of people, things, places and ideas. There are many forms of this specific verb. That is; am, are, is, was, were, been and being; based on the subject and the tense of the verb.

 

Forming sentences in Present Continuous Tense:

In order to form sentences that are Past continuous tense, we follow the following formats for affirmative sentences, negative sentences and questions.

 How to make positive sentences in Present Continuous Tense?

To make positive sentences in present continuous tense, we follow the following format.

Subject + to be verb (am, is, are) + present participle of verb + object (if any)

For example,

·         NASA is launching their space rocket this week.

·         Fred is looking for his socks.

·         I am cleaning the floor at the moment.

·         Leena and Lara are discussing the latest fashion trend these days.

·         Fiona is leaving the house because she had an argument with the landlord.

 How to make negative sentences in Present Continuous Tense?

To make negative sentences in present continuous tense, we follow the following format.

Subject + to be verb (am, is, are) + not + present participle of verb + object (if any)

For example,

·         Liam is not taking interest in classes anymore.

·         Sam and Lisa are not coming to the party tonight.

·         I am not going to the club anymore.

·         Lisa is not reading the book she bought last weekend.

 How to ask questions in Present Continuous Tense?

In order to ask questions in present continuous tense, we follow the following format.

To be verb (am, is, are) + subject + present participle of verb + object (if any)

 

Note: There are some verbs that can not be used in Present Continuous tense. Those verbs are called stative verbs. The verbs that can be used in Present Continuous Tense are called dynamic verbs.

 

Dynamic Verbs vs Stative Verbs

The term dynamic means something in motion. The term static means something that is not in motion. Dynamic verbs show an action or process, while stative verbs describe emotions.

 

– Dynamic Verbs

Dynamic verbs show an action or process. We use the present participle form of dynamic verbs in continuous tenses.

For example,

Samantha is heading towards the North.

Ali is calculating his math sums very vigilantly.

Raya is looking after her friend’s cat.

Abdullah is writing a letter to the school head.

 

– Stative Verbs

Stative verbs describe emotions, thoughts, states and conditions. Stative verbs are used in simple and perfect tenses. They cannot be used in a continuous form.

For example, the following sentences are not grammatically correct.

He is Caring for her. (Wrong)

He cares for her. (Right)

This book is belonging to me. (Wrong)

This book belongs to me. (Right)

I am understanding this situation quite well. (Wrong)

I understand this situation quite well. (Right)

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