Present Continous Tense
Generally the continous form of a tense is used for a single temporary event that has begun and is continuing. This form occurs with verbs expressing relative duration (work, study, learn) or some stage in the development of an action either its beginning, end or its continuation.
The story is beginning (ending) now.
It is getting more and more dark.
Form of Present Continuous Tense
The tense is formed with the present of the verb be + the –ing form.
I am I’m
You are You’re
He is waiting. He’s waiting.
She is writing. She’s writing.
It is running. It’s running.
We are beginning. We’re beginning.
You are lying. You’re lying.
They are They’re
We can add –ing to most verbs without changing the spelling of their base forms. Other examples: beat/beating, carry/carrying, catch/catching, drink/drinking, enjoy/enjoying, hurry/hurrying.
If a verb ends in –e, omit the –e and add –ing. Other examples: come/coming, have/having, make/making, ride/riding, use/using. This rule does not apply to verbs ending in double e: agree/agreeing, see/seeing, or age/ageing, singe/singeing.
In case of a verb that has only one vowel which is followed by one consonant, it happens that the final consonant doubles. Other examples: hit/hitting, run/running, let/letting, get/getting, put/putting, sit/sitting.
With two-syllable verbs, the final consonant is normally doubled when the last syllable is stressed. Examples:forget/forgetting, prefer/preferring, upset/upsetting. Compare verbs in which the first syllable is stressed: benefit /benefiting, differ/differing, profit/profiting, their final consonant is not doubled.
There are just four exceptions: label/labelling, quarrel/quarrelling, signal/signalling, and travel/travelling.
Other examples: die/dying, tie/tying.
The uses of Present Continuous Tense
1. For an action happening now (real present)
Look! He’s giving that monkey a banana.
Why are you sitting there? Come over here!
2. For an action happening not at the moment of speaking but about this time:
He is writing a very interesting book these days.
She is teaching Spanish.
3. For a habitual activity, a series of repeated actions of limited duration over a limited period of time:
This winter we are cleaning the sitting-room only.
4. For a definite arrangement in the near future:
Tom is driving me home.
Are you doing anything next Sunday? -Yes, I’m meeting some old friends.
I’m visiting my grandma tomorrow.
5. With always for a frequently repeated action to express annoyance:
She is always leaving the door opened.
6. It is used instead of present simple in a slightly different meaning:
She spends a lot on her clothes. (general idea- she usually spends a lot on her clothes)
She is spending a lot on her clothes. (particular behaviour that happens temporary- she usually doesn’t do that)
Verbs not normally used in continuous tenses
The continuous tenses are chiefly used to express deliberate, intentional actions. That is why the following verbs cannot be used in the continuous tenses:
1. Verbs of senses: see, hear, smell, taste, feel, observe.
Still, verbs with similar meanings such as listen, watch, stare, gaze can be used in the continuous tenses:
He is listening to a CD and he does not hear what we are talking.
I’m watching but I can’t see anything usual.
2. Verbs expressing feelings and emotions: admire, adore, respect, appreciate, care for, desire, detest, dislike, fear, hate, like, loathe, love, mind, value, want, wish.
He admires his mother. NOT *He is admiring....
We love our parents.
3. Verbs of mental activity: assume, believe, expect, remember, forget, know, mean, perceive, realize, recall, recognize, suppose, think etc.
I understand what you mean.
We know nothing about it.
I see what you mean.
4. Verbs of possession: belong, own, possess
I owe some money to him.
- Verbs tenses
- Present Tenses
- Present Simple Tense
- Present Continous Tense
- Present Perfect Tense
- Present Perfect Continuous Tense
- Past Tenses
- Past Simple Tense
- Past Continuous (Progressive) Tense
- Past Perfect Tense
- Future Tenses
- The Simple Future Tense
- Future Continuous Tense
- Future Perfect Tense
- Future Perfect Continous Tense
- Stative and dynamic verbs
- Transitive and intransitive verbs
- Reflexive verbs
- Full verbs and auxiliary verbs
- Modal verbs
- Indirect speech