English Language Languages

The Present Continuous Tense in English

Present Continuous Tense is used to describe the continuous or ongoing action of the present. Such acts take place precisely at the time of speaking. This is called progressive tense, as it applies to acts that are actually occurring at the time of the speech.

For example, a boy says, “I’m drinking water.” It means that the action (drinking water) is being done exactly at this time of the speaking.

This tense is also called Present Progressive Tense.

Structure of the Present Continuous Tense

Main verb: Present Participle (base form of verb + ing) e.g. drinking, eating, looking
Auxiliary verbs: “is, am, or are”

  • If the subject of the sentence is “I”, then the auxiliary verb “am” will be used in the sentence.
  • If the subject of the sentence is “She, He, It, or a singular noun” then the auxiliary verb “is” will be used.
  • If the subject of the sentence is “They, You or a plural noun” then the auxiliary verb “are” will be used.

Positive Present Continuous

Subject + Auxiliary verb + Main verb

Subject + (is / am / are) + Present Participle verb (verb + ing)

Examples:
– I am washing my pants.
– She is eating.
– Kids are playing football.
– They are walking on the lawn.
-He is writing a letter.
-You are eating some food.
-I am preparing for the exam.
-He is drinking juice.
-She is cleaning her room.
-She is making coffee.

Negative Present Continuous

Subject + Auxiliary verb + NOT + Main verb

Subject + is / am / are + NOT + Present Participle verb (verb+ing)

Examples:                  
-He is not sleeping.
-She is not studying her books.
-They are not coming to school.
-I am not replying to him.
-He is not asking any questions.
-They are not waiting for her.
-She is not laughing.
-She is not listening to music.
-You are not eating your meal.

Interrogative Sentences

Auxiliary verb  +  Subject  +  Main verb

(is / am / are) + Subject + Present participle verb (verb+ing)

Examples:
-Are you listening to me?
-Is she calling you?
-Are you laughing at me?
-Are they playing on the road?
-Is he planning about his studies?

See Also
Past Simple Tense
Present Simple Tense

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