Present Continuous for beginners

The present continuous tense is a basic tense. It is usually one of the first tenses you start to learn when you first start studying English.

"Present Continuous" Tense in English grammar

What Is Present Continuous Tense?

We use the present continuous tense to talk about an action or situation that is happening now.

Structure

The present continuous is formed with 'am, is, are + -ing form of the verb'. We can use the full form or the short form of the verb 'be''.

Subject Full Form Short Form
I am working. I'm working.
He/She/It is working. He's, she's, it's working.
We/You/They are working. We're, you're, they're working.

Using Present Continuous to Talk about Ongoing Events

Spelling

For most verbs, we add '-ing' to the base form, but when the verb ends in '-e', we remove it and add '-ing'.

  • make → making
  • take → taking
  • come → coming

If the verb ends in a vowel + a consonant and if the last syllable is stressed, we double the consonant.

  • plan → planning
  • stop → stopping

Negation

To make this tense negative, add not to am, is, are. For example:

Affirmative Negative Short Form
I'm working. I'm not working. -
She is eating. She is not eating. She isn't eating.
They are waiting. They are not waiting. They aren't waiting.

Questions

To make a question use am, is, are at the beginning of a sentence before the subject.

Sentence Question
I'm working. Are you working?
She is eating. Is she eating?

Use

The present continuous tense is used to talk about an ongoing action that is happening now.

I am watching a movie now.

We're eating dinner right now.

She is talking on the phone at the moment.

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