Present Continuous for intermediate learners
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.
What is Present Continuous?
'Present continuous' (also called 'present progressive') is used in English when we want to talk about an action that happens in the present moment and is continued.
To make a 'present continuous' sentence, we have to use the 'to be' verb plus the present participle form of the verb (verb + ing). Let us look at the following examples:
As you can see, the main verb comes after the 'to be' verb.
Just like other sentence structures in English, we can easily turn these statements into negative ones and questions . Pay attention to the examples below:
Please note that we do not have a short form for the negative first-person singular sentence. Carefully look at the example below:
In English, the 'present continuous' tense is used in many different contexts. However, we are going to list some of its main functions below:
- Actions Happening Now
- Future Plans and Arrangements
- Changes and Trends
Actions Happening Now
As mentioned above, the 'present continuous' tense is mainly used to talk about an action continuing in the present moment. Take a look at the examples below:
As you can see, the sentence is about a continuous action in the present moment.
The whole family
Future Plans and Arrangements
Another use of the 'present continuous' tense is to talk about future events and plans. When a decision has been made and we are sure that it will happen, we use it. Pay attention to the examples below:
As you can see, the action will happen in the future.
Samuel and his father
Changes and Trends
When something new is introduced and becomes popular, or when there is a change, we mainly use the 'present continuous' form. Look at the examples below:
As you can see, the sentence is about a change in people's hobbies.
What kind of music
It is useful to know that you can use the 'present continuous' form to tell a story and narrate it. Look at the following example: