• English grammar
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  • 1 English alphabet
  • 2 English pronunciation and phonetics [0/3]
  • 3 English articles [0/9]
  • 4 English pronouns [0/39]
  • 4.1 English personal pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.2 English impersonal pronouns (it, there, ...) [0/4]
  • 4.3 English object pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.4 English possessive pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.5 English reflexive pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.6 English reciprocal pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.7 English demonstrative pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.8 English relative pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.9 English indefinite pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.10 English interrogative pronouns [0/4]
  • 5 English nouns [0/16]
  • 6 English adjectives [0/38]
  • 6.1 Adjectives of quality in English [0/4]
  • 6.2 Demonstrative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.4 Quantity adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.5 Interrogative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in English [0/8]
  • 6.7 Comparatives and superlatives [0/10]
  • 7 English adverbs [0/18]
  • 7.1 Position of adverbs in English [0/2]
  • 7.2 Adverbs of manner in English [0/2]
  • 7.3 Adverbs of place in English [0/2]
  • 7.4 Adverbs of time in English [0/2]
  • 7.5 Adverbs of quantity in English [0/2]
  • 7.6 Adverbs of frequency in English [0/2]
  • 7.7 Adverbs of degree in English [0/2]
  • 7.8 Adverbs of probability and certainty in English [0/2]
  • 7.9 Adverbs of opinion and observation in English [0/2]
  • 8 English prepositions [0/12]
  • 9 English verbs [0/122]
  • 9.1 Present tenses in English [0/29]
  • Fill in the correct present tense in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Exercise about all present tenses in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Mixed present tenses exercise in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Practice all the English present tenses (Score -/-)Free
  • 9.1.1 Present simple tense in English [0/5]
  • 9.1.2 Present continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.3 Present simple vs present continuous in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.4 Present perfect tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.5 Present perfect continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.6 Difference past simple and present perfect in English [0/4]
  • 9.2 Past tenses in English [0/20]
  • 9.3 Future tenses in English [0/21]
  • 9.4 Auxiliary verbs in English [0/9]
  • 9.5 Present participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.6 Past participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.7 Modal verbs in English [0/11]
  • 9.8 Phrasal verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.9 Regular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.10 Irregular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.11 Gerund (-ing form) in English [0/8]
  • 9.12 Infinitive verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.13 Imperative in English [0/2]
  • 9.14 Reported speech in English [0/2]
  • 9.15 Active and passive voice in English [0/2]
  • 10 English conditionals [0/20]
  • The present continuous tense in English is used to describe an action or event that is taking place in that moment. 

    Structure and rules of the present continuous tense

    The present continuous tense consists of two parts: 

    1. The present tense of the verb 'to be'. 
    2. The verb + the suffix '-ing'

    Present continuous tense examples:

    • He is working at the supermarket right now.
    • I am calling my mother now. 

    The table below shows the conjugation of the verb 'to be'. 

    Subject Present tense of the verb to be
    I am
    You are
    He / she / it is
    We are
    You are
    They are

    How the present continuous tense is formed, depends on whether the sentence is:

    1. Affirmative: expresses the truth of a certain assertion.
    2. Negative: expresses the falsity of a certain assertion. 
    3. Interrogative: expresses a question.

    1. Affirmatives

    Structure: subject / pronoun + form of 'to be' + verb + suffix '-ing' + rest of the sentence 

    Examples:

    • I am walking to school. 
    • He is cooking a meal for his family. 
    • They are drinking beer in a bar. 

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    2. Negatives 

    Structure: subject / pronoun + negative form of 'to be' + verb + suffix 'ing' + rest of the sentence

    The table below shows the conjugation of the verb 'to be' in the negative form.

    Subject Verb 'to be'
    I am not
    You are not
    He / she / it is not
    We are not
    You are not
    They are not

    Examples:

    • I am not watching television now. 
    • He is not paying attention in class today. 
    • We are not paying for your meal this time.

    3. Interrogatives

    Structure: form of the verb 'to be' + subject / pronoun + verb + suffix '-ing' + rest of the sentence + question mark

    Examples:

    • Are you coming to the party tonight?
    • Is he really studying now?
    • Are they running in the woods? 

    Usage of the present continuous in English 

    The table below shows the situations in which the present continuous is used. 

    Situation  Example
    You want to describe an action or event that takes place at that exact moment.
    • Toby is doing his homework right now. 
    • She is watching TV. 
    You want to describe an action or event that is happening now, but not necessarily during the conversation. 
    • Tim is studying Economics. 
    • I am learning Spanish. 
    You want to describe an action or event that is already scheduled, but is not happening right now.
    • I am meeting my friend on Sunday. 
    • He is not coming to work next week. 
    You want to describe a temporary event or a temporary situation.
    • Normally he goes to school, but he's working at a supermarket now. 
    • The weather in Valencia is always good, but it's raining at the moment.
    You want to describe and emphasize a continuous series of repeated actions. Often combined with words as 'always, forever, constantly.'
    • He is always complaining about his work. 
    • Robert and Elisa are constantly arguing. 

    Signal words present continuous 

    You can recognize the use of the present continuous tense when the sentence contains words as:

    • Now
    • Right now 
    • Just now
    • At the moment
    • Listen! 
    • Look!
    • In the morning
    • In the afternoon
    • Tomorrow
    • Next Monday, Tuesday et cetera

    enlightenedThere are some verbs that normally don't appear in the present continuous, because they refer to a status and not to an action or event:

    • To look 
    • To hear
    • To imagine 
    • To forget 
    • To think
    • To smell
    • To taste 
    • To seem 
    • To doubt 
    • To consider 
    • To hope
    • To hate
    • To feel 
    • To dislike
    • To fear
    • To envy
    • To hold
    • To cost
    • To be 
    • To regret
    • To like
    • To know 
    • To prefer
    • To mind
    • To love
    • To notice 
    • To mean
    • To have 
    • To measure 
    • To want
    • To feel (as in 'to think)
    • To weigh
    • To suppose
    • To find (as in 'to consider)
    • To contain 
    • To believe 
    • To assume
    • To wish
    • To understand 
    • To remember 
    • To recognize 

    Do the exercises below to test your knowledge of the present continuous.