Present Continuous Tense

Present Continuous tense is one of the 4 sub-tenses of Present Tense. Present Continuous tense refer to those ongoing or progressing temporary actions which are not completed at the time of speaking. “Is”, “am” and “are” are three auxiliary verbs used along with “ing” form of verbs in Present Continuous Tense.

present continuous tense timeline

It can be differentiated from other sub-tenses through understanding of their structure.

The structures of the Present Continuous Tense with examples are as follows:

1. Sub + is/am/are + v4 + obj.  (Affirmative i.e. positive sentence)

For Example:

  • He is eating breakfast.
  • She is dancing on the stage.

2. Sub + is/am/are + not + v4 + obj. (Negative sentence)

For Example:

  • He is not eating breakfast.
  • She is not dancing on the stage.

3. Is/Am/Are + sub + v4 + obj? (Positive Interrogative)

For Example:

  • Is he eating breakfast?
  • Is she dancing on the stage?

4. Is/Am/Are + is/am/are + sub + not + v4 + obj? (Negative Interrogative)

For Example:

  • Is he not eating breakfast?
  • Is she not dancing on the stage?

5. Wh-word + is/am/are + sub + v4  + obj (Wh-Question)

For Example:

  • What is he eating?
  • Where is she dancing?

Where Present Continuous Tense is used?

present continuous tense usage

Present Continuous is used with the actions happening at the very moment of time of speaking.

  1. I am writing articles.
  2. He is swimming in the river.
  3. Sandy is fighting with me.
  4. They are cheating in the exams.
  5. We are watching football.

Present Continuous Tense is used with near future plans and activities which are fixed.

  1. I am going to the concert tonight.
  2. He is giving a speech in the graduation ceremony.
  3. They are playing against Chelsea football club next week.
  4. We are going to write a novel.
  5. My sister is flying to London next month.

Present Continuous Tense is generally used with the following words.

(Constantly, always, at present, at the moment, currently, now)

  1. The ill child is constantly nagging.
  2. We don’t like him because he is always whining.
  3. At present I am teaching in a school.
  4. At the moment what are you doing?
  5. Now, he is going to shower.

Present Continuous Tense is used with some exclamatory phrases.

  1. Look! She is drowning.
  2. Hey! Why are you ignoring me?
  3. Hurry up! The bus is leaving.
  4. Listen! You are committing a big crime.
  5. Excuse me! Are you eating my lunch?

Present Continuous Tense is used with actions/events happening but not necessarily at the time of speaking.

  1. He is directing a movie.
  2. J.K Rowling is writing another fiction.
  3. We are looking for a new house.
  4. I am working for British Council.
  5. They are doing an awareness program for women this year.