How we use the Present Continuous
When we use it
Read the text. Pay attention to the verbs in bold.
I want to buy a new motorcycle. Now I am saving up for it. This week I am working overtime. I am writing a report at the moment. I am not eating out these days, I am trying to spend less.
All the verbs in bold are in the present continuous. Remember to use this tense in the correct situations:
- To talk about actions happening now: I am writing a report at the moment. Sam is talking to the manager now.
- To describe temporary situations (these days, this week, today): These days I am working overtime. My son is not playing football this week.
- To talk about future plans that are already arranged: I’m meeting my friends tomorrow.
- To talk about future plans which aren’t certain yet and predictions based on some evidence, use the structure be going to: She’s going to Madrid (but still doesn’t know when exactly). It’s going to rain (there’re heavy clouds in the sky).
- To describe changes: It’s getting dark. Fashion is changing.
NB! Use Present Simple with non-action verbs: like, want, need, prefer, believe, remember, know, understand. E.g.: I don’t need a motorcycle. Do you want to go shopping now?
How we form it
The formula of any continuous tense is: be + Ving, where “be” changes according to the tenses and persons. In the present continuous, “be” takes the forms of am, is, are (+ Ving).
So, positive forms are:
- I am + Ving: I am doing pressing-ups.
- She/he/it is + Ving: She’s recording a song. It’s raining.
- They/you/we are + Ving: You’re talking to my best friend.
Negative forms are:
- I am not + Ving: I’m not playing football this week.
- He/she/it is not (isn’t) + Ving: He’s not (isn’t) telling the truth.
- They/we/you are not (aren’t) + Ving: They aren’t waiting for us.
- Are they/you/we + Ving: Are we going the right way?
- Is he/she/it + Ving: Is the sun shining?
- Am I + Ving: Am going to get this job?
- You = for one person and many people.
- It = for one thing, NOT people (a city = it, a tomato = it).
- They = for people and things (cities = they, children = they)
NB! The Continuous tenses always have TWO verbs: be +Ving. If there’s only “be”, it’s NOT the continuous. If there’s only Ving, it’s NOT the continuous, but the present participle form. E.g.: The girl walking (present participle) along the street is (present simple) my classmate.
Form the present continuous
Complete the sentences with the present continuous form of the verbs in bold.
What are they doing?
Answer and ask the questions according to the information given in the pictures.
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