Present Continuous

*Structure:

Positive Subject + am/is/are + Verb-ing
Negative Subject + am not / is not (isn’t) / are not (aren’t) + verb-ing
Question Am/ Is/ Are + subject + verb-ing…?

 Ex:

I am doing my homework.

The children aren’t playing in the garden now.

Is he talking? – Yes, he is. / No, he isn’t.

*Use:

-We use the present continuous tense to talk about the present:

for something that is happening at the moment of speaking Please be quiet. The children are sleeping.
for something which is happening before and after a given time When I get home, the children are doing their homework.

At 8.am we are usually having breakfast.

for something which we think is temporary I am living with some friends until I find a place of my own.  
for something which is new and contrasts with a previous state These days most people are using email instead of writing letters.

What sort of clothes are teenagers wearing nowadays?

to show that something is changing, growing or developing The climate is changing rapidly.

Your English is improving.

The children are growing quickly.

for something which happens again and again

We normally use always, continually, constantly with this use.

It’s always raining in London.

They are always arguing.

* We normally use words such as now, at the moment, at present, right now, at this time, etc. with the present continuous tense: He is talking at the moment.

-We use the present continuous tense to talk about the future:

for something which has been arranged or planned Mary is going to a new school next term.

We are coming to see our friends tomorrow.

What are you doing new week?

*We do not use the present continuous tense with the state verbs such as know, believe, understand, belong, need, hate, love, like, want, hear, see, smell, sound, have, wish, seem, taste, own, remember, forget, etc. We use the present simple tense with these verbs.

*Exercise:

  1. Complete the sentences with one of the following verbs in the correct form:

  come  get  happen  look  make  start  stay  try  work

a. ‘You’re working hard today.’ ‘Yes, I have a lot to do.’

b. I — for Christine. Do you know where she is?

c. It — dark. Shall I turn on the light?

d. They haven’t got anywhere to I’ve at the moment. They — with friends until they find somewhere.

e. ‘Are you ready, Ann?’ ‘Yes, I —.’

f. Have you got an umbrella? It — to rain.

g. You — a lot of noise. Could you be quieter? I — to concentrate.

h. Why are all these people here? What —?

KEY

b. ‘m looking/am looking

c.’s getting/is getting

d. ‘re staying/are staying

e. ‘m coming/am coming

f. ‘s starting/is starting

g. ‘re making/are making …  ‘m trying/am trying

h. ‘s happening/is happening

  1. Use the words in brackets to complete the questions.

a. ‘Is Colin working this week?’ ‘No, he’s on holiday.’ (Colin/work)

b. Why — at me like that? What’s the matter? (you/look)

c. ‘Jenny is a student at university.’ ‘Is she? What — ?’ (she/study)

d. — to the radio or can I turn it off? (anybody/listen)

e. How is your English? — better? (it/get)

KEY

b. are you looking

c.’s she studying/is she studying

d. Is anybody listening

e. Is it getting

  1. Put the verb into the correct form. Sometimes you need the negative (I’m not doing etc.).

a. I’m tired. I’m going (go) to bed now. Goodnight!

b. We can go out now. it isn’t raining (rain) any more.

c. ‘How is your new job?’ ‘Not so good at the moment. I — (enjoy) it very much.’

d. Catherine phoned me last night. She’s on holiday in France. She — (have) a great time and doesn’t want to come back.

e. I want to lose weight, so this week I — (eat) lunch.

f. Angela has just started evening classes. She — (learn) German.

g. I think Paul and Ann have had an argument. They — (speak) to each other.

KEY

c. ‘m not enjoying/am not enjoying

d. ‘s having/is having

e. ‘m not eating/am not eating

f. ‘s learning/is learning

g. aren’t speaking/’re not speaking/are not speaking

  1. Complete the sentences using one of these verbs:

get  change  rise  fall  increase

  You don’t have to use all the verbs and you can use a verb more than once.

a. The population of the world is rising very fast.

b. Ken is still ill but he — better slowly.

c. The world —. Things never stay the same.

d. The cost of living —. Every year things are more expensive.

e. The economic situation is already very bad and it — worse.

KEY

b. ‘s getting/is getting

c. is changing

d. is rising or is increasing

e. ‘s getting/is getting

The information we used is collected from different sources on the Internet and in English coursebooks.

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