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Home > English Grammar > Tenses > Present Continuous Tense
     
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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR  
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Vowels & Consonants
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Cardinal-Ordinal Numbers
Noun
Pronoun
Verb
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Direct & Indirect Speech
Vocabulary
TENSES
Kinds of Tenses Tense Table
Simple Present Present Continuous Present Perfect Present Perfect Continuous
Simple Past Past Continuous Past Perfect Past Perfect Continuous
Simple Future Future Continuous Future Perfect Future Perfect Continuous
Present Conditional Tense Conditional Sentences
PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE

We can use the present continuous tense for the action may not be happening exactly now, but it is happening just before and just after now, and it is not permanent or habitual.

Structure for Present Continuous

subject auxiliary verb main verb
subject be base + ing
I am going.

Structure for Negative sentence

subject auxiliary verb main verb
subject be + not base + ing
I am not going.

Structure for interrogative sentence

auxiliary verb subject main verb
be subject base form
Am I going?

We use the present continuous tense for:

action happening exactly now,
action happening around now,
action in the future.
  USES OF PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE
For an action going on at the time of speaking:
 
Examples
She is singing. (now)
The boys are playing hockey. (now)
For a temporary action which may not be actually happening at the time of speaking:
 
Examples
I am reading ‘Future Shock’. (but I am not reading at this moment.)
For an action that is planned or arranged to take place in the near in the future:
 
Examples
I am going to cinema tonight.
My uncle is arriving tomorrow.
It has been pointed out before that the simple Present is used for a habitual action. However, when the reference is to a particularly obstinate habit-something which persists, for example, in spite of advice of warning, we use the present Continuous with an adverb like always, continually, constantly.
 
Examples
My dog is very silly; he is always running out in to the road.

The following verbs, on account of their meaning, are not normally used in the Continuous form:

    Examples
Verbs of perception see, hear, smell, notice, recognize.
Verbs of appearing appear, look, seen.
Verbs emotion want, wish, desire, feel, like love, hate, hope, refuse, prefer.
Verbs of thinking think, suppose, believe, agree, consider, trust, remember, forest, know, understand, imagine, mean, mind.
Have (=possess), own, possess, belong to, contain, consist of, be (except when used in the passive).

 

These verbs are used in the Simple Present. They may, however, be used in the continuous tenses with a change of meaning:

 
Examples
I am thinking of (=considering the idea of ) going to America.
Mr. Shah is minding (=looking after) the baby while his wife is out shopping.
PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE TABLE
AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I am going. I am not going. Am I going?
You are going. You are not going. Are you going?
We are going. We are not going. Are we going?
He/She is going. He/She is not going. Is he/she going?
They are going. They are not going. Are they going?
You may also like to see
Kinds of Tenses Tense Table
Simple Present Present Continuous Present Perfect Present Perfect Continuous
Simple Past Past Continuous Past Perfect Past Perfect Continuous
Simple Future Future Continuous Future Perfect Future Perfect Continuous
Present Conditional Tense Conditional Sentences