The Present Continuous Tense
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Category: englishenglish

The Present Continuous Tense

1. The Present Continuous Tense

Diana Zaikovskya, 2 IT

2. Formation

The auxiliary verb
“ to BE”
in the appropriate
The Present
Participle of the
main verb
(verb -ING form)


Time adverbials which can be indicators of
the Present Continuous Tense:
• at the moment
• now
• at present
• right now
• just now
• all day (morning, night)
• the whole night (day, morning)
• these days
• still

4. Usage

The Present Continuous Tense is used:
1. to describe activities, changes and situations
happening now/ around now
E.g. : Alice is working at the moment, so she can’t come
to the telephone.
We are packing our suitcases now and the kids are
playing in their room.
It’s still raining.
He is teaching English and learning French. (but he
may not be doing either at the moment of speaking)

5. Usage

2. to describe a temporary event or situation
E.g.: Mike is living in Berlin at the moment. He is working as
a doctor there. (He is in Berlin temporarily. The action has a
limited duration)
Mr. Spencer is working as a taxi driver but he is going to
change his job.

6. Usage

3. with indefinite adverbs of frequency (always,
constantly, forever, all the time) to refer to
regular behavior which is typical and predictable.
In this way we, as a rule, criticize or express
E.g. : Maggie is always losing things! She should be more
Why are you complaining all the time?

7. Usage

4. to describe a definite arrangement in the near
E.g.: I’m leaving for Moscow tomorrow. (I have planned my
journey in advanced and have already bought a ticket)
The Blacks are spending next week in Spain. (They have
already chosen in which city to stay, booked a room in a
local hotel, bought tickets for a plane)

8. Usage

5. with verbs like hope and look forward to if we
want to sound more informal and less direct
E.g.: We are really hoping you’ll be able to come. (Compare:
We very much hope you’ll be able to attend.)
I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.
(Compare: I look forward to hearing from you in the near

9. Remember!

State verbs are not normally used in Present
Continuous because they describe a state
rather than an action. But some verbs can be
state verbs or action verbs, but with a different

10. Examples

1. I think it’s a good idea. (= believe, consider)
I’m thinking about my holiday. (= to have ideas or images
in your mind)
2. The soup tastes awful! (= has an awful flavour)
She is tasting the soup. (= is testing the flavour of it)
3. He looks tired. (= seems, appears)
He is looking at the photos. (= studying them)
4. The kitchen smells of burnt meat. (= to give out a
particular smell)
The cat is smelling its food. (= to try the smell of)

11. Examples

5. He is selfish. (= character – permanent state)
He is being selfish. (= behavior - permanent state)
6. He has a dog. (= possesses)
He is having lunch now. (= is eating)
7. I can see a plane in the sky. (= to become aware of
something by using your eyes)
I’m seeing Jill tonight. (= meeting)
8. My head feels as if it would burst. (= to give smb a
particular feeling or impression)
Look at Ann! She is feeling her way in the dark.
(= search with fingers rather than with eyes)

12. Thank you for attention!

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