The Present Continuous Tense in English
The present continuous, or present progressive tense in English language is used to talk about actions that are currently in progress or plans about the future.
I am watching a new TV show right now.
Here, the present continuous tense is used to describe an action in progress.
I am meeting my friend for dinner tonight.
Here, the present continuous tense is used to describe future plans.
Rule 1: We form the present continuous with the auxiliary verb be and the present participle or -ing form of the main verb.
As the verb be is irregular, here is a table of conjugation of verbs in positive, negative and interrogative sentences in the present continuous tense.
|I||I am singing.||I am not singing.||Am I singing?|
|he, she, it||He is singing.||She is not singing.||Is it singing?|
|you, we, they||You are singing.||We are not singing.||Are they singing?|
Note: We can also use contractions using the verb be in spoken and informal English. Here are the contractions for the present continuous tense:
|Long Form||Short Form in Use|
|am (not)||I'm (not)|
|are / are not||you're / we're not, we aren't|
|is / is not||he's / she's not, she isn't|
Rule 2: We use the present continuous tense to describe actions that are taking place at the time of speaking, i.e. now.
Look! A seagull is sitting on the bench!
The present continuous is used to describe what a seagull is doing at the present moment.
Rule 3: We use the present continuous tense to describe plans or arrangements that have been made for the near future.
I am visiting my parents next weekend.
The present continuous is used to describe plans for the near future, i.e. next weekend.
Rule 4: We use the present continuous tense to describe actions that are only temporarily.
He is traveling around Italy during this summer.
The present continuous is used to describe an action that is taking place only during this summer, i.e. temporarily.
Rule 5: We use the present continuous tense to describe actions that are currently happening, but not exactly at the moment of speaking.
She is staying at my place during this visit.
The present continuous is used to describe an action that is currently taking place, i. e. during this visit, but not at the very moment of speaking.
Rule 6: We use the present continuous tense to describe situations that are changing.
He is moving to live abroad.
The present continuous is used to describe the change of one's living circumstances.
Complete the sentence. He ___ to a song.