Present Continuous

When we want to talk about something in progress right now we use the Present Continuous.
We use the verb ‘be’ + verb + -ing – e.g.  “I am writing. You are reading.”
To make a question we move the verb ‘be’ (this is the auxiliary verb in this tense) to thebeginning of the sentence. “Are you reading?”
These actions are not finished, they are in progress.
We can also use Present Continuous for things which are not happening now, but are in progress now.
For example –  ‘I’m reading a really good book at the moment.’
I’m not actually reading the book right now, but this action is in progress now and it’s not finished.
We can also use the Present Continuous to talk about the future.

You can learn more on the post ‘Future Forms’


I am reading.
I’m not reading.
Am I reading?
You are listening.
You aren’t listening
Are you listening?
He is talking.
He isn’t talking.
Is he talking?
She is smiling.
She isn’t smiling.
Is she smiling?
It is working.
It isn’t working.
Is it working?
They are laughing.
They aren’t laughing.
Are they laughing?
We are singing.
We aren’t singing.
Are we singing?
* ‘am not’ changes to ‘I’m not’
   ‘are not’ changes to ‘aren’t’
  ‘is not’ changes to ‘isn’t’
There are some verbs which we don’t use with Continuous tenses.
They are called non-action or state verbs.
Common non-action verbs are
  • like
  • want
  • need
  • know
We don’t use the Present Continuous with these verbs, we would usually just use the present simple.
“I am liking cheese.” WRONG – “I like cheese.” RIGHT
The verb have has two main meanings – one is an action verb and one is a non-action verb. I explain this in the video.

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