TENSES: The present continuous

This is also known as the present progressive

present_continuousIn English grammar, the present continuous is used to talk about something that is happening now or around now. Here are some examples:

  • I am studying English grammar now.
  • They are visiting friends at the moment.
  • He is playing football.

The present continuous can also be used to talk about something you are not doing now.

  • I am not sleeping right now.
  • They are not working today. They have the day off.
  • She isn’t watching the TV, she’s playing a computer game.

The present continuous verb can change when you talk about other people.

Positive + Negative –
I am working am not / I’m not working.
You are working are not / aren’t working.
We are working are not / aren’t working.
He is working is not / isn’t working.
She is working is not / isn’t working.
It is working is not / isn’t working.
They are working are not / aren’t working.

The present continuous verb changes when you ask questions.

Am I working?
Are you working?
Are we working?
Is he working?
Is she working?
Is it working?
Are they working?


Some verbs cannot be used in the present continuous form.

For example:

I like Coca-Cola Correct

I am liking Coca-Cola Incorrect

Click here for more information about dynamic and stative verbs


Present continuous for future

We can also use the present continuous tense to talk about arrangements we make with other people that are planned and will happen in the future.

For example:

I am meeting David next week.

My company is moving to a new office next year.

They are flying to Thailand tomorrow.


Are you having dinner with Louise tomorrow?

Is your mother visiting you next week?

Are they coming to the party on Saturday?

Click here to try the present continuous exercises.

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