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Lesson 18
present continuous tense - questions

the present continuous tense - questions

To form a question in the present continuous tense, use the following word order: 

 

 

(be) + subject + main verb + ing

Is it raining today? 

  • be = Is
  • subject = it 
  • main verb = rain 
  • “ing” 

The verb “be” is capitalized because it’s at the beginning of the question. End the question with a question mark:

Is she taking care of her chickens

  • be = Is 
  • subject = she
  • main verb = take / take care
  • “ing” 
  • prepositional phrase = of her chickens 

18a. forming the question ✍🏾
(be) + subject + _____ing

singular

Am I walking? 

Are you walking? 

Is he walking?  

Is she walking?  

Is it walking? 

 

plural

Are we walking? 

Are you walking? 

Are they walking?

Pay attention to the verb “be” and the way it changes: 

am / is / are 

The verb “be” goes before the subject. 

Think about the subject to choose the correct form of “be.”

 

18a. Examples ✍🏾

rabbit, hare, bunny-7285008.jpg

 

Is the rabbit running?  

Why is it running? 

To ask a question for a “yes” or “no” answer, begin with the verb “be.”

To ask a question for information, put a question word (who, what, where, when, why, etc.) before the verb “be.” 

18b. happening now

The present continuous tense is used for activity that is happening right now at this moment. 

  • Are you learning English right now?  (Are + you + learn + ing + ?) 
  • Is the sun shining?  (Is + the sun + shine + ing + ?) 
  • She is studying English.  (She + is + study + ing) 
  • They are going to school.  (They + are + go + ing) 

18b. Examples ✍🏾

woman, drinking, coffee-601568.jpg
  • Is she drinking her coffee?
  • Is she getting ready for work? 
  • What is she thinking about? 

This activity is happening now. 

18c. happening in your life

The present continuous tense is used to ask questions about a person’s life. These activities are ongoing. They don’t stop. 

  • Am I working as a teacher? 
  • Are you going to school? 
  • Where are you living? 

18c. Examples ✍🏾

handyman, construction site, workers-3094035.jpg
  • What are they all doing this week? 
  • Are they all working at the same construction site?  
  • How are they all getting to work?  
  • Are they making good money at their jobs?

18d. happening in the future

The present continuous tense is used to ask questions about things that are happening in the future. 

  • What are you friends doing this weekend? 
  • Are you going anywhere this summer? 
  • Who’s making dinner for you tonight?  
  • Are you making dinner?
  • When is the school having its next big event? 
  • What country is hosting the Olympics this summer? (Notice that this question puts the subject (country)  before the verb (is hosting.)

18d. Examples ✍🏾

students, classroom, school-395568.jpg

These questions are for future activities: 

  •  Is he playing baseball this weekend?
  • What are his friends doing this Saturday? 
  • What are you doing after school today? 

In Lesson Nineteen, you will learn how to use “will” for the future tense. 


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