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Lesson 16
present continuous tense

the present continuous tense

Use the present continuous tense for three main reasons: 

 

  • Something is happening right now. 
  • Something is happening in your life. 
  • Something is happening later in the future. 

16a. the present continuous tense ✍🏾

singular

I am playing

you are playing

he is playing

she is playing

it is playing

 

plural

we are playing

you are playing

they are playing 

This is what I am doing right now. 

16a. Examples

colours, nature, portrait-7402147.jpg

He is playing a guitar. 

He’s holding the guitar.

People are listening to him. 

The sun is shining. 

The birds are singing. 

16b. (be) + main verb + ing

To form the present continuous, the helping verb (be) matches the subject. The main verb has an “ing” ending: 

(be) + _________ing

  • I am teaching English.  (I + am + teach + ing) 
  • You are learning English. (You + are + learn + ing) 
  • She is studying English.  (She + is + study + ing) 
  • They are going to school.  (They + are + go + ing) 

It’s very common to use contractions in the present continuous tense : I’m teaching / You’re learning / She’s studying / They’re going…

16b. Examples ✍🏾

girl, english, dictionary-2771936.jpg
  •  A: What is she doing?
  • B: She is reading a book. 
  • A: What are you doing? 
  • B: I am learning English. 

16c. happening now

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

  • I am teaching English.  (I + am + teach + ing) 
  • You are learning English. (You + are + learn + ing) 
  • She is studying English.  (She + is + study + ing) 
  • They are going to school.  (They + are + go + ing) 

What are you doing right now? 

16c. Examples ✍🏾

chef, cooking, street-4807317.jpg
  •  He is cooking. 
  • The customers are eating. 
  • Some people are waiting for their food. 

This activity is happening now. 

16d. happening in your life

The present continuous tense is used for activity that is happening in your life at present. This is used for work, school, living arrangements, interests, hobbies, etc. 

  • I am working as a teacher. 
  • You are going to school. 
  • Matthew is living in an apartment. 
  • We are enjoying our lives. 

What are you doing these days? 

16d. Examples ✍🏾

town, building, urban-2430568.jpg
  •  Matthew is living in an interesting neighborhood. 
  • He’s working for a company that makes computer parts. 
  • He’s spending a lot of time these days with his girlfriend. 

This activity is happening daily in a person’s life. 

16e. happening in the future

The present continuous tense is used for activity that is happening soon in the future. 

  • They’re leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning.  
  • I’m meeting some friends at a club tonight. 
  • The students are getting together this weekend to study. 
  • Joe is going away to college in the fall. 

What are you doing tomorrow? 

16e. Examples ✍🏾

utah, road, cars-5641320.jpg
  •  A: When are you going on your trip? 
  • B: We’re leaving next week.  

This activity is happening in the future. 

Write in your notebook. ✍🏾

Directions: Write each sentence with the verb in the present continuous tense. 

1. He _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ tomorrow. (work) 

2. I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ English. (learn) 

3. The kids _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ in the park. (play) 

4. It _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ right now. (rain) 

5. My friends and I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ to a concert. (go) 

6. We _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ there by train. (get) 

7. You _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ too much noise. (make) 

8. The car  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  still _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ . (run) 

9. Sarah _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ early tomorrow. (wake up) 

10. I _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ to work by train. (commute) 

The answers are below.

Learn to make the present continuous tense negative in Lesson Seventeen

Did you write these answers in your notebook? ✍🏾

Answers: 

1. He is working tomorrow. (work) 

2. I am learning English. (learn) 

3. The kids are playing in the park. (play) 

4. It is raining right now. (rain) 

5. My friends and I are going to a concert. (go) 

6. We are getting there by train. (get) 

7. You are making too much noise. (make) 

8. The car  is still running. (run) 

9. Sarah is waking up early tomorrow. (wake up) 

10. I am commuting to work by train. (commute) 

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