Grammar – Present continuous

Explanation

When to use present continuous

We use the present continuous to talk about things that are happening right now.

John is running at the beach.

This sentence uses the present continuous. It means that right now, John is running.

We also use present continuous to talk about things that are temporary.

am living in Brazil.

This sentence uses the present continuous. It means that John is living in Brazil right now, but in the future this will change and he will probably live in another country.

How to make present continuous sentences

Affirmative sentences

To make a sentence in the present continuous, we use:

subject + the present simple of be + verb-ing

Remember that we often shorten the be verb.

I am trying.

Im trying.

They are running.

Theyre running.

He is listening to music.

Hes listening to music.

You are doing a good job.

Youre doing a good job.

Negatives

To make a negative present continuous sentence, put not after be and before the verb-ing.

I am not trying.

Theyre not working.

Sometimes with negative sentences we cant shorten be a different way to an affirmative sentences.

Questions

To make a closed (yes/no) question in the present continuous, put be before the subject and verb-ing after the subject.

present simple of be + subject + verb-ing

Are you watching TV?

Is he coming?

Am I speaking slowly enough?

To make an open (wh-) questions, put the question word at the front of a closed question.

Why are you watching TV?

When is he coming?

Quiz

Present continuous

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