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Present continuous

grammar game

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The present continuous is formed by adding the present participle (the "- ing form") to the present simple
of the verb to be:

I am working
You/we/they are working
He/she/it is working

I am not working
You/we/they are not working
He/she/it is not working

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

The present continuous is used to talk about actions or events that are happening at the moment:
I am writing a text about the present continuous.
I am sitting in my office, working on the computer.
We also use the present continuous to speak about changes, developments and trends:
This town is developing all the time.
The puppy is growing at a frightening rate.
People are eating better than in the past.
These changes, developments and trends can last a long time:
Species are constantly evolving.
The polar ice caps are melting.
We can also use the present continuous to speak about something that is happening at a specific time we
are thinking of, even if it is not now:
At four in the morning I'm usually sleeping.
He likes to be left alone when he is working on a project.
We can also use the present continuous to speak about future arrangements:
I'm meeting Sue for a drink after work.
What are you doing next weekend?

We can also use the present continuous to speak about repeated actions, especially when we find these
actions irritating. In this case, we usually use the present continuous with words like always or
She is always interrupting when others are trying to speak.
He is constantly leaving his cigarette butts lying around.
Note that some verbs are not usually used in continuous verb tenses. These are called stative verbs.
More information about the present continuous tense:
Exercises and quizzes on the present continuous tense:


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