Present Continuous: Negative & Questions

The Present Continuous tense is used to talk about actions and events happening now.

Present Continuous questions

Negative sentences in Present Continuous

To say we are not doing something at the moment in Present Continuous, we use:

am/is/are + not + the ‘-ing’ form of the verb

I am not sleeping
You are not (aren’t) sleeping
He/she/it is not (isn’t) sleeping
We aren’t sleeping
You aren’t sleeping
They aren’t sleeping
Note: The verb ‘be’ (am/is/are) + not may be contracted.

I’m not watching TV.
– Jack isn’t walking.
– We’re not (We aren’t) eating.

Watch this video from Learn English Hamza Classroom to see more examples of Present Continuous negative:

Questions in Present Continuous

To ask questions in Present Continuous, we use:

am/is/are + subject + ‘-ing’ form of the verb

Yes/No questions

To create a question that will be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, use ‘am‘/’is‘/’are‘ (or ‘isn’t‘/’aren’t‘ for a negative question) + ‘-ing’ form of the verb.

Am I working?
Are you working?
Is he/she/it working?
Are we working?
Are you working?
Are they working?
  • Is it raining today?
  • Are you leaving right now?
  • Is he driving?
Note: We don’t say ‘Yes, I’m’ to answer positive questions, we say ‘Yes, I am.’
We can say ‘No, I’m not’ or ‘No, I am not’ to answer negative questions:

Are you studying now?
Yes, I am (No, I’m not).

Is Ben playing golf?
Yes, he is (No, he isn’t).

Are your friends staying at a hotel?
Yes, they are (No, they aren’t).

Special questions

Special questions (also known as wh-questions) are questions that require more information in their answers. They are made using wh- words such as what, where, when, why, which, who, how, how many, how much.

To make a special question, use the same word order as with yes-no questions but put a wh-word before the verb ‘am’, ‘is’ or ‘are’. The structure is:

wh-word + am/is/are + [subject] + -ing verb

  • What are you doing?
  • When is he coming?
  • Why is she crying?

Here’s a good video from New Model for Learning English explaining how to make questions in Present Continuous:

Read more:

Present Continuous: Statements

Present Continuous with Future Meaning

Present Simple or Present Continuous?